This summer, it was particularly difficult being single, even for someone like me, who has always embraced being the “single” girl among my group of close girlfriends. For the past three months, I’ve attended three different weddings and witnessed some of my best friends get married. But as I stood by the altar, overjoyed and excited for my friends’ new lives, I couldn’t help feel alone. I also want someone to share happy and sad moments with; someone who will inspire me and be challenged by me.
But instead of comparing lives and playing the grass is always greener, I compiled a list of reasons (freedoms!) why you should enjoy flying solo and appreciate moments of solitude.
1. Enjoying your own space. This may seem obvious, and there are also plenty of married couples and people in relationships who enjoy their own space—literally—and live in their own apartments or sleep in separate bedrooms. But there’s something about having the freedom to come and go places, like spending a long weekend in Miami with your girlfriends without having to consult with your other half, or enjoying a random afternoon at a café or the park without feeling guilty about leaving your sweetie behind. It’s a pretty big bonus to not have to check in or follow up with someone about your daily business.
2. Focusing on your own career and life goals. There’s no greater freedom than pursuing your own career and passion without having to plan it around someone else’s future. Take this time to focus on your life goals and ask yourself what you would like to achieve in the next few years. Do you want a higher degree? What’s your dream job? What are you most passionate about? Develop your own identity and let yourself shine through your work and actions. And, it doesn’t need to be big-picture goals either. Maybe, you’ve been meaning to sharpen your cooking skills, learn a new instrument, or take up another language. Being single gives you the license to do certain things people in relationships cannot.
3. Appreciating the life you have. When you’re single, it’s easy to get caught up in the life you want, rather than enjoying the life you already have. But there’s something to appreciate about dictating your own time and space and enjoying moments of solitude. Reflect on your life’s blessings, including your family and friends, your career, your health, and even your fabulous personality. If you don’t believe me, check out this inspiring video from Andrea Dorfman about how to be alone.
4. Spending your money as you please. If you want to splurge on a new Celine bag, go ahead. If you want to get a mani and pedi, why not? That’s not to say you should be careless with your money, but it’s great to be able to treat yourself and spend your money as you wish. You don’t need to save money to re-decorate the living room, worry about looking for the most lavish birthday present for your boyfriend, or being sensitive to the kind of Christmas gift you give his family and friends.
5. Finding the right person. Being single is a great time to reflect on what you look for in a boyfriend or husband. Think of all the deal breakers you know you won’t be happy with in a relationship, but also create a list of all the good qualities and things that are most important to you. Do you want a family? Would you re-locate for love? Instead of rushing into a relationship for the sake of being in one, let things happen “organically.” Use this time to also heal and find closure after a painful breakup or relationship. Sometimes your happy ending isn’t with someone else; it’s about finding yourself and being happy with who you are.
6. Being selfish. It’s not that you don’t want to share your time and life with someone else, or that you’re being irresponsible, it’s just that you don’t have to. When you’re single, you can truly do whatever you want that people in relationships can’t really do. You can spend your own energy, time, and resources on your own whim without having to get someone else’s approval.
What are your favorite parts about being single? Tell us in comments!