1. You learn the difference between being alone and being lonely.
I think learning to enjoy solitude is one of the most transformable experiences a person can have. You begin to strengthen the relationship with yourself and become comfortable within your own company. You discover the pleasure of being by yourself by also understanding the moments of vulnerability where you feel lonely.
2. You take a look at what’s actually going on in your life.
When you spend more time alone you’re able to take a step back from everything that’s been going on in your life and examine what’s happening. It’s amazing the sort of reflections you can have about your feelings, the people in your life, or simple interactions with strangers when you let yourself process the everyday details. Even if you really love spending time with friends or family it’s important to give time to yourself. I noticed when I started thinking more about my life and the people in it I became more aware of my behavior, moods, and my connections with others.
3. You start taking better care of yourself in different ways.
All of those projects around your apartment you wanted to start, books you wanted to read, or little bits of self-improvement you wanted to do all slowly get accomplished. When you spend time alone you focus on your goals both large and small and think about how you can make them happen.
Every month I give myself a little project I want to work on. Sometimes it’s just something like “read X amount of books this month” or “go to yoga X times.” This month my goal was to learn 10 new recipes. I’m not a huge cook but taking the time to learn something new and devote free time to an activity I don’t typically spend a lot of time on was not only a ton of (delicious) fun but it made me feel better to learn new ways to feed myself – and others!
4. You become increasingly self-reliant.
The things you used to always think you needed to do with other people you realize you can do by yourself – and it’s totally okay! At first it might feel a little bit uncomfortable, like dining by yourself or seeing a movie alone, but then you just end up getting over it. There’s such an insecurity with doing certain things in public but really, everyone needs to just get over it, Just remember no one cares if you’re eating or drinking on your own. Only you care.
5. You realize you’re basically, kind of freaking awesome
All these things start happening – you’re reaching these little goals, becoming more independent, growing more self-aware – and with all of these things combined you start discovering more about who you are. You’re putting more effort and time into yourself so it makes sense that you would feel totally awesome about who you are.
6. You’re socially selective now.
When you’re alone more often you truly value the time spent with other people. Whereas once you used to do things out of obligation, now you don’t waste your time like that with other people. Maybe it’s someone that used to be a potential love interest that always gave you mixed singles or maybe it’s one of your friends from college that’s a terrible flake. Either way you’re just kinda like ‘haha NOPE’ when you see their text pop up on your phone.
7. You stop defining yourself by your relationships.
When you aren’t caught up in that continual feeling like you should occupy all of your free time with others you find an identity outside of your relationships. You stop seeing yourself as these roles you play in peoples lives. You are significant without a significant other. Repeat: you are significant without a significant other.