I know how hard it is to be without a significant other. Being single can be alienating, lonely and discouraging. However, it doesn’t always have to be this depressing. With a change in perspective, your time as a single can be empowering and insightful. You can learn a lot about yourself, others, and life in general (plus, there is hella less drama).
1. You learn how to be self-sufficient
Believe it or not, you can learn a lot from YouTube videos. Including how to change a light bulb, fix your kitchen sink, grill a steak, assemble furniture, and program the television. You can even put your big girl pants on to kill that spider and lay mousetraps (or, like me, you can buy a cat that eats them). And you can pay someone to do anything else you need done. You learn a lot about your own abilities when you don’t have someone there doing everything for you. The only person you need to rely on is yourself. You are strong and capable.
2. You get closer to your friends/family
When you no longer have to stress about and overanalyze a relationship, you can focus on other aspects of life–like, your friends and family. Your attention and time tend to be compromised when you are tied down in a relationship. Especially, if your S.O. is not well liked by your friends and family. However, when you quit the full-time job of being a girlfriend, those 40-50 hours can be dedicated to wine nights with your friends and family bonding. You have more time to strengthen all the friendships and relationships in your life. You can reacquaint with that long-lost high school friend. You can rekindle the flame to that forgotten fling. You can be a better best friend. A better sister or daughter. Be a better version of yourself and everyone will pull in closer. Romantic relationships will come and go in your life, but the connections you have with friends/family are forever.
3. You gain a new independence
You can do what you want and when you want it. The only person you answer to is yourself (and occasionally your parents). There is a certain freedom in being single. You begin to realize how much you value being in control. You can be selfish and make decisions that benefit solely you. You can have that extra glass of wine. You can flirt with that cute bartender. You can take up the entire queen-sized bed. You can stay in your pajamas and watch Netflix all day. You can go on that impromptu getaway. You can say yes (or no) to that date offer. You don’t have to ask permission to go out with your friends. You don’t have to apologize for coming home late. You don’t have to come home at a reasonable hour. You can eat when you want, sleep when you want, and cry when you want. There’s not much you can’t do (well, besides walk around naked–your neighbors and roommates might not approve). You make all the decisions in your life. It is all up to you. No pressure, no hesitations, no insecurities, no worries. You are free to be 100% you.
4. You fall in love . . . with yourself
Being single means you have more time for self-care. Buy yourself that 90-minute massage. You deserve it. There is no better feeling than having the confidence to take yourself out to dinner. Experiencing things by yourself does not have to be lonely. You become more aware of the world and its surroundings when you don’t have to entertain anyone but yourself. Go for long walks, talk to strangers on the street, read a book, take yourself out on your dream date, flirt a little even. Do all the things that make you happy. Take the time to be happily alone. Because now is the time to do it. Marriage, children, a family, all those things that people strive for, they limit your amount of “me time”. Live in the moment and embrace the time alone. Eventually, when you find someone you love, you should not be his or her better half, but instead be your own whole person. You should be a whole addition to their life, rather than just a part. Be yourself. Love yourself. Have confidence in you.
5. You stop settling for less
Being single makes you develop a strong sense of self-worth. You are your own biggest advocate, thus you know exactly what you deserve. You deserve that promotion. The most beautiful apartment. The nicest car. You deserve a man who values and appreciates you. A man that loves you just as much as you love yourself. You will find yourself going on a lot more first dates where the guy does not pass go and collect $200. I am sure he is a great guy (if not, then maybe you need to be rethinking your taste in men). He probably just wasn’t the perfect fit. You didn’t want to settle for his lack of table manners or crass sense of humor because you know what you deserve. Do not settle for anything less than the best. Know your own self-worth and honor it. Set those standards high and abide by them. You are worth it.