Remember that famous dinner party scene from Bridget Jones’ Diary when she is surrounded by ‘smug marrieds’ and each couple takes it in turns to gloat over their lovely coupledom status whilst wagging the finger at poor, sad Bridget. Such a funny scene but the truth underneath the witty script is that it’s not funny when you feel you are the ‘sad singleton’ at the table.
The fact is that even today, more than twenty years on since the movie was made, nothing much has changed for many 30 something women looking to settle down.
Blame it on hormones or society’s expectations, but when the clock starts ticking, it can boom loud and clear on every level. Everywhere you go it seems society is mocking you. Friends announce weddings, babies are conceived and christened and meanwhile, you are the one left looking on, wondering when it’s going to be your turn.
For those going through ticking clock syndrome, the overwhelming emotion is fear. It stems from a dissonance with the way things are right now and the way you want them to be. Fear creeps in and grips like an iron rod, fuelled by negative self-talk.
“I’m going to be alone forever.”
“I’ll never have a baby”
“I’m not worthy”
and even …
“I’m ugly, unlovable, nobody wants me.”
It’s at this point that mistakes can get made. Jumping into a relationship with the wrong guy, putting up with unacceptable behaviours, settling for less. The list goes on. What I’m here to tell you is STOP. RIGHT. THERE.. read this first.
Relax and let go. Replace that negative self-talk with positive affirmations. Tell yourself, “I am worthy of love,” “I will find love when it is the right time for me”, “There is someone out there”. Hand over the responsibility of choosing – trust and let go and take comfort that things will happen for you as they are meant to – all in good time.
2. Get busy
They say life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans. Well so does love. Take a blank piece of paper and a pen and write down 5 things you really want to do while you are single – and make a plan and a timeline to do them. If you’ve always wanted to climb Mount Everest, put it down as a goal then work out your budget and timeline and get going. Making the most of being single will empower you and uplift you – and that in itself is extremely attractive. They say love comes calling when you least expect it. So get busy and get on with loving your own life first and you will be more open to love when it turns up.
3. Reach out
Instead of focusing on meeting ‘the one’, focus on meeting new people. If your friends are getting married, coupled up and having babies, then branch out to meet new people who you may have more in common with at this stage of your life. It doesn’t mean you leave your old friends behind, just expand your circle. Join a book club, take up a sailing or language course – do something you have always wanted to do. Gaining a new skill can give you a fresh take on life and something to look forward to in your spare time.
4. Write it down
Writing down your thoughts and feelings can be very healing. It can give you a chance to put words around your emotions and view them at a distance, rather than holding onto them, giving you perspective. Treat yourself to a beautiful notebook and pen and get writing.