I placed theoretical in parenthesis because it may be a list from the book of a reputable and celebrated psychiatrist, but I believe it is still subject to a person’s perspective. I do not think there is a correct answer to what is better, be alone or with someone? Without a doubt, being in a loving and committed relationship with the right partner is the best. At least, in my humble opinion. Of course, there are those single people who may argue that being alone is better. In the end, what matters is whether someone is happy in either situation. If I have to specify, my order of preference would have to be:
- Being in a happy, loving and committed relationship.
- Being alone and happy about it.
- Being alone and not happy about it.
- Being in an unhappy relationship with the wrong person.
What are the advantages of being alone?
Just as love, companionship, and marriage are not necessary for happiness and self-esteem they are not sufficient either. The proof of this is the millions of men and women wo are married and miserable.
It is not being alone that is so bad or so good, but rather how one thinks regarding that or any other conditions of being.
1. Being alone gives a person the opportunity to explore what she or he really thinks, feels, and knows.
2. Being alone gives the person a chance to try all sorts of new things that might be harder to try if one had ties to a housemate, spouse, etc.
3. Being alone forces you to develop your personal strengths.
4. Being alone enables you to put aside excuses for taking responsibility for yourself.
5. Being a woman alone is better than being a woman with an unsuitable male mate. The same applies to a man.
6. Being a woman alone can be an opportunity to develop into a full human being and not be an appendage to a man.
7. Being a woman alone can be helpful in making you more understanding of the problems women in different situations face. This can help you learn to be more supportive of other women and can enable you to develop more meaningful relationships with them. The same could apply to men and their understanding of various male problems.
8. Being a woman alone can show a woman that even if she later lived with a man, she need not be constantly afraid of his leaving her or dying. She knows that she can live alone and has the potential for happiness within herself; thus, the relationship can be one of mutual enhancement rather than one of mutual dependency and demandingness.David D. Burns, M.D. – Feeling Good (The New Mood Therapy)
I have been alone most of my adult life. In my experience, I can say that I can relate to all 8 reasons. I have survived, and thrived even, without a man in my life. In fact, I was at the top of my game when I met someone who made me want more out of life. I got a wonderful daughter, a promising career, a plan to retire at 45 (50 at the latest) and well on track.
Even before we met, I jokingly (or threateningly) told him I was going to turn his world upside down. I am not sure about that, but he sure did mine. Being independent gives me a different kind of high, like, what can’t I do? If I set my mind on a goal, as long as I really, really, really want it, I usually succeed. At the end of our short relationship, I had quite a different goal. I dreamt of a life with the man (and our children) who taught me how to love.
To some extent, I do agree with the list. Now that I am alone once more, I have the opportunity to discover myself again, develop my strengths, work on my weaknesses and definitely be my own person Unfortunately, I cannot shake off the feeling that if we are still together, I will not be with an unsuitable partner and that thought is what makes letting him go difficult.
Our relationship was not perfect, but mostly because of our situation, our personalities were ideal for each other. It was like being alone, only better (he once told me something like this, too). All that thing about self discovery, with the right person, is also possible. In fact, for me, having someone to talk to makes it all the more enjoyable. The first several months after we broke up, there were lots of times when I read or realized something, and I was itching to tell him and to ask about what he thought about it.
When he broke up with me, I was admittedly terrified of being alone again. Thoughts about not knowing how I could live without him entered my mind. Seeing as how I am still alive until now, it was nothing more than a mental distortion.
There is a difference in me though. I have certainly changed. And while I am fine (not great) being alone now, he made realize how being with someone who accepts me as I am and helps me grow as a person is so much better than being alone. I get to experience all the benefits of being alone while being in a loving and committed relationship. How awesome is that, right? He may have taught me how to love, but he told me I have shown him what it is he wanted in a partner. (Would You Rather Have Loved And Lost Or Never To Have Loved (And Lost) At All?)
Therefore, I would like to add to the list:
9. Enjoying the benefits of being alone while in a relationship is the best kind. With the right partner, I can still be my own authentic self (with my own dreams and fears) and get to share it with someone who genuinely cares for me and loves me.
10. Being alone by choice. And needless to say, being happy about it.
What are your 2 additional advantages?
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