- Singlehood is a stage in life and needs to be embraced and navigated. It is an opportunity to actualize oneself academically and professionally.
- Being single is a good place to be an important developmental stage of life.
Staying single may be by choice or default. It is helpful to navigate this crucial stage of development with purpose and clarity. Life is lived only once, and as the young would say “YOLO” (you only live once). How I agree, you only live once, therefore it is of utmost importance to cast your eyes ahead and lay a good life plan.
Eric Erikson a humanistic psychologist well known for his theory on psychosocial development would say to us that it is important not only to recognise the stages, but also purpose to navigate through them with purpose, commitment and contentment. According to Erikson, successful completion of each stage results in a healthy personality and the acquisition of basic virtues which are characteristic strengths.
The ego needs to resolve situational circumstances including crises. In his view, failure to successfully complete a stage can result to unhealthy personality. He puts a great deal of emphasis on early development, particularly adolescence and young adulthood. According to Erikson, the crucial young adulthood stage (18 – 35 years) comes immediately after the adolescent stage (12 years to 18 years), where individuals pursue identity and when they don’t they feel confused, it is at this point that many ask the question? Who am I? Who is my father? Who is my mother? The family tree becomes important to an individual, if there is no clarity, confusion sets in. At young adulthood, love is what matters most, a season for Intimacy vs. Isolation.
It is at this stage that people seek companionship, attachments and love. They marry, settle down and raise children. Young adult’s deep intimacy, fulfilling and fruitful relationships. However, when they fail, or they get disappointed, they can experience feelings of frustration, failure and rejection thereafter choosing isolation. At this stage, significant relationships end up in marriage. In recent years, this stage seems to continually push for later years unlike the past. It helps to recognize your season and navigate through it with a level of awareness. Acknowledge that being single is not a condition, neither is there anything wrong with it.
1. Take advantage: Awareness is the heartbeat of therapy. In the meantime, enjoy your freedom. Consider this your peak season and do what you have always desired. Travel consider international experience where possible, learn a new skill, learn to play an instrument, expand your networks, volunteer services, and make the world a better place for someone. Develop yourself, intellectually, physically, spiritually and emotionally.
2. Seek others: Avoid isolation by all means when things don’t go your way, no matter what happens, even if disappointed, discouraged and feeling absolutely rejected, do not isolate yourself. In the process you will find the suitable companion.
3. Be patient: While all may seem lost remember God Learn to trust God, He has a good, perfect and pleasing plan for your life. Enjoy every stage and navigate with much anticipation.
4. Find yourself: Being single is great and it is a great opportunity to connect with yourself and others without any strings attached, enjoy your singlehood and thrive, this is your season and life has no guarantee’s anyway for what awaits us ahead, we can only trust in God. Let me remind you that a woman’s identity and self-worth, does not in any way depend on her marital status.
5. Find healing: I recognise that there are those that have chosen singlehood as a result of their careers, circumstances and generally sometimes, age, social and economic factors but some are single because those that they entrusted their hearts to left them with baggage and have lived in bitterness remaining stuck, in an emotional volcano and unable to move on in life.
The writer is a relationship coach and author of Marriage Built to Last. You can reach her on