Anyone who has been single for a period of time knows that there are many benefits and many challenges to being on your own. Relationships can be a beautiful and precious thing, but they can also be quite restrictive.
While polite society continues to tell us that we should be on Bumble/Hinge/Tinder, getting out and about and hunting, we’re increasingly finding that this doesn’t lead to any great joy. The relentless pursuit of a match slips more naturally into the things that drain you bracket than things that energize you.
Being single, on the other hand, can be incredibly fulfilling. More fulfilling than both relentless dating and being in a relationship with someone who isn’t going to help you thrive.
If you’re considering taking a break and having some time alone or are single but haven’t yet become comfortable with it, consider all the wonderful benefits you have.
You never know how brief this period of your life might be.
Here are 20 good reasons to be single.
1. Charlize Theron is single.
The first reason to feel good about being single is you are in great company. Halle Berry, Rihanna, and Coco Chanel are all women who have spent large chunks of time without a boyfriend. Without having to factor in the needs of a partner, women have often found themselves free to be their best self. Rihanna is without doubt one of the most influential artists of our generation, and a large part of her ability to become that person has stemmed from her decision to remain single for periods of time.
“Guys need attention. They need that nourishment, that little stroke of the ego that gets them by every now and then. I’ll give it to my family, I’ll give it to my work — but I will not give it to a man right now.” — Rihanna
2. There’s no one to miss.
I asked a friend what she missed most about being single now that she’s in a relationship and this was the answer the gave: “I miss not missing someone when they aren’t around.”
Isn’t that so true? When you’re with someone, there’s always a small part of you thinking about them. Wondering what they’re up to, whether they’re okay, what you’d be doing if they were with you. When you’re single, you are free to be fully present.
3. You can be silly on holiday.
And by silly, I mean: flirty, reckless, phone-less, shoe-less. There is no one you need to check in with or behave for. True escapism is all yours.
4. There’s more time to read.
Or write, or watch the TV show you like, or go shopping. There is just generally more time available to you in order to do the things you like to do alone. The things your ex didn’t have the patience for. All yours.
5. You can shave when you want.
Personally, I like to maintain my self-care regimen consistently, but that is my prerogative. If you find shaving a chore but choose to do it, you can reduce this when you aren’t being seen naked all the time. Slip on a t-shirt and it can be your intimate secret from the world.
6. You have the freedom to be your best.
I don’t want to believe this, but experience has taught me that most guys are wracked with insecurity. They want a girlfriend they can be proud of, but also one that needs them for lots of things. And you know what? We don’t generally need guys, do we? The freedom to not feel guilty or like you need to downplay your confidence, your career progression, your salary, your relationship with your family, or any number of things that can make your partner feel insecure, is really empowering.
7. Paranoia ceases to be a thing.
As much as you trust someone, being in love is an incredibly vulnerable space. Whilst that can be beautiful, it can also be exhausting. There’s a sometimes relentless paranoia going on as you wonder why a message is delayed, or why they’re smiling at their phone. Why they like all of Sophie from work’s Instagram photos or why they forgot you don’t eat bananas. DON’T YOU LOVE ME?! Yeahhh, it’s quite nice not to be paranoid.
8. Everything is so much calmer.
Being single is way less emotionally stressful because you’ve eliminated one sizeable external stress trigger. It’s another way you can be more present in the environment you’re in — no one has the power to stir you like a partner. It’s quite nice to not feel constantly at the emotional mercy of someone else’s decisions.
9. It’s easier to be decisive.
Firstly because you don’t have to worry so much about the impact of your decisions on someone, and secondly because men are indecisive. Again, a sweeping generalisation, I know, but they seem to fluster a lot more about the future, their career, seeing you too much, or not seeing you enough. The yo-yo ing is a head-fuck in a way that typical decision making is not.
10. It gives you the time to grow.
If you are fortunate enough to be in a relationship with someone who is secure, stable, and ambitious for their own growth, then hallelujah, you might be able to explore yourself within that partnership. However, most relationships aren’t that, and they can put a massive halt on your development as a person. How can you not be heavily influenced by someone you think about every day?
When you break up (which statistically you will with a majority of your partners), it can be hard to distinguish what you actually wanted from the things you learned to want. As a singleton, you follow your own instincts and interests.
11. Going out is actually fun.
Again, I don’t want it to be true, but it is. Going out is so much more fun when you’re single. That element of not knowing who you might meet or who might be there looking sexy on the dancefloor makes it a good five times more exciting.
12. …and you meet more people.
You’re more outgoing when you’re single because there’s more of an incentive to meet people. You’re free from that little nugget of emotion that says, “I’d rather be snuggling with boo on the sofa.” Boo ain’t around, so you find other interesting and exciting people. You actually accept their offers to events rather than pretending to think about it.
13. You can masturbate without feeling like it means something.
You can take masturbating further than you may have before. You can try new toys, new porn, new techniques, whatever you’re interested in, without feeling like it reflects negatively on someone else.
Read any advice on sex and it will tell you the first rule to having a good sex life is knowing what turns you on. You don’t need a partner to do this. In fact, they can hold you back because you only know the way they do things and there’s that pressure to make someone feel like they’re a SEX GOD. You don’t need to fake an orgasm if you’re masturbating, ladies, and you’re probably more likely to get one.
14. No one asks when you’re getting engaged.
Of course they do like to ask things like, “Anyone on the scene?” but I would argue those questions are vacuous and more easy to dismiss. Constantly having to defend where you are in a relationship is surely more stressful than just having to defend your right to temporary singledom.
15. You invest more in your friends.
Relationships are incredibly consuming. Even if you are someone who makes a point of keeping your friends a priority, you will inevitably invest more time and love in your friends when you’re single. It’s a special thing.
16. You get more sleep.
Way more sleep. I love sleep. The difference between the way you feel after a good night’s sleep and a restless one is remarkable. Without the stress of a relationship or the late nights you stay up with one of you tossing and turning, sleep becomes more consistent and reliable.
17. There’s no fear of breaking up.
Is there anything more irrationally terrible than a breakup? Eurgh, it’s the worst. To know you are safe from breakups is one less thing to worry about.
18. You choose your friends.
None of them are inherited from your partner — there’s no dinner you have to attend where you have to hang out with his friends’ girlfriends. Being a WAG is quite boring — we’d all rather just be spending time with the people we actually like!
19. You can cook whatever you want.
Have a smoothie and sandwich on your way home. Eat pasta and sushi together. Eat pizza in bed. Whatever concoction you’re craving is yours for the eating.
20. And finally, the only person you need to make feel good is yourself.
While doing nice things for someone can be one of the fun parts of being in a relationship, having to constantly factor in their emotional needs doesn’t leave much room for your own. Women have always been painted as the ones needing emotional support, but we have close friends and family for that. Men often only open up to their partner, which can become quite the responsibility. Do things because you want to and only you.
There is an ecstasy that can come from being in love, but there is also a ton of crap that can come with every other aspect of a relationship. Women get a lot out of being single. Enjoy it!