Living and Loving in “Denial” (Grief Stage 1)

“Denial is more symbolic than literal.” -Elizabeth Kubler-Ross & David Kessler from On Grief and Grieving

So how have I been in denial about being single? I can think of several ways: Trying to make a man love me; holding on to a “fantasy relationship;” seeking romantic relationships to make me happy and to fill a void; seeking romantic relationships to fix what was broken within me…

I think also that a part of my denial has been my complete disbelief that at this point of my life, I am single and unattached, never married, etc. (However you want to label it). I won’t even blame my disbelief on society this time. I think I did truly believe that I would be married by now, or at least in a serious relationship…regardless of what society says. I had no idea how lonely things would be for me, in that part of my life…at this point of my life.

This denial has caused me to isolate at times and cling to fantasy at other times. It has also led me to not want to let unhealthy relationships go when they are no longer serving any good purpose in my life.

I also think I have been in denial about how relationships are supposed to “look.” I am a big fan of romance novels and although I do believe in a “happy ever after,” or in my case, a “joy ever after,” my happy ending will most likely look nothing like Edward and Bella or like anything at the end of a Danielle Steele novel.

In addition, I have been in denial about what “he will look like.” I had been wrapped up in a certain type, a certain walk of life. I’m not saying I’m letting my “type” go, or I’m letting go of the type of men I am attracted to. But I think the denial comes into play when I picture that only this kind of guy could be my special one.

Denial has allowed me to escape the way things really are. It has enabled me to not feel the pain I feel about being single at this point of my life. It is a necessary phase for me to go through. It is comforting until I am strong enough to work through and deal with the emotional overflow of pain I feel now about being without romantic love. However, just like a snake sheds its old skin that no longer suits him, I must also shed or shake off pieces of my denial about being single.

“And it’s hard to dance with a devil on your back, so shake him off…” -Florence and the Machine (Shake it Out)

5 thoughts on “Living and Loving in “Denial” (Grief Stage 1)

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