If you’re single, people assume you are looking for a relationship. While this may be true for some, it’s not for everyone. Being single sometimes translates to being alone, but just because you aren’t in a relationship doesn’t mean you are alone. There’s a stigma around being single that you are looking for love and just haven’t found it yet. What about self love? Familial love? Friendship? All of these are just as valuable as the love between romantic partners, but for some reason it doesn’t seem to hold the same weight. Life is set up in such a way that gives people the assumption that if you are an adult and you’re not married, you’re looking for a partner.
The Upsides to Being Single
Partners come with baggage
Relationships aren’t always rainbows and date nights. It comes with a lot of baggage, and that baggage is the other person. Everyone has a past, they have struggles and bad habits, and when you are in a relationship, those things become part of your daily life. On top of your struggles and baggage, you’ll have to learn to cope with theirs, too. Relationships are “mentally expensive,” according to relationship guru Susan Winters.
Basically, they take up a lot of room in our minds, and we have to be prepared to give that space in our life to that person. That means less focus on yourself, your family, and friends. This isn’t necessarily a negative thing, but it is something that one must prepare to do before entering a relationship, and if you’re single, you don’t have to worry about it.
You can be spontaneous
Being single can make life more spontaneous, because you don’t have to think about consulting another person before doing something. Want to go on a last minute trip to Colorado? Go for it. However, if you’re in a relationship, it might be harder to pick up and go when relying on another person, especially if they aren’t interested.
Prioritizing your values
You’ll also have more time to think about what you want and what you care about. Oftentimes when two people are in a relationship, their values can get muddled into one. This happens unconsciously, and one or both of them will probably end up giving up a part of their value system. Plus, you never have to worry about arguments or disagreeing with yourself.
You are in control of your happiness
While being in a relationship can bring joy into your life, it can also bring negative emotions. If you spend a lot of time with someone, and especially if you live with them, they will be a big part of your emotional wellbeing, which can fluctuate in the presence of others. If you love someone, you’ll probably feel their pain, their sadness, and their happiness. Their mood will probably shift yours. If you are single, the only emotions you have to worry about are your own. If you’re having a great day, no one can bring you down except yourself. If you are with someone who isn’t feeling the same, it can be hard to maintain your emotion in the presence of negativity.
Your time belongs to you
Even though there are other people in your life, your partner has a place in your heart that is different from other relationships. When you go to plan something, you’ll naturally check in with them. Even something as simple as going out shopping or to lunch, you’ll feel inclined to invite them or at least consult them. As a single person, you don’t have to do any of those things. If you want to walk out of the house and go to the store, you’re free to do so without telling anyone. Of course, you can do things alone while you’re in a relationship, but a big part of your time will inevitably be devoted to your partner. Being single means more time finding a hobby, cultivating close friendships, spending time with family, and anything else you want to do.
4 Things To Do While Being Single
- Find connections outside of a relationship
Being alone isn’t exclusive to single people. Even those in relationships can feel lonely and need friendships. Meeting people and exploring new hobbies can be a lot of fun, sometimes even more fun on your own. When you make new friends by yourself, you are making one-on-one connections, rather than meeting people as a couple. You are given the opportunity to be your true self without the influence of another person. Finding friends who support you and who you can rely on for anything is invaluable. As opposed to a romantic partner, you’re there for your friends as a support system while having your own space to grow alongside each other. Plus, it’s always nice to have people to go places with.
- Discover more about yourself
Being single is a great opportunity to learn about yourself without having to adapt for someone. You can spend your alone time journaling, going on walks, meditating, and doing solo activities to figure out what you truly like doing. Especially as a young adult, perhaps even living alone, doing solo activities and learning more about yourself can be a fun way to figure out who you are without the influence of your family, friends, or partner. This can mean figuring out your love language, your passions, and your personality.
- Go on dates with yourself
Dating yourself before dating others is important. One must learn to love themselves before loving others, and the best way to do that is to spend more time with yourself. Going out to dinner alone shouldn’t be thought of negatively. In fact, it shows strength and security. Before dating others, you should practice self love and know your worth, boundaries, and standards. Dating yourself will give you the opportunity to honor yourself, and find independence. Then, if you do end up dating someone else, you’ve already set a standard for yourself, and if they don’t treat you how you do, they’re not meant to be.
4. Make time for the people you love
Love can come in many forms, and one of those is family – or close friends who are basically family. While you’re single, making time for these relationships can be much easier. Again, your time is yours. There’s a reason people refer to their partners as their “other half,” because they are highly valued, and take up a lot of their daily life. Single people can choose to give other people in their life priority, such as their mother, brother, or aunt.
Single people have a lot to look forward to. Being in a relationship can come with many great benefits like romantic love, someone to care for you like a partner does, to take trips with, and someone to share meals with each day. While these are intriguing for some people, for others, it may not be the time, or simply not for them at all. Some people simply enjoy being single and independent.
The only problem is the stigma created by societal norms, which assumes people are destined to be married with children. This is simply a structure set up long ago that may just need an update. Everyone is different, and while marriage and children may be someone’s dream, it could be another person’s nightmare. Regardless of where you want to end up, everyone will be single for some time in their life, and it should be used as an opportunity to learn more about yourself, grow, and figure out what you want out of life, whatever that may be.