I’ve had this discussion with many people over the years, and it’s particularly (although not exclusively by any means) been with serial-daters. You know who these people are and maybe you’re even one yourself — which is fine because without that sort of focus on partnership our species wouldn’t have made it past the first stage of evolution.
This conversation is one that usually starts out with the sort of cheesy machismo which my gender typically uses as a crutch to mask the real sensitive points of the issue, then skirts around a few puns before eventually arriving at the root cause of the never being single: they don’t think they’re interesting enough by themselves.
Be someone that you would want to spend time with
Now, just because I referred to my having this conversation with male friends doesn’t mean that I haven’t had the same frank discussion with female friends too, it’s also worth pointing out that the summation of the general root of the problem is not a verbatim confession, but is more the point of what’s being said. Very few people will directly say that they don’t think they’re interesting but most would freely admit that they would much rather be with other people than spend time alone. This is natural and healthy. Humans are social creatures and life is like a game of Twister: there’s more fun when there’s more people involved (and it’s less awkward, too- unless you suffer from social anxiety).
Make the most of yourself. You can surprise and impress yourself
Be with people all you like in whatever number of situations or scenarios you would choose to as a responsible adult. Have fun. The flip-side to this coin is what I’m talking about however. When the party’s over and people go home or wherever they’re going you need to be OK and comfortable in your own presence. Don’t just rely on other people to attribute you a sense of your own self-worth, you can give yourself that and to whatever degree you already do, then give yourself more of it. Make the most of yourself. You can surprise and impress yourself. And seeing as you’re going to be stuck with your own company for the rest of your life, you should try to do this as much and as often as you can. In addition to being constructive with your time and making yourself someone you want to hang out with, you’ll make other people want to spend more time with you too. You’ll have more do say and contribute to an increasing number of subjects.
So here’s some tips:
If you’re watching a box set or a film and someone says something that you don’t know or don’t feel like you fully understand then use everyone’s best friend Google and look it up. Expand your knowledge. Ask Google things you might ask a friend if they were there, no matter how silly it might be. Entertain yourself as well as educating yourself.
If you see something that catches your interest then investigate it!
Encourage your curiosity in all areas of everything all the time. Keep your mind active, keep your imagination active. Flex that brain every chance you get and then give it more chances on top of that.
Everyone has those things that we’ve always wished we’d done, usually at a younger age, and then just let those dreams pass us by as real life got a hold of us and gave us priorities. Did you ever want to learn to play guitar, or go climbing, learn another language or even to fly a plane? Whatever it is, you can do it. Maybe not over night but even just making small steps towards it is progress and will feel rewarding. You can make yourself proud more easily than you think.
Just close your eyes and picture yourself wearing what you would choose to wear, doing something you would choose to do in a place that you would choose to be. You can break it down to small questions like that about the various different aspects of this. Daydream about yourself and the things you want to do or achieve. Maybe you didn’t do too well at a class in school and that always bothered you, or maybe you did really well in a class and always wanted to take it further. I’m sure the excuse you relied on (which we all have) was “I just don’t have time”, well you can make time. You can give yourself the permission to make the time.
Put all these plans into motion by writing them out and committing to them. Just write a list of 3 things that you would like to do, be or achieve or 5 at the absolute most. Too few and you don’t give yourself enough options and too many and you lose focus. I’m sure if I asked you to name just a couple of things you would like to do, be or achieve right now you could give me a couple of answers. So do it. You might think that something you would say could be too ridiculous but don’t let that stop you, let it give you aim and direction. If you say you want to be President of the USA then there are always local representative offices that you or anybody else could apply for. Or if you might say that you want to be a rock star then get yourself an instrument and record yourself, even if it’s just for your own listening. You won’t know if you’re good at something until you properly try. Give yourself the effort and attention that you deserve.
I hope that this gives you some ideas to think about and reminds you that your future is not simply limited to the experiences of your past. You decide what to do, who to be and what you can achieve. Make the most of yourself. Don’t be afraid to push yourself and neither should you allow yourself to make excuses. Make yourself the most interesting person you can, be someone that you would want to spend time with. And before you can ‘be’ you must ‘become’.
If you have any questions or need any advice on this or anything else, please feel free to contact me. My inbox is always open.
Originally published at medium.com