How to stop comparing yourself to others and their relationships
One of biggest the threats to our well-being is comparing ourselves to others. Whether it's our waist size, our home, our job, our level of core strength, it's a corrosive yet powerful drive for us to want to measure ourselves (sometimes literally!) against our friends, siblings, and colleagues. With the huge increase in use of social media, it has become all too easy to compare our lot with that of our 387 'friends'.
Why can comparing yourself to others be a recipe for misery?
If we’re single the temptation to compare and contrast our state of singledom with others’ relationship status is very tempting. Firstly, being single in itself. Why are we single? We look around and we see happy couples everywhere. We wonder why that isn’t us – one half of a perfectly contended pair. The Morrissey song ‘Heaven knows I’m Miserable now’ really nails this feeling – “a couple entwined pass me by and heaven knows I’m miserable now.” This feeling of being ‘left out’ in the cold, looked over can be quite toxic as it actually serves to push us further away from the possibility of meeting someone.
It’s a mental position of ‘scarcity’ (thought: “there’s not enough to go around – this guy/girl has taken something that could potentially be mine”) rather than ‘abundance’ (thought: “isn’t it wonderful to see such a loving looking couple, I can see that for me”. In both cases, the ‘trigger’ is the same but the thoughts and feelings are vastly different.
Read more: How to write a successful dating profile
But it’s not just couples that singles compare ourselves to, it’s also other singles. Many times I hear my single clients comment on the way their singles friends are dating – they’re seeing too many people, not enough people, the wrong kinds of people, playing too hard to get, not hard enough.. The possibilities for judgement, and, by association comparison, seem to be infinite. We can spend so much time thinking about what others are doing/not doing that we forget to pay attention to ourselves – what it is we really want and how we’re going to go about achieving it. What may be right for some, may not suit us. We need to find our own way and remaining stuck in a state of comparison muddies our vision.
Read more: Learn how to improve your love life