Teachers often refer to relationships as something to be avoided to grow on a personal level.
Relationships are regarded as an oh-you-made-that-decision. And, because it does not feature on a list of questions with answers from spiritual gurus, you're often left to make up your own mind about it.
This week’s question comes from Lebo in Laudium: “When I was young I was hurt by a woman. Now I am single and I have many friends. I am wondering if it really is better to be alone when you get older. Do you have any advice about whether it is better to be alone, or married and unhappy?”
Answer: Each of us makes up our minds about whether we need to be married or alone based on our personal experiences. And then we spend the rest of our lives trying to validate making the right decision.
Those who opted for being single ask exactly what you are asking once they reach a certain stage in their life.
That stage is when your energy levels drop and you seek companionship rather than physical interaction from your partners. There is a sense that if you do not act now and find a more committed partnership, it will be too late for you.
The truth is that you just want to know if you did the right thing by choosing a family or being single. People in committed relationships are too busy to have these thoughts.
Thoughts which manage to surface revolve around the feeling of being too busy to pay attention to one's own needs when you are in a life relationship.
Those who have the luxury to think are often alone and then wonder if they are too alone.
Falling in love and giving up the luxury of focusing on your life is what happens when we are in relationships. If you are single and have what it takes to be selfless, work on your relationship skills, because the feeling of loneliness is not going anywhere soon.
Instead of wondering if you made the right decision, explore relationship options. Socially it is totally acceptable for men and women today to have a younger partner.
Maybe shift your focus to women who have attractive personalities instead of just hot bodies. Pursue an emotional connection rather than a physical connection. Please note - your needs have changed.
It didn't happen because you got older.
You are actually getting bored of repeating the same old pattern in your interaction with the opposite sex.
Relationships teach men to bond emotionally sooner than single men do, because they work better when both partners connect physically and emotionally.
When you are single you develop a need for emotional skills only when you discover that you want to have it. Your need for an emotional connection arrives on its own.
Instead of thinking about it, do what men do best, act. What you now need from a partner is different.
Women are happy to bond emotionally, but they will do so only when they feel secure enough. They often want more than what men are prepared to give in a casual relationship.
Settle for friendship to deal with your loneliness. If you want both, an emotional and physical connection in one package, you are going to need that ring.
Remember, women open when they connect emotionally. Men open when they connect physically.
Mature women will need emotional security if they are refocussing their attention from their careers to their relationships as they engage deeper in their partnerships.
You still have to do what you did not want to do when you chose to be single; you need to step out of your comfort zone and commit.
* Green is a transformation specialist coach and the author of Can You See Me Naked: Grow in a conscious relationship. She provides answers here when posted on www.adele-green.com/askadele/ or you can chat to her online. Also listen to #360Brunch on mix93.fm on Sundays.