Balance: a Key to Thriving as a Single

Balance

There are few thing in life as important. It is hard to find and easy to lose. Things constantly conspire to throw us off of it. Life dictates that we must at certain times be out of it, but, hopefully, these periods are short-lived and we can once again find it. Balance.

This applies to so many areas of life that I could write a book on this subject alone, but I will keep it to a few pertinent examples here.

Emotional / Physical / Spiritual / Mental / Social

You are not one-dimensional, like a gemstone you are multifaceted. It is easy in the course of time to let one or two of these areas get all the attention and let one or two of them go by the wayside. So, spend some time each day working on each aspect of your being. This sets you up for thriving as a single and for thriving in a marriage later on.

Emotional

Spend some time each day dealing with your emotions. In general, this comes more naturally to women than men, but it pays for us guys to do the work too. What are you actually feeling? Why do you feel that way? How can you deal with it better?

Spiritual and Intelectual

How is your spiritual health? What can you do to improve it? Do that. Every day. Are you feeding your spirit and intellect a good quality diet, or are you wasting time watching reality TV and binge-watching every episode of multiple series?

Social

Recent studies have indicated that one of the best predictors of longevity is the quantity and quality of your friendships. Your connection with those around you is important. So, how is your social life? What could you do today to form better connections with your family and friends?

Physical

But, what good is it to learn and grow spiritually and intellectually and die at a young age of a heart attack? Take care of your physical body. Make sure to get some exercise, get good sleep, de-stress, drink enough water, and eat healthy food – every day.

Interconnected

Note that these areas are all interconnected. Better friendships lead to better physical and emotional health. Taking care of your physical body is good for your mind and spirit – and vise versa. Progressing in each area helps in each of the others. Life is at its best when you give proper daily attention to each one.

Fellowship / Alone Time

One of the most wonderful things about being single is the alone time. One of the worst things about being single is the alone time. Both the desire to be alone and the desire to be around people can get out of control and become a problem. Both of those desires, in moderation, are normal and healthy. The key is to not let it get out of balance.

Without enough fellowship, we easily become too insulated and self-absorbed and we lose perspective on things. Without enough alone time we easily become shallow and slowly starve our soul and spirit of the nourishment spiritual disciplines, thoughtful reflection, and healthy introspection provide.

No one can tell you exactly where that balance lies. I suspect it is different for each individual, depending on your temperament, but when you properly balance alone time and fellowship, you thrive.

Working Through Past Hurts /
Getting on With Your Life

All of these are tricky, but this one is particularly so. On one extreme some people spend the majority of their time reliving the past and dwelling on every hurt and every wrong ever suffered. Their wounds never heal because they pick at the scar constantly. They will not move on because they have grown comfortable in their pain or perhaps they like the attention their martyr status brings them. Whether their pain came through a heartbreak, a financial setback, or a physical disaster, it has come to define who they are.

At the other extreme, some people say things like, “Oh, it’s okay,” “It’s not really that bad,” or “It’s no big deal, people have been through a lot worse.” They downplay the hurts and wrongs they have suffered. But, just beneath the surface is a pent-up torrent of emotion that will either erupt at some point in a mushroom cloud that annihilates anyone in the immediate vicinity or stay contained and carefully managed as it slowly consumes their soul from the inside-out like a decaying barrel of toxic waste.

The balance is to spend the time necessary to process and work through your emotional pain. Don’t simply bury it. And yet, don’t relive, replay, and wallow in it until you become consumed by it.

Not Caring What People Think /
Taking Advice and Criticism

This is a good one. On one hand, you have people who really could not care less what anyone thinks. On the other hand, you have those who live and die by what everyone else thinks about everything about them – their height, weight, clothes, skin color, hair, Facebook profile, what movies they like, what music they like, what food they eat/don’t eat, and any one of a million other metrics by which people judge them.

So, which one is better off – the one who takes no one’s advice and seeks no one’s approval, or the one who tries to please everyone? Either one is out of balance. It is dangerous, overwhelming, and impossible to please everyone. It is equally dangerous to think that you know it all and that you never need anyone to advise, critique, or counsel you.

So where is the healthy balance? It’s all in whose opinions and advice you take to heart. Everyone should have a few carefully picked people whose advice they respect and seek out. These should be individuals living the kind of life you want to live. Choose these people carefully over time. Not everyone deserves your trust.

As for the rest of the population, the haters, naysayers, and Monday morning quarterbacks, why care what they say? Everyone has an opinion on everything, but not everyone’s opinion deserves equal weight.

Desiring Marriage /
Enjoying Being Single

This is a false dichotomy. These are not mutually exclusive. Wanting to get married does not mean you cannot enjoy being single and enjoying being single does not mean that you never want to get married.

In fact, I’ll go a step further – if you want to get married, you need to first learn to enjoy being single. People will find you much more attractive if you enjoy life.

The balance is this – it is perfectly okay to want to get married, but in the meantime, enjoy where you are.

Many Other Areas

There are lots of other things in life that need balancing, like your:

  • Work/Play/Rest/Helping
  • Spending/Saving/Giving
  • Diet
  • Car tires
  • Checkbook

I could go on and on. If you want to discuss any other areas, feel free to do so in the comments section.

A Final Thought

Balance is not a one time shot. You will need to re-evaluate and rebalance things from time to time. Life is a garden that needs constant upkeep.

Pay attention to what you are feeling. Look for warning signs. You can tell you are getting out of balance when you:

  • Have a negative attitude
  • Overreact/Underreact to things
  • Have no boundaries
  • Have unexplained nagging health problems
  • Lose your joy
  • Lose your temper easily

When you notice these things creeping in it is time to take a look at your life and see if you are out of balance.

So, in what areas have you achieved a good balance? Where do you still struggle? Let’s talk it over in the comments.

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