As a Single, You Need All the Families You Can Get Including Your Neighborhood Family
Do you know your neighbors?Do you feel a part of your community?You may own your own home, keep your yard neat, take in your garbage cans, rake your leaves, and even chat about the weather with your neighbors across the proverbial fence.You may be settled in your own square acreage, but you may not be settled into the neighborhood.
Outside your own street, you may be more likely to know what happens in your community by reading the local paper (do you read the local paper?) than by participating in the development of the happenings.Why is this?
You may say, ďIím too busy,Ē or ďI donít have time.ĒNo doubt this is true.When you are single, you must work to support yourself.You donít have any to share the chores, help with home upkeep, take your pet to the vet, tune up the car, fix a leaky faucet, wash clothes.If you are a mother, you are responsible for taking the kids to their friends, sports, doctors, grandparents.And, when you are single, you especially need time for your friends, time for yourself, and if you are interested in meeting men, time to devote to that.The miracle is how you manage to do it all.
Now, here I am, adding an additional requirement for you as a single woman Ė know your neighbors and get involved in the community.
Why?Why add more to your already overloaded schedule?A basic human need is to belong, to feel a part of a group that cares about your existence, where your presence makes a difference. When you are married with children, you donít have to work at that.You are already connected.Even a lousy marriage provides this on-going connection.
As a single mother, you probably are grounded in your neighborhood through the children.Because of them, you have access to the PTA, the Community Center, and other child-centered activities.
When you are single without that ticket of inclusion, children, you have to initiate your own contact with people; you have to forge your own place in the neighborhood.
Feeling you belong counters that existential loneliness; it is too simplistic to blame your dissatisfaction with life and your emptiness solely on your lack of a husband.While a husband might help, his absence is not the only cause of those empty feelings.(Ask your married friends.)Often the real cause of loneliness is feeling emotionally empty, feeling ungrounded in your own space, feeling disconnected from the immediate world around you -- feeling you donít fit in.
When you were a child, your life myopically focused around you and your family.As you got older, if that focus hasnít changed, you may continue to feel like a child.Feeling a part of the adult world requires participation in it -- as an adult.
Even if you donít have a family of husband and child, you can participate in the family of your neighborhood.In clean-ups, block watches, recycling, in the local politics and organizations.The activity itself is less important than feeling the people who live on the streets around you are part of your world.
Do you worry that getting involved would only make you feel worse about being single, seeing all those ďhappyĒ families?If so, consider this: getting involved could actually make you feel more connected and less lonely.