Yesterday, after a very tearful therapy session about feeling lonely, my therapist suggested writing down what it truly means to be single. At first, all I could think of was being alone. I couldn’t see past that. Being single, for most of us, is never easy, especially when most of your friends are in happy relationships. It’s hard not to envy them and to keep yourself from being bitter. It’s hard to feel like you will never stop being a third wheel. It’s hard to think you will ever find someone out there for you. You get so tired of people telling you the right guy will come along, especially when you’ve been single as long as I have. You get tired of being the odd number, the only one without an “and” attached with your name. You get tired of hearing your friends talk about how well their love lives are going. Most of all, you get tired of the guys who play with your already fragile heart. As Carrie Bradshaw once said, “It’s really hard to walk in a single woman’s shoes. That’s why we need really special ones now and then; to make the walk more fun.” Being single can be really hard, and is something I have struggled with for a long time. However, when I really thought about what it truly means to be single and channeled my inner Carrie, I was able to come up with a long list of the benefits. Here’s just a few of my favorites:
Figuring out what you want: Being single gives you a lot of time to think about what kind of relationship you truly want. It helps prevent you from settling, because you have had so much more time than others to design the perfect person for you. This also may help you know it better when you actually find it… I’m hoping.
No boyfriend (or girlfriend) drama: Listening to people prattle about every argument they have with their significant others will make you beyond thankful that you don’t have to deal with it. You have no one to have this type of drama with, because you’re single! While your friend is arguing with her boyfriend on what to make for dinner, you are free to make whatever you want and eat as much as you want. You also don’t spend all your time missing your boyfriend or girlfriend, because you don’t have one.
Flirting with the cute guy (or girl) at the bar: While I understand people in relationships sometimes still flirt with people who aren’t their significant others, you can do so without ever feeling guilty or worrying about hurting your partner. Let’s be honest; no one likes watching their person flirt with someone else. But as a single person, you don’t need to worry about it, because you belong to no one. So while all your friends may be drooling other the total babe at the bar, you get to be the one to try and pursue something with him.
More appreciation for nice guys: It’s a sad truth that single girls tend to appreciate a guy’s sweet actions than girls in relationships, because we simply aren’t used to it nor do we expect it. While a girl expects her boyfriend to buy her a drink and open her door, us single girls are usually caught off guard when someone does it for us. We are a lot more grateful for this than girls who get the treatment all the time.
Planning your future around you and only you: It’s impossible not to include your significant other in your plans for the future, but there comes a point when you may be planning around only them. You give up your hopes and dreams on the chance that you have already found your forever. When you’re single, especially at a young age, no one decides your future but you. You don’t have to factor anyone in to your plans. If you want to move across the country or travel the world, you don’t have to worry about how your partner will react: You can just do it. You decide your own path, and make it completely your own. This is one of the biggest benefits to being single. You have your whole life to find love, so it can wait until you’ve built the life you’ve always dreamed of.
You have no one to answer to: No one can tell you how to act. You don’t have to prove yourself to anyone or worry that you aren’t good enough. You can be as weird as you want without worrying what your person will think. You have no one to answer to but you, which means you can make your own choices without worrying about what he or she will think. You have a sense freedom that people in relationships can’t even remember.
You have more time to dedicate to other things: Whether they are wish their partners, talking to them on the phone, or thinking about them, people in relationships spend a lot of time on their significant others, as they should. However, as a single person, you have much more free time to do things you enjoy. You can spend more time with your friends, family, or yourself. The time you may have spent on the phone with your girlfriend, you can spend playing video games with your friends. The time you would have spent obsessing over a fight, you can spend studying or doing something you enjoy. You have more time to explore different things, and do the things you don’t have much time for.
Finding who you are: Being single is when you find out who you really are. It’s also the best time to work on improving yourself, because you can be sure that’s you’re doing it only for you. You have a lot of time to figure out who you are and who you want to be. This will prevent you from ending up with the wrong guy. You start to learn just how strong you are and just how much you are capable of.
You learn to love yourself first: When you’re single, it’s easy to feel unlovable. The only way to make up for that is to figure out how to love yourself. When you’re single, you discover all the things to love about yourself without having someone else point them out to you. You will be happier and live a more fulfilled life, regardless of your relationship status. You take the time to make sure you are ready for a real relationship so you don’t ruin the one that could be perfect. They say you have to love yourself before you can love anyone else. I call crap on that, because some of the people who are most loving are those who hate themselves. However, I do believe that you have to love yourself before you can let anyone else truly love you.
You learn how to be comfortable alone: No one is better at being alone than the single person, which can be very beneficial when you do get into a relationship. You don’t have to be clingy, because you are perfectly happy spending some time apart. You don’t depend on someone else to make you happy, because you’ve already been doing it all by yourself. This is the biggest benefit to being single: discovering how wonderful being alone can be.
This post isn’t about who has the better deal: single or committed. It’s not about making those in relationships feel bad about themselves. The post isn’t about proving single people are better. This post is for those people who feel lost and alone, because they are single. This post is for the people who think being single means the same thing for being unlovable. This post is for the people who feel that they will never be complete as long as they are single. This post is for the people like me.
Being single isn’t something to take lightly, but it also isn’t something to get down on yourself for. Being single doesn’t mean no one wants you, like some seem to believe. Being single means taking your time to decide how you want your life to be and who you want to spend it with. It means learning to fall in love with yourself. It means discovering the person you want to be. I know it’s not easy, believe me I know. It’s something I’m still struggling with, but at the same time, I know that I will look back some day and be thankful for all the time I’ve spent being single. I get to experience things in a much different way than those in relationships. I will be better at helping my kids, should they struggle with the same things. Being single has made me fiercely independent, confident, and bold. I don’t need a man to be happy (although it’d sure be nice), and there is nothing wrong with that. Never let someone else make you feel inferior for being perfectly happy all by yourself.