Selections from the
Blue Ribbon Singles Column
By Amy Owens, The Singles Coach
We’ve all been admonished to avoid shopping when we’re hungry. Why? Because our hunger will affect our decision-making. We won’t be as discerning and our impulse control will be diminished.
Result? We’ll buy more than we need – because we have a deficit that we feel some urgency to fill. Everything will look good to us. We’ll buy items that we don’t typically buy and/or we’ll buy things that aren’t good for us.
Because our discernment filters aren’t functioning properly, we’ll engage in some magical thinking, i.e., we’ll make up excuses for why our errant choices are OK or at least justified. We’ll tell ourselves things like, “It’s been a while since I’ve had that…Just this one time…I really need something, and I need to have it now.” Sound familiar?
When we’re single-and-looking, we can get hungry, too. Hungry for friendship, companionship, conversation, sex, someone to share a meal with.
As single adults, it’s our job to keep ourselves from getting too hungry. We need to keep our relational tank filled - with people, places and activities that restore, maintain and/or enhance our sense of connectedness. We have to make this a priority. If we don’t, we’ll feel hungry, and that will leave us vulnerable to making poor choices.
Some hungry single people come to see me for matchmaking services earnestly believing that meeting someone is the remedy for their hunger. It’s not. If I were to match them with someone when they are hungry, the pairing will likely not go well. They will need more from that relationship than it can provide. They’ll make poor decisions, like going too fast too soon, and will inadvertently sabotage the potential inherent in the match.
Some singles are serial daters, moving from one relationship to another. Sometimes even starting the next relationship before the current one ends. They are perpetually hungry because they haven’t developed a network of single friends and contacts to fill their needs for connection.
Bottom line: First, actively and intentionally build a social support system for yourself as a single person. At the same time, seek out activities and groups that will allow you frequent and/or regular contact with other single people in a context that is comfortable and pleasurable for you. Maintain those contacts indefinitely. Add more if you can. Single people need more friends than married people do.
When you find yourself feeling hungry, reach out to your support group rather than shopping for a new relationship.
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