It started with a bang and didn’t quite finish quietly. Within a matter of hours, news broke that Robert Pattinson had popped the question to his longtime love interest, Australian actress and singer, Ana de Armas. The gorgeous couple’s engagement was confirmed by the celebrity couple’s publicist, who said in a statement, “They are really happy and looking forward to starting a new chapter in their life together.” Congrats!
We’re pretty sure everyone has watched or heard of the Twilight saga by now. The wildly popular books and films told the story of Bella Swan, an independent and often rebellious teenager who falls in love with vampire Edward Cullen. After a series of unfortunate events, involving werewolves, she ends up marrying the incredibly charming and debonair Cullen and spends the rest of her life trying to keep his immortal soul in check.
While Edward Cullen is indeed fictional, we can still learn a lot about falling in love from Bella’s story. One of the most significant things she learned was that it was okay to be happy alone for a while. In fact, according to psychologist and best-selling author, Dr. Laura Berman, being by yourself doesn’t necessarily mean you’re worthless or incomplete. It’s what you make of it that counts.
In a 2015 episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live, Dr. Berman talked about how important it is to understand what makes us happy, and she brought up a great example of someone whose alone time is very different from your average run-of-the-mill lonely evening. She said, “I wanted to bring up Ana de Armas’ story because I think it’s a good example of what can happen when you’re not in a romantic relationship.”
Ana de Armas was born in Sydney, Australia and grew up between the country and the city. Her early life was spent in a healthy and close-knit family. In fact, according to Forbes, the actress is now one of the richest women in Australia with an estimated net worth of around $280 million. She started singing and acting at a very young age and eventually moved to Los Angeles with her family. There, she was discovered by a talent scout at the age of 14 and signed with a Hollywood talent agency. Within a year, she was flying to Sydney to begin work on a series of commercials. One of the agencies she worked for at the time was CAA (Creative Artists Agency).
It was during this time that she met and fell in love with an English actor named Robert Pattinson. The couple initially tried to keep their romance a secret, but eventually broke up the sham and made their relationship public. They were subsequently wed in 2014 and became parents to twin daughters, Rose and Daisy. The actress continues to maintain her Australian citizenship and proudly displays the country’s flag on her social media accounts. In an interview with Vanity Fair in 2014, she said, “I’m very much a people person, so I enjoy being out and about and meeting new people. I love my privacy as much as the next person, but I also really value connection and being part of something bigger than myself.”
You Can Be Happy Even If You’re All By Yourself
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s talk about what Dr. Berman had to say about Ana de Armas and how she applies to the average person watching these days. First, she said, “I think it’s great that she’s found a niche being a single mom. That said, I don’t necessarily think that being single moms makes you any less capable of being happy or successful than being in a committed relationship.”
If anything, being a mom gives her a new and different perspective on life. In an interview with Cosmo, she said, “I have twin daughters who are three years old. I always wanted them to be part of a family, but at the same time, I didn’t want to deny myself the journey of falling in love all over again. So, being a single mom has been an amazing experience. I look at my life now and think, ‘How did I get here? Everything just fell into place.'”
This attitude of gratitude and positivity is something that Dr. Berman attributes to her time in psychology. She told Jimmy Kimmel, “When you become a psychologist, you start to see the world in a totally different way. It’s no longer about, ‘Oh my God, this person has problems. I have to fix them.’ You start to realize, ‘This person is a diamond in the rough. They have so much to offer.'”
With a new appreciation for your own uniqueness, you may find yourself feeling a little less needy and a little more confident. You have a new set of eyes with which to observe your relationships with friends, family, and even your romantic partners. It’s not that you’re better than anyone else — it’s that you’re perfectly suited for your own life’s challenges and successes.
So, what does this have to do with being alone? Essentially, Dr. Berman said, “I think what draws us to certain individuals is that we can see possibilities in them that we don’t see in ourselves. So even if you’re by yourself, you can be happy because you recognize that you have something good inside you.”
She added, “When you open yourself up to a new possibility, you’re saying, ‘I can be happy. I can have a good life. And, yes, even if I’m by myself, I can be by myself in a good way.’ That’s what makes the difference.”
Of course, this doesn’t mean that the road to happiness is easy. It can be frustrating and even stressful at times. Dr. Berman said, “It’s very easy for us to get lost in our problems. We think that if we just work hard enough or meet the right person, everything will be okay. But that’s not true. Problems don’t go away. They just go underground — and then they pop up when you least expect them.”
So, while being by yourself doesn’t mean that you have to solely rely on yourself for fulfillment, it certainly doesn’t hurt. In fact, as Dr. Berman pointed out, sometimes it’s the most unexpected people in your life that prove to be the biggest support system.
Take a little bit of Oprah and Dr. Laura, add a dash of Carrie Bradshaw, and voila, instant gratification. This week, we’re spotlighting the unique talents of a select group of women whose workday co-workers, friends, and even family members can’t quit raving about. Let’s take a closer look at how these modern-day Renaissance women inspire others around them to greatness.
Inspiration Is Born Of Necessity
We can all agree that the world would be a better place if we had more people like Carrie Bradshaw. As the leading lady in one of the most memorable love stories in cinematic history, perhaps it’s not so surprising that her fans would want to model their own lives after hers. However, as amazing as Carrie’s story is, it was actually her determination to succeed that made her so relatable. Even in today’s world, where stories of remarkable women are scattered throughout history books, it is still the little things that she did to get ahead that resonated with her audience.
Take a look at the life of Carrie’s character, Charlotte, for example. At the beginning of the series, Charlotte is living a very sheltered and boring life. She’s been groomed to be a traditional wife and has little interest in anything outside of marriage and motherhood. However, when she meets charming and dashing, yet totally unromantic, city banker Harvey Spector, her whole world is turned upside down. From the very beginning, Harvey is determined to win Charlotte’s heart. He does this by showering her with romantic gestures and lavish gifts. Despite her initial disdain for him, Charlotte finds that she can’t help but like him. This eventually leads her to give him a chance and they eventually fall in love. He proposes to her, and she accepts, despite her best efforts to avoid a commitment due to her social standing.
It would be easy for us to just paint a pretty picture and tell you that everything works out wonderfully for Charlotte. Unfortunately, that’s not how things work in reality. As impressive as she was in winning Harvey’s heart, Charlotte ultimately failed in her quest. This is because she didn’t actually want to be like Harvey and propose to someone she loved. She wanted to preserve her childhood and live a quiet life with her husband and children. She also believed that men like Harvey wouldn’t value what she had to offer as a woman and would instead see her as a mother. Ultimately, this cost her the chance at a happy and fulfilled life.