Now, where were we before we were so rudely interrupted by those seven days? Oh, I remember now. You were feeling impatient with the waiting game and ready (almost) to make something happen now, soon, even though the love of your life isn't (yet) on the scene! The way I see it, passivity is no longer your style. You've been feeding yourself, a free agent, unfettered by the old, tired voices that say life can't begin until you're part of a couple.
Think about the excuses you've been giving yourself for not buying that one-bedroom cutie or not starting a 401(k):
I'm only happy when someone is in love with me.
I don't feel like a woman/man when I'm alone.
I'm too shy.
I'm not the type.
I'll make a mess of it.
I'm not a whole person until I'm married.
No one will date me if I get too successful.
People will be jealous, so I won't have any friends.
If I make my single life interesting, I'll never get married.
I can't afford to be on my own. (That's the killer!)
See how hollow they sound? I know how easy it is to fall into soggy thinking. But I also know that a small part of our gumption dies with each fall, so it's crucial to monitor one's own level of self-discipline. Sure, patience is important; growing day by day isn't exactly life in the fast lane. But I'm convinced that chance favors the prepared life! For luck to make a significant difference, there must first be an overall design. It's no coincidence that good luck rarely comes to call on the person jumbled by indecision and fears. (I dare you to make that your mantra!)
And as you grow into more of yourself — and you will — should you decide to share your undependence and form that love partnership I'm always advocating, you'll bring so much more into that new phase! I call this kind of single life the As-If life ... a life planned, prepared, secure, complete, founded on four cornerstones: appropriate and secure housing, satisfying career, financial planning, enriching relationships.
The man in my life remarked to me early in our relationship, "You're like a wife who only needs a man to complete the picture." He loved that my tiny kingdom was in order and running smoothly, that the household he walked into was clean and functioning well. (So many women he had dated, he told me later, seemed to be camping out — using paper plates and flea market furniture, and in general exuding an air of neediness as they waited for The Right One to come along and make their "real" life begin). This man wanted a home that needed him only for the emotional fulfillment he brought to it. He liked that the rest had been planned and taken care of, that I was building a career and not waiting to be rescued. (Later on, he told me he was proud that I balance my own checkbook and read the lease and ask the right questions of a bank officer.)
Yes, the lessons of an As-If phase do very nicely when carried over into couplehood. They give continuity and personal power, since you take the reins of your life and have a plan to carry it out. Life becomes real and immediate because you're not waiting for things to happen; life is lived in the here and now — the present moment. Best of all, you unyoke yourself from unreal limitations, the but's that block action and narrow life's possibilities.
Doesn't it make sense to make your life the way you want it now, while you're in complete charge of your resources? Remember, the wholeness you're building will only make your love partnership stronger when it arrives. I rest my case.
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