My friends Heidi and Jack hosted a great party the other night. It’s still a little strange for me to do parties with my husband. After 30 years of single-dom, and now being married for three years, showing up as a couple still feels extraordinary in some way.
So there we were at dinner, and I couldn’t help but marvel at the 7 couples sitting around the table…they all seemed to be pretty darn happy. They made eye contact often, listened to each other intently, laughed at each other’s stories, backed up and disagreed with the others’ opinions, and showed affection. They were clearly happy to be there sharing the moment with their partner.
Now, I was married for the first time when I was 47. So, as I said, I was single for about 30 years – a freakin’ long time. During those years I can honestly say that I knew only one or two happy couples who loved and liked each other, and were each other’s trusted best friend. Things weren’t perfect, but they were fulfilled and safe in their partnership.
Most of my friends were divorced or never-married women who had experienced some pretty bad relationships and the pain that goes with them. Many had been “alone” for some time.
But was that true? Did I really only know a few happily matched couples? All those years that I was actively dating, looking but not touching, or avoiding but still hoping…I took comfort in the belief that part of the reason I was single was because there were no good men. I had evidence, right? I didn’t see many women enjoying their lives with men they loved.
Do we only see what we want to see? Looking back, it seems that I created my reality. Sitting at the dinner table the other night, I saw another reality: 7 fabulous women who were living pretty great lives with good men who loved them.
I think if I had actually let myself see that over the years it would have changed my experience. It’s likely it would have given me encouragement to get out there and meet one of those good men. That’s exactly what happened after I met Larry. A few of my dear friends were spurred on and have since created some lovely relationships.
If, like me, you’re not surrounding yourself with happy or content couples, I challenge you to start. Seek them out and open up your world to them.
Listen, I know how much it sucks to be the only single girl among couples. But I think it sucks more to give yourself permission to feel hopeless or to allow yourself to believe that it’s too hard to find a good man with whom you can share a meaningful relationship. It happens all the time to all types of women. I am living proof.
So step outside your comfort zone and find those happy people. Because I’m pretty sure that what you see, will be what you get.
Gotta go. Be good to yourself.
Bobbi Palmer is a Dating and Relationship Coach for Grown-up Women. She helps smart women date like a grown-up so they can enjoy – not just endure – the journey along the way to lasting and meaningful love. Take Bobbi’s FREE and FUN Man-O-Meter test at www.DateLikeaGrownup.com to find out how ready you are to date like a grown-up. Bobbi offers individual and group coaching. Contact her at bobbip@DateLikeaGrownup.com to schedule your complimentary 30 minute coaching session.