While the title of this post may sound pathetic, a table for one is a wonderful and necessary experience in gaining personal freedom. To be alone in a room and be content is empowering. One of the things I had to do after being married for 23 years and suddenly single was learn to be alone. It was easy to try to find unhealthy ways to fill the void. The feeling was fleeting and didn't really work. You may be feeling this after a death, a divorce or even empty nesting. Filling up time and space at full speed, then suddenly life comes to a screeching halt and there you are. There you are with feelings you haven't felt in quite some time. For a while you may need the love and support of many people around you. You may need to stay very busy to help you deal with grief. As you heal, you may start to remember who you were before you got married or became a parent. Doing activities you once enjoyed can be like doing it for the first time. Going out for a meal, a cup of coffee or a cocktail alone seems strange at first. Yet, I found it to be fun. Eating or traveling alone is when I was receptive to meeting and talking to interesting people. Even attending my place of worship alone is amazing. I can sing and shout for joy without a care in the world. I was once an around-the- clock mom and wife going here, there, everywhere. I didn't do much outside my nuclear family. Now, I have come to enjoy the stillness of my own company. I often get lost in some of my favorite gardens, a hole in the wall diner or stores I love. Sometimes I stay home secluded in my little house in the hills and have my groceries delivered. I Netflix and chill with my pets. And I love listening to music really loud when I am cleaning.
By nature, I am a people lover. Yet, I have found it important to know who I am, what I like, do not like, where and who I spend my precious time with. The journey to self-discovery can be lonely, painful and quiet at times. One of my mentors once said, "It is hard to be lonely sometimes. But there is nothing lonelier than being with the wrong person (or people.)" That could not be truer. I did the research, so you do not have to.
If you are in a difficult marriage and feeling alone, you can experience joy by connecting with others and participating in things you love. You may be in a fabulous marriage or partnership, but it still very important to have your own life. When you come to a place where you want interaction, but do not need it, this is a good place to be. You will find that by attending to your own needs, passions and creativity, you become an attraction to others with your newfound independence! Relationally, you will find that you have more to bring to the table!
Your assignment: TAKE YOURSELF ON A DATE. You choose. Let me know in the comments about your experience.
*My name is Jennifer Snyder. I am a certified life coach. I have been married and widowed. I have two amazing adult who are about take the leap of faith out of the nest. I help people with new beginnings, boundaries, communication and discovering one's passions again.*