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Hi everyone. A couple of months ago I broke up with my girlfriend of a year and a half, my first serious girlfriend. Since then, I've been trying to enjoy the single life, but I find that I'm really not very happy when I'm single (shocking, I know, let me explain).

I think a lot of guys like being single because once you're able to get past a breakup, you have a new degree of freedom that you maybe haven't had in a while. This could just be my inexperience talking, but I don't feel that the freedom is really so great. I'm not the type of guy who will see a girlfriend as naggy and annoying, because I feel that if your girlfriend is unhappy about something, or has a complaint about something, there's always something you should do to fix the situation. Some guys are relieved to be free of those responsibilities, but I never saw it as much of a problem.

I feel that some men are also happy to be single because it gives them the freedom to date new people, experience new things, and, in some cases, have commitment-free physical encounters. I value the first two, but not really the third. I think dating and meeting new people can be fun and exciting in a challenging way. And experiencing new things is almost always good for you. Me, personally, I'm not one for one-night stands. I'm not interested in any sexual activity with someone unless I feel I can really trust them, and if they're someone I truly care for. While I'm sure there are reasons I've missed, I think these are the basic reasons that most guys enjoy being single.

However, I haven't felt happy being single. I am struggling to get back into the dating game, mostly because I'm nervous, inexperienced, and my confidence isn't the best right now. And I just feel like I can't appreciate a lot of the things that men seem to enjoy about being single. For example, some guys are happy to have more time to spend with their friends. But I think I tend to undervalue my friendships because a lot of times when I'm, say, at a bar or a party with friends, I spend my time looking around for girls that I might be interested in. And when I was in a relationship, I would choose spending time with my girlfriend over my friends in a heartbeat. Maybe that makes me a bad friend, I'm not too sure.

Anyhow, is it strange that I feel this way? Guys should enjoy being single, but I mostly just feel lonely, and I wonder when I will be in another serious relationship again.

Oh, and of course, I spoke of things from the male perspective in this post, but by all means, I'm sure that women go through much the same process and have many of the same feelings. So, I mean, this obviously applies to both sexes.
I think your feelings pretty such sum up why people, men and women, jump into new relationships after old ones end. You have a comfort level. You like being part of a couple. That's actually a very healthy thing. Right now circumstances have you living outside of your comfort zone so it's not such a warm and fuzzy feeling.

I do think there's a difference between being happy and being happily single. Being happy as a single person does not mean that you are accepting it as your new lifestyle. But it does help to be comfortable with yourself as you hunt a new person. Keeps that desperation air from causing you to settle for someone not so good for you.

It's only been a couple of months for you. Everything you said is completely normal thoughts and actions. You're just in an adjustment phase. Give yourself time.
I totally agree with the above post.

From a very personal perspective, it took me a long time after I split up with my ex to be "happily single" as you put it. I hated being alone, wanted to be with someone again. I think it was about 8 months before I really started enjoying what I was doing and didn't feel the need to have someone else in my life to "complete me". I was then happily single for over a year before feeling like I wanted to date again.

I think that it is important to be comfortable with yourself and be able to be by yourself. It will make you stronger when you're in a relationship again. I think your attitude regarding a girlfriend is lovely - I wish my current (probably soon-to-be ex) boyfriend was half as attentive!!! I'm confident you will find someone in time, but for now try not focus on being single or not single and just enjoy being you.
plaxmax, I don't really believe anyone is "happily single" forever. Maybe be all go through periods of feeling free when we're out of a bad relationship or something, but evryone wants love, acceptance, someone special to hold and love to be there for and to have that person be there for them. It's only natural. I think a lot of young men don't want to be tied down and like being single while they're young because they don't have the biological clock women do. Men can have babies and start families at 50. Women can't. But there are plenty of men out there who feel like you do, who are happiest when they have someone special to love, and can't do the one-night-stand thing. I personally can't do it either, and actually would have real trouble dating a man who had a very checkered past. I find a man who has had a lot of one-night-stands in his past rather unattractive because I think it says something about the level of respect he has for women, for the act of procreation, and for love.

I agree that it's all about balance. You need to find a way to see this period of your life as a chapter, just one temporary chapter. You won't be single forever, but for right now you are, and there are things to learn from being single. You say you have a confidence problem and can be rather insecure. Well, it's hard to work on being more confident and more secure in the contex of binding your life to someone else's. Look at this time as an opportunity to have the freedom to work on confidence and to stop being so insecure (because insecurity is soooo bad for a relationship, and when you carry around heavy insecurities, it's almost impossible not to make them the other person's problem as well). When you become a stronger, more confident, more secure person, you will just be a better person to present to that one special lucky lady who WILL come along one day.

Again, balance is the key. I think when you are in a relationship, you do meed to make that relationship a priority, but you should build your whole life around it. It's important to still have "me" time, to have boys' night out, and to have other things in your life, but still keeping the relationship as a priority. A good woman will understand that a good chunk of your time should be spent with her, but that you also need to make time to nurture and tend to your friendships, your work, your hobbies, etc. It's all about balance. If you keep a full, well-rounded life, then you aren't completely gutted if the romantic relationship goes away. You still have other things in your life to help keep you full and to help feed your soul. The important thing I think is to make sure the time you give your next girlfriend is real QUALITY time. Of course a girl is going to complain if when you're with her, you spend the time on the phone with friends, watching the ball game, looking at porn on the net, or all the other negligent, taking-for-granted behaviors that men do. But it sounds like you don't really have that problem.

But I agree thatyou don't need to strive to be happy being single as a permanent state of being. I know I sure don't. But to enjoy every chapter of your life as you're living it and to understand that, as a very wise old book says, to everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under Heaven. This is your time to be single. Make the most of it, because your time to be with someone special could come before you know it, and if you don't make the most of learning how to be the best you that you can be while you have the time to focus on it, you may not be prepared to make the most of being with that someone special. Good luck.
You paint a perfect picture of why did you breakup if you like being a couple and you said if she isn't happy there is always something you can do to fix it?
Thanks for all of the positive responses everyone. They're making me feel a lot better about my situation right now.

[QUOTE=AnnD;3779577]You paint a perfect picture of why did you breakup if you like being a couple and you said if she isn't happy there is always something you can do to fix it?[/QUOTE]

To answer Ann's question, we broke up because I caught her cheating on me, and that was something I just couldn't live with. I think she was very close to breaking up with me anyway, because I think she started to fall out of love with me and I think she started to fall in love with her best friend from high school, the guy I caught her cheating on me with.
What you described isn't unusual, but it isn't necessarily healthy either. You say that when you're with your friends you look around for girls you might be interested in and you wonder when you will be in your next serious relationship. That just shows that you're not ready for another serious relationship, trust me on that one. You really need to learn to be comfortable being single and learn to be happy on your own before you get in another relationship. Otherwise, you will overvalue the relationship and when it ends, you won't have anything else going for you. Relationships will drain you and make you uninteresting because your whole life revolves around being half of something. You aren't a bad friend, but you should learn to cherish your friendships more and really be present with them instead of always looking for girls. Friendships are more lasting anyway than romantic relationships. People are attracted to others that are whole, that have interests and passions. Take this time to develop new hobbies, interests, focus on work, school and friendships. That way, when a relationship comes along, you will have other things to balance the relationship with so you won't feel so empty when it ends. It will be uncomfortable for awhile, but eventually you'll learn to enjoy the solitude.

I speak from experience here - I used to ALWAYS have to be in a relationship, and when one ended I usually had another one already lined up. It drained me and made me really empty inside because I had nothing new to bring to relationships. I've been single for a few months now and haven't dated at all. I read, play guitar, hang out with friends, and I'm learning to love it now. You can too, and I highly recommend not even casually dating for awhile, because you will be secretly hoping that it turns into a long-term relationship. So it becomes not about the other person, but about the void you want that person to fill. In that sense, that intense need to be in a relationship is really quite selfish, even though on the surface it seems like you really love that person.
I hadn't really thought of it that way. You make a good point, my motivation right now really is based on my own wants. I want a new relationship to help me get over my ex and to fill the void in my life that she left. But this isn't the attitude I had going into my first relationship, and I do believe that feeling this way could cripple me if I were to soon enter into another relationship. I guess this is a good time for this to happen anyway, because I'm about to graduate college and live with my parents for a little while as I pay off some loans and save up some money. Frankly, the situation I'm about to enter at home probably won't be too conducive to a serious relationship, because I imagine it may be tough to get any sort of privacy.

I think I'm a bit confused by something, though. I agree wholeheartedly that it can only benefit me if I take some time to improve things in my own life (get in shape, graduate college, start my career, etc), and I understand that my perspective needs to change before I can enter another fulfilling relationship. But how will I know when I'm ready to get back out there and start looking again? And what happens if I avoid dating for a little while, just focusing on enriching my own life in any ways that I can, and then I don't even want another serious relationship? I mean, I'm not sure I can see that happening because I'm sure I will feel lonely from time to time. But if I improve all of the other areas of my life and ignore the void left by my ex-girlfriend, I wonder if I will even see the need for another serious girlfriend.
You will know when you're ready for another serious relationship when you don't feel the NEED for one. When you are just happy being single and doing your own thing, someone will come into your life unexpectedly. Those things always happen when you're not "looking," as you say. Maybe you will get used to being on your own and you won't want a serious relationship and that's okay. It's not like you'll get so used to it that you'll never want another serious relationship again. I've had a couple people interested in me while I've been single and I've just told them that I wasn't interested in a relationship right now. If I met someone who completely blew me away, maybe I'd change my mind, but right now I just don't want to deal with relationship drama. You're young yet, you have a lot of time to deal with all this stuff.
Yeah, you're absolutely right. I should really know better than to feel like I need or really want another relationship, because that was the attitude I had for most of high school and college, and nothing worthwhile ever came of it. Obviously, it's just tough to be single at times. Everywhere you turn it seems there are happy couples, and you wonder to yourself, "When am I going to feel that way?" I thought it was bad before, but now that I've actually been in love with someone and had my heart broken, I think it's even worse, and sometimes I just want to be in love again so badly.

And, for me at least, it's weird and a little frightening to think that the only way someone new will come around is if I focus on other things and stop trying so hard. Don't get me wrong, I agree with you that that's how it seems to work out a lot of times, but I'm still scared that I won't meet anyone if I don't keep trying. I know it's silly to be afraid of these things, but that's still how I feel at times.

I guess I've just got to press on ahead and realize that, for the time being at least, my love life is not going anywhere. But there's more to life than being in love, and it's important to love yourself as well as your friends, your family, and your significant other. Thanks for all of your help everyone.
I also think you are over thinking things. I tend to do that too. Let's say you have an absolutely perfect life and you met someone wonderful and go out. You have a lot of fun, she's sexy and it's a good connection. Do you really think you'd say "look, you're a great person, we have a lot in common and I find you very sexy....but I was just so happy before we met I don't think I need this little extra in my life right now". Nah. So stop thinking so much, imagining senarios that may or may not happen. (And in this case, pretty sure not.) I think things will work out fine. Just not tomorrow. Until then, I'll scoot over and make some room for you in the singles boat.
The way you explain it, that doesn't sound like such a bad boat to be in. Time for me to stop worrying so much and look at things a little more positively.

I can't wait for my next relationship, but until that happens, here's to enjoying the time between relationships. :cool:

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