Being single is tough. You’re learning a new way of life. Meeting new people. Dealing with ghosts of the past. I was never a boundary person before, but I’m starting to learn that the more boundaries I set, the more goodness I bring into my life. I also have daily rituals that keeps me grounded and sane (for the most part). Anything I’ve read about boundaries thus far includes a man, a future man, or dating. Being single is FAR more than that. It’s about finding yourself and being 100% of the choices, boundaries and rituals that we create.
I’m going to start off with a little story from my past. I had this blogger friend who I really enjoyed spending time with. I didn’t know her all that well, but I knew she had a good heart and was sassy as they came. She always told it like it was and she was my first blogger friend when I first started off.
A few years in, we had done several blogger events together. I went to visit a fellow blogger and heard that there was terrible rumours going around about this friend. I immediately defended her even though I did not know for certain if the rumours were true. Then I lamented, do I tell my friend about these rumours told about her? It took a few days but my heart wouldn’t let me chat with her while I had this hanging over my head. Then, once all was revealed (she didn’t do what was accused of her), I wrote about it in hopes it would salvage relationships that were dependant on her income. My heart went out to her and I’m so proud that I stood up for her because she was a friend.
Boundaries and Rituals
Here are a few boundaries I have created in order to keep sanity in my life. This story above is very relevant to what I’m going to detail here.
- Feel it ALL!
You’ll meet so many people who will tell you to move on or let it go. The best advice for me came from the book Whole Again. We will never get over what we don’t feel. We have to feel it all to feel whole again. Cry, write, sing, yell…..do what you have to do to feel it all and you’ll come out feeling like you’ve been through hell but you’ve made it back to the other side so much wiser. PS. You may have to feel it time and again too. Sorry……that’s divorce and heartache for you.
- Always stay true to your values.
Your values may change and take a while to find, but stay true to them. I want to believe in people so standing up for fellow newly single people is very important to me. Some are bat-shit crazy. I was too. Some take years to get over the loss. I’m with ya girlfriend. Some need a helping hand getting to the point of realizing what they deserve. Been there and I own the “I deserve” t-shirt now.
- Time is precious, don’t waste it on deadbeats
A friend with benefits is one thing. Personally, I’ve given up on those too for the most part. I think something will always get in the way if the “meetings” happen too much. What I mean is those guys who you randomly meet online, they talk your ear off for a day or so, and then go silent, only to appear on a late Saturday night. Then there are those who woo you into meeting them and they turn out to be duds. Chat via text, do a phone call or two, and then meet. I met one guy who basically told me that I was wasting my time at school and I should study a trade. Dude, why didn’t you tell me this while we were chatting online? I wouldn’t have met you because we are obviously on different paths in life.
Dating is not a game. Real emotions are involved. Real people, with real hearts, with desire for love, joy and connection. It’s important to know what you will and won’t accept when it comes to how people treat you (dating or otherwise), speak to you, what words they use and what you won’t put up with.
- Don’t text or call your Ex until you’ve moved on 100%
“Occasionally and against the odds, some couples are able to reconcile after a period of separation. Statistics based on couples getting back together after a separation show that while 87% of couples finally end their relationship in divorce after a separation, the remaining 13% are able to reconcile post-separation.”
It was well after a year of communicating and the ridiculous back and forth before I went silent. It was highly toxic, hurtful and it just stalled my progress to move on. I am so happy I did it because it has made me an individual, rather than a broken counterpart of someone else living in a different home. It made me realize that my life is my own, as is my healing. I’ve seen couples communicate for years. The control is still there. Communicating with your ex totally slows down your ability to move on, heal, find someone else, or enjoy the serenity of being single.
- Don’t allow anyone to make you out to be a scapegoat.
You will meet new people. If you’re 40 and up, you may meet a lot of married men without your knowledge. You may meet someone who is a serial dater or someone who keeps their ex on a string. Their choices are their’s to own. Never take the blame, never let them lie about you, and NEVER walk away from it without standing up for yourself, as it only allows them to do it again. Stand up for who you are and stay true to your values. Bottom line. Don’t allow people to make you out to be someone you’re not. Everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect.
- Take Chances
Face it, you’re life has been turned inside out and upside down and you survived it. Now is your time to take chances, make mistakes, stand up for what you believe in, take the trip, flirt, dance, and be the person you ultimately are meant to be. Most of all, people will judge and let them. You’re finding yourself again.
- Have Physical Boundaries
I think there is a sequence of events that happens after a separation. Yes, the “hoe” stage is one of them. For the most part, I have treated my body as a fortress. It’s well on the road of going on a permanent shutdown until I meet the right person. Whatever boundaries you set for your physical body, it needs to align to your values in a way that supports and uplifts your self worth, self confidence and self esteem.
- Treat Yourself Well
Go to the spa, get a massage, seek a therapist, or do yoga. Whatever inspires you to feel good about yourself. The key in life is that only you can make yourself happy. You need to love yourself before you can truly love anyone else. It’s so easy to find a cling-on to temporarily make you feel worthy. The trick is making yourself happy all mad alone.
Make a daily ritual for yourself. I love candles, photography, editing photos, having a drink, listening to country music, and driving. OHHH, I can’t wait to go for a long road trip soon!
- Give up what doesn’t serve you
I have a very sad decision to make very soon. I am single. I have a 9-year old adorable dog who loves me very much. I have been thinking hard about my future. I will be travelling a lot for my job. I will be home late and leaving early. Can I really keep this wonderful dog when she deserves so much more? No, I can’t.
I also had to give up relationships, routines, and little things that either makes me feel like I’m not enough or brings on anxiety or triggers. Letting go is so hard, but if it doesn’t serve your best interests or future, it’s time. If it doesn’t serve them either, be the bigger person and let it go too.
- Your friends are your people
This friend I spoke about above checked in with me almost daily/weekly for the past two years. She’s seen me at my worst and never judged. She pops into my Facebook and stands up for me when she feels fit. She’s still sassy and outspoken and I love her for that. Be with the people who lift you up, make you smile, and appreciate your worth no matter how you are feeling at any particular moment. Love ya Kim!