This came into my head to write, following a “Date With Destiny” with Tony Robbins—when someone else shared something so familiar to my situation.
I felt less alone from hearing them.
As a self-esteem and confidence coach, author, and speaker, I always try to lead with authenticity and vulnerability when needed; however, you can always find improvement within yourself.
Today, I am going to share how I’ve been feeling about being single for so long, but also all the great that has come from it.
I’d like to make it clear that I am not saying, “Be single for the rest of your life” or “Be single—it’s awesome.”
I want to reach people who may feel lonely at times like I have, or who feel the need to reach external sources for happiness—this is not the answer. You have to really, really enjoy your company and work on you, whilst taking action to meet the right person—which, admittedly, is something I’ve neglected in the past.
How did I get into the area of self-esteem and confidence?
I got into the whole personal growth area when I tried to improve my book writing. I just wanted to write, but then upon getting a mentor discovered a whole world of coaching, YouTube, and podcasts. I loved it!
As I moved forward though more insecurities, self-esteem and confidence issues came up. These had come up through life, but I would usually flush them away with my busy social life or work/day job.
Then one day, my self-esteem got so low I knew I had to do everything I could to boost it. It became my mission. I started learning and applying, learning and applying.
Guess what? It improved. I knew that was my area to teach to others, and I knew it was a challenge for them. This was my area of personal growth that I hold closest to my heart.
How did I become single for 29 years?
It’s probably a question you’d ask someone who has done well in life: great family, great friends, great career, great drive, great energy, great shape, and I am generally told I am a kind and giving person. I’ve dated girls and been with girls in the physical way but not in a relationship.
Well, if I’m totally honest on why I was single, I wasn’t sure for many years. Sometimes I’d date a girl and I wasn’t into her; sometimes we mutually weren’t into each other—she might not be into me. Then there were a couple of occasions when we were both into each other, but due to circumstances such as distance or location, it wasn’t to be.
When I say dating, I mean seeing each other for a couple of months max.
I just got more and more frustrated. I was thinking, “Why does everyone get a relationship and not me?” Notice the emphasis on everyone. The brain does that to generalise.
I think there is a good point about standards, in that I don’t want to get together with just any girl for the sake of a relationship; however, in the past, there were severe low self-esteem issues and feelings of, “I am not lovable” in my deep subconscious.
Then there have been many things I’ve tried to learn to condition myself: “How should I text?” “How long do I leave before calling?” “What is the percentage of listening to talking?” “What are the top five things to bring up in conversation?” Completely mind-driven thoughts.
Then, of course, when they could eventually detect me getting into my head, they’d pick it up. This then made me think, “What’s the point in trying? This dating stuff is far too hard,” making me take less action and not even try to look for someone for months at a time—maybe just try now and then. This then reinforced the belief of, “I am not lovable.” Aaaaaaah.
So, a combination of a lack of self-esteem in my subconscious, overthinking, not being myself, and pulling back on taking action to date or meet more girls, all whilst being selective on who might be a potential girlfriend may suggest to you why I have been single.
How can you learn to love yourself
It used to hurt me a lot. I felt like I was in such a dark place, alone, abandoned, and lonely despite many friends and family around me. When I was three years old, sadly I had a baby brother who died. This meant my parents had to leave me with family friends. Although they were loving parents, this left a feeling inside of me that “I am not lovable,” which made me do anything to get away from being abandoned again.
When discovering this through a meditation, it let strong emotions out. I realised the story I had inside of me of not being lovable—which was reinforced by any dating setback. But at the same time, I was almost self-sabotaging myself from being happy.
So when I began to get my hands on more and more self-esteem materials, it made me develop such an internal sense of validation—in that I only needed approval from me.
I’m not saying it’s about being distant from everyone else—but I have learnt to love myself even more. It’s an ongoing process. I’ve learnt the words I need to say myself, how to look after my body, and how to look after my mind. I’ve learnt who to hang out with and who to stay away from. I’ve learnt how to be self-aware. I’ve discovered what truly is fun for me in life: socialising, personal growth, coaching, writing, and speaking.
So when I do meet the right girl, I can share these things too.