Single life can be incredibly fulfilling and hugely important for developing your self-confidence and knowing your self-worth. When you don’t have anyone else to focus on, you can channel all of your energy into yourself and learn who you really are, and when you’re happy by yourself, little else will phase you. It makes you ask the question, how can I be okay with being single?
That being said, it can seem like the whole world is in love when you’re single. Whether all your friends are busy with their partners, or if you feel like a spare wheel at functions that are dominated by couples, there may well be times when you find it hard being single. Society certainly plays a role in pressuring people to think they need a romantic partner to be truly happy, leading many to believe they can’t feel fully at ease and content when they’re single.
In reality, this is far from the truth. Having a romantic partner can indeed enrich your life and bring you happiness, but you can have those things whilst being single, too; it just might take you a while to realise it. If you’ve just come out of a long-term relationship or are feeling like everyone around you is pushing you to get into a relationship, you might find that you’re unhappy with being single.
Learning to be single
Getting used to flying solo after being with someone for a long time, and learning to be content when it seems like people are telling you that you can’t unless you’re with someone else, is no mean feat. You might even feel like it’s better to settle with the wrong person than to be alone, meaning you might spend a lot of time on dating apps talking to other single people, trying to find the right person, even though you know you might not find them there. The truth is, being single can be hugely rewarding, and it’s definitely better to be alone in your own company than to settle for someone who isn’t right for you. But realising this can be hard, especially if friends and family keep asking the dreaded ‘why are you still single’ question.
In this article, we’re going to explore how to be okay being single and some methods you can use to make that shift in mindset easier.
1. Accept that being single is ‘normal’
We’ve all grown up around fairytales that push the trope that you need to find your princess or prince charming to be happy, and when you find them, you will live happily ever after. This is especially true in the fairytales where the romance-seeking main character is miserable before they are rescued by their future spouse. Real life can also feel like this.
Despite these age-old stories being fictional, there’s still a pressure to find a spouse and have children, largely before you hit 30. If you’re in your late 20s or early 30s, you’ll likely notice an increase in your friends changing their relationship status, getting engaged or having a baby. While seemingly everyone around you is getting their fairytale ending, you seem to only have coupled friends, and everyone is asking when you’re likely to find the perfect partner, it can make you feel like you’re the abnormal one for not having that yet – but this isn’t the case.
Being single is entirely ‘normal’ – it’s thought that around 35% of the population in the UK is single, and that figure is rising. When you stop viewing yourself as the odd one out, you’ll find it much easier to be okay with being single and not in a romantic relationship. After all, a lot of the best relationships are formed when you’re not looking for anything.
2. Keep yourself busy and reach out to people
Whilst you certainly need to be okay with being alone and having no plans every once in a while, it’s a good idea to try and fill up your calendar as much as possible. Instead of saying no to things, say yes! Thinking of going to a festival? Do it. Been invited to a reunion of old friends? Go. Getting out and staying active is key to not feeling lonely, and it’s especially useful for those who have just become single and don’t know what to do with their time.
When you reach out to people and keep yourself busy, you’re able to see that you don’t need a significant other to have fun. Even if you take yourself out on dates and do things alone, it’s better to be out and active than inside and thinking you need someone else to do things with.
3. Get a new hobby or do things that satisfy your personal goals
When you’re in a relationship, you might find that you concentrate more on things that you can do as a couple and therefore, unless your partner has the exact same interests as you, your personal hobbies and interests get put to one side. You might find that when you’re with someone, it’s harder to find the time to dedicate to your personal goals and development, but when you’re single, you have all the time in the world to do just that.
Again, try not to fall into the trap of thinking that you need someone else in order to be able to enjoy things. You can get lots of joy out of doing things alone, like hiking or going to concerts, but if you’re keen to share the experience, consider joining a group.
In terms of personal development, why not try and broaden your skill set? Whether it’s learning a new language or taking a course to extend your professional qualifications, there are lots of ways you can reach your goals and develop yourself on a personal level. Having the time to invest in yourself is one of the greatest advantages of being single. By spending time developing yourself and reaching your goals, there’s no need to feel like time alone is time wasted.
Another way you can develop yourself and learn to be more comfortable with yourself is by going to therapy.
Therapy services at The Awareness Centre
Lots of people have unresolved issues that they perhaps haven’t yet found the time to confront or tackle. If you’re struggling with being alone, getting over past relationships, or if there are issues in your life that you haven’t yet had the chance to tackle, going to therapy can be hugely useful.
Whether you have unresolved trauma or maybe realised things about yourself in past romantic relationships that you want to change before you commit again, such as being co- or counter-dependent, therapy is a great way to do this. Therapy can help with personal growth and mental health overall, and it can help you confront some unpleasant feelings, such as if you feel lonely or if you feel uncomfortable being a single person. It can help you understand why you feel the way you do and help you move on from these feelings, ultimately helping you find a healthy relationship when the time comes.
At The Awareness Centre, we have a team of highly qualified therapists and counsellors who can help you in the way you need. If you are looking for help on how to be single, reach out to The Awareness Centre today. To find out more about the services offered at our private practice and how we might be able to assist you, please contact us.