You’ve dated your ex for over two years, and unfortunately, the relationship didn’t work out. So what’s next for you? How do you embrace being single again? Can you even remember how to be single? Should you sign up for a dating app or peruse the chip aisle at the grocery store?
Whoa there, Nelly! Slow down and take a deep breath. Who says you have to jump back into another relationship? If you find yourself recently single, why not embrace it? Hang out with your friends more. Hell, make new friends. You’ve got time.
Remember being half of a couple and not having free time to yourself? You always had to do what your ex wanted and watch the movies your ex preferred. Welp, those days are gone. You’re free to hang out as long as you want without checking in with anyone. You can go back to eating the food and drinking the wine of your choice because you are now living a single life.
Benefits of Being Single
You’ve been in a couple for so long that you can’t even remember what it was like to be single. While it’s nice to have a guaranteed date for national holidays and someone to go on vacation with, being single has its benefits. Don’t believe me? Check out these 5 benefits of being single.
1. Focusing On Yourself
When we get into relationships, certain aspects of our previous life fall by the wayside, including health and wellness. In a relationship, you tend to neglect basic things like eating right and working out. Unless your ex was a gym buff and dragged you to daily yoga classes, you probably enjoyed eating out more than working out. You didn’t feel like you had to keep up with workouts as much because if your ex didn’t bother, why should you?
2. More Time with Your Friends
While in a relationship, you worked 40 hours a week, so any free time was reserved for your ex. If you had any spare time after that, you divided it between family, outside obligations, errands, and friends—in that order. In other words, your besties were considered the low men on the totem pole in your life.
3. Single People Are Happier with Their Lives, Right?
Years ago, many believed that being in intimate relationships was better for mental health, which meant couples were happier.
That has since changed. New research suggests that single people in a non-committed relationship are generally more satisfied with being single and life in general. However, those least content with single life are primarily men, older people, more educated people, or people in bad health.
According to Psychology Today, single people are satisfied with being single and their lives. However, analysis of the data suggested that their satisfaction declined over time. Unfortunately, there was no simple explanation as to why. Still, it’s important to note that satisfaction in people involved in romantic relationships and married people often declines as time goes by.
4. Singles Have More Time for Networking and Platonic Relationships
Any relationship outside of an intimate one is also a factor in building and maintaining good mental health. For instance, networking is vital in building a business because it brings in more clients, which means more revenue.
Additionally, single people are more attentive, which is a plus when it comes to networking. It’s also a bonus for family and friends because singles put extra effort into their relationships. Also, over 40% of singles are more socially involved with neighbors, compared to only 22% of those in relationships. Only 23% of married couples make time to actively socialize, whereas 71% of singles regularly hang out and meet new people.
5. Single People Tend to Be Better with Money
When you’re single, there’s just one You to buy for instead of a spouse or an entire family. Your bills are lower because you’re not feeding a tiny army of children. In other words, any money you spend goes toward your expenses and yours alone. While you may go out to eat more, you’re only paying for your food and not treating your spouse and/or kids to pizza. You may be eating pizza for one, but at least it’s cheaper.
And have you seen the price of movies lately? It’s estimated that a family of four will have to pay an average of $115 to see one movie, with snacks included. So for couples, Netflix is the better (and more cost-efficient) choice.
Taking Advantage of the Single Lifestyle
Unfortunately, the word “single” comes with a negative connotation. How many movies have you seen where the woman is tired of being the bridesmaid and longs to be the bride? How many television shows depict a single girl as lonely and desperate? These negative stereotypes helped shape what single people have become in today’s society.
Don’t fight being single; enjoy it. Learn how to take advantage of all the things that singledom has to offer. To help you, here are some of the Do’s and Don’ts when it comes to living a single lifestyle.
The Do’s of Being Single
- Practice Makes Perfect: You’re single, right? You can date as much as you want. But, as with anything you want to get good at, you must practice. If you date, you know what you don’t want just as much as you know what you do want. The only difference is your prize isn’t a trophy. It’s a beautiful, healthy relationship.
- Learn From Past Mistakes: Your exes are exes for a reason. One of the most important things about a breakup is that it can be a learning experience you can use in your next relationship. Use your single status as a time to regroup and reflect. Oh, and have fun while doing it!
- Be Prepared: Always keep the bare necessities with you, like a travel-size toothbrush and toothpaste, freshen-up wipes, and maybe a little gloss. You don’t know what the night may bring, so don’t be caught off guard.
- Be Sociable: You don’t have to marry every person you talk to, so don’t feel hesitant to strike up a conversation with the opposite sex. Striking up a conversation with a stranger may lead to more, and it may not, but it definitely won’t lead to anything if you don’t try. Contrary to popular belief, people are generally receptive to a conversation with a stranger, so put your big girl panties on (or big boy boxers for the guys), and start a conversation with the first hot stranger you see; I double dare you.
- Wear Sexy Intimates: Here’s the thing, no one knows what you got on underneath except you, and that’s perfect. Wearing sexy lingerie raises your confidence and gives you an inexplicable sex appeal that the opposite sex can pick up on. The same goes for nightgowns, even when you are sleeping alone. The point is to feel sexy within yourself, so you’ll exude that confidence outward.
- Know That Being Single is Okay: Why are you searching for a new relationship? Maybe a relationship isn’t the best thing for you at this point. For instance, you recently got out of a relationship or work odd hours and barely have time for yourself, much less a brand new relationship. Jumping into a relationship when you’re not ready can cause future disappointment. Take your time and realize that even if you aren’t in a relationship, it’s okay.
The Don’ts of Being Single
- Don’t Rush Into Another Relationship: Sometimes, we panic if we’ve been out of a relationship for too long, and then we run to find one. This is not the way to go. If you feel lonely, hang out with family and friends more. Get a new hobby, or pick up the old one you dropped when you coupled up.
- Don’t Expect Your Entire Life to Change When You’re Dating Someone: Often, we think if we start dating someone, we’ll be happy, and life will be great. Wrong! That’s expecting something (or someone) outside of yourself to create happiness for you when you’re the only one that can do that. In other words, if you were miserable outside of a relationship, you may find some happiness initially, but it won’t last. So work on yourself first and then go on the hunt for that perfect person.
- Don’t Put Things on Hold: Are you not going on vacation because you’re waiting to be in a relationship first? That may take time, and in the meantime, you’re missing out on some exciting things in your life. Stop waiting. Go on that vacation with a friend, or take a family member or else you might miss the opportunity.
- Don’t Be Close-Minded: While you’re waiting to find that perfect guy, he may already be around. For example, what about that guy you consider just a friend or that co-worker you go to lunch with every Friday? Relationships can happen to anyone at anytime, so keep your options open because you never know.
- Life Doesn’t Always Go According to Plan: Did you ever think that this may not be your time to be in a relationship, even if you really, really, really (did I say, really?) want it? If it’s not happening, take a step back and regroup. Be open to new life events and people that aren’t in your master plan. Sometimes it’s life’s little surprises that work out the best.
Short-Term Tips to Stay Happy While Single
Some people are happy being alone and enjoy solitude. Then some prefer a relationship. However, whether or not you’re in a relationship, building a solid relationship with yourself is always a worthwhile investment since you spend a lot of time with yourself.
However, if you need suggestions on staying happy while in single mode, you’re in luck; here are some beginner tips to help you be single and content.
Avoid Comparisons to Others
This may be easier said than done, especially with social media, but avoid comparing your social life to anyone else’s. It doesn’t matter how many friends you have or how many exciting places you visit. Instead, do what works best for you.
Put the Phone Down
Take a break from the phone for at least one hour. Give yourself a break from all the articles and images of wonderfully happy couples. By the way, those are only images. Things aren’t always as they appear. Just like photoshop enhances a person, online photos of couples do the same.
So, if not the phone, what do you do? Go for a walk, visit a friend, write a book, or do anything else you enjoy. I know it’s probably been a long time since the phone wasn’t the pastime go-to, but I’m sure you’ll find something entertaining to do if you think hard enough.
Meditation is about focusing and doing absolutely nothing else. When was the last time you did that, if ever? Take 5-10 minutes and just be. Spend the time in a quiet room with no:
Listen to the sound of your breath while sitting in a comfortable chair in a room. Then, close your eyes and listen to the surrounding sounds. What do you hear? Birds? Barking dogs? A passing car? Meditation allows your mind to take a break from all the day-to-day thinking.
Being single doesn’t have to be a bad thing. If you learn to accept your newfound lifestyle, you can thrive as an individual. You’ll get to know yourself better and have more time for family and friends. Relax during this break from relationships because you’ll be refreshed and ready to hop on that relationship train when the right person comes along. Choo, choo!
Go on a Date…with Yourself
Self-dates are one of the best ways to feel empowered when creating your own happiness. Go for a long stroll or do something you would normally do on a date, like playing paintball or roller skating. Take yourself to a movie or out to lunch.
If that sounds like too much for you, go for something smaller, like grabbing a doughnut and coffee at a local café for 15 minutes. Take in your surroundings, and strike up conversations with strangers. I bet you didn’t realize that you could have just as much fun alone.