There are many ways to be single. For some people, singleness is a transitional period between relationships. For others, it’s their preferred way of living. But whether you see your self-partnered life as permanent or temporary, it’s important to enjoy your solo adventures as much as possible.
For most of history, marriage was the default. If you were a nice peasant girl, your parents found you a responsible pig farmer and you hunkered down to have fourteen babies. You had so many kids because needed people to help you run said pig farm, and because they’d yet to invent IUDs or vasectomies. Marriage was seen as almost inevitable, and single people were cast as a bunch of misfits and often accused of being witches.
Well, times are changing. In the twenty-first century, more North American adults are unattached than ever before. And contrary to cliche beliefs of yesteryear, they’re thriving outside of traditional romantic partnerships. In fact, single women are healthier and overall happier than their married peers. Being single – whether for a month, for a year, or forever – is a fantastic opportunity to focus on yourself and live your best life. On this week’s episode of You Do You, my co-host Kaley and I discuss how to suck the marrow out of life as a single person. Here are some tips to whet your appetite. After all, who needs a band when you can be a solo artist? Be the Lizzo of your own life!
1. Embrace Being Selfish
One of the best parts of being single is doing what you want without cramping another person’s style. When you’re not cohabitating, the world is your oyster. Want to eat falafel for dinner five nights in a row? Congratulations, you can! There’s no significant other whose palate you must appease. Feel like making your bed each morning is a waste of time that could be spent hitting the snooze button? There’s no one sharing your bedroom to get offended by it! Want to quit your job and move to Mexico? There’s no partner whose preferences to consider before booking that plane ticket.
The best part is that being single is an unselfish way to be selfish. You can live the way you want without holding your partner back. Singleness is a golden opportunity to live your truth!
2. Invest In Non-Romantic Relationships
Romantic relationships can be meaningful, but they’re not the only way to bond with others. There’s research to support that cultivating friendships makes us happier and more fulfilled. When we create entire communities of people we care about – and who care about us – we have plenty of people to turn to when we’re struggling. Diversifying your friendship circle helps expose you to new worlds and new perspectives. And when you’re single, you have so much time to devote to being a great friend and confidante! Singlehood is a golden opportunity to become the excellent bestie you always wanted to be…
3. Embrace Your Alone Time
As an extrovert, I didn’t always appreciate being single. I’m the sort of person who prefers to be surrounded by others, so on nights when I didn’t have work commitments or plans with friends, I’d feel overwhelmed by the prospect of an entire evening spent alone. Unfortunately, I was so busy feeling sorry for myself that I rewatched Friends ad infinitum instead of doing useful things with my time. Now that I’m happily partnered, I look back and wish I’d spent those solitary moments learning Italian or teaching myself how to do needlepoint. Much personal growth can be accomplished while sitting alone in silence, so embrace it!
4. Organize Your Social Calendar In Advance
As awesome as alone time can be, you don’t want to isolate yourself. When you’re partnered, there’s someone whose job it is to hang out with you. For single people, having a social life takes a tad more work. That means you probably shouldn’t wait for 6 pm on a Friday to sort out your weekend plans. Instead, try organizing brunch/badminton/bar nights/whatever you enjoy a couple weeks in advance. You’re less likely to feel lonely when you have plans to look forward to.