We’re often taught it’s impossible to be happy without a partner. Everywhere you look, you’ll see articles about how to conduct yourself on dates, why you need romantic love and what you can do to find it.
If you’re single, it can feel like you simply have no right to enjoy yourself if you don’t have a significant other.
So, is it possible to learn how to enjoy being single after a breakup, or after a long time spent yearning for a partner? Absolutely! It just requires some shifts in your underlying beliefs, and a willingness to emerge from your comfort zone now and again.
It can be challenging due to those social messages we all receive the importance of romance, but once you start to thrive as a single person you may never look back. We’ll explore how to enjoy being single, whether it’s in the short term or a more permanent lifestyle.
6 Ways To Enjoy Being Single
The first thing you need to do is believe that you can and will create a happy future as a single person. Without this mentality, you’ll constantly be sucked back into a place of wallowing in misery or feeling disempowered.
To shift your thinking, try looking at success stories of satisfied single people, and think back to personal role models who have led joyful and productive lives in spite of not having partners.
In addition, it’s important to note that your way of enjoying yourself a single person may not be the same as someone else’s. After all, you have unique values, preferences, and needs.
However, there are at least six broad ways of having a good time without a partner, and you can then tailor these ideas to suit your own personality. Let’s look at the six things you can start doing today.
1. Take Advantage Of Your Freedom
When you’re in a relationship, everything is about compromise and negotiation. If you want to make a major purchase, plan a trip or move to a new house, you have to consult your partner and hash out potential differences of opinion.
In contrast, one of the biggest and most positive benefits of being single is the freedom it affords you. What would you like to do with that autonomy? You might want to visit the other side of the world, book a spontaneous vacation to somewhere nearby, or buy something that might be considered selfish if you were in a relationship.
The only limits here are the limits of your imagination. Your life is entirely your own to define in a way that it simply can’t be once you’re coupled up.
And if you’re ever wondering whether there are benefits of being single forever, remind yourself of the freedom you enjoy right now. It can be yours for as long as you want it to be.
2. Have A Career Change
Many people in relationships also feel stuck in their jobs. Once again, if you have a partner you have to consult the other person about big choices like this.
For example, you might have to consider children, or the desire to have children in the future, and you may have to persuade your partner to uproot their life. The result can be an experience of being stuck in a job you hate. Or, even just one that is “okay” but doesn’t make you feel fulfilled.
As a single person, you can choose to apply for any job without worrying about having to provide for or appease anyone else.
You can retrain in a new field, go overseas for work, and experiment with all sorts of ways of using your talents. You’ll never have to carry that resentment some people feel when they believe their partner has held them back from reaching their full potential.
3. Learn About Yourself
Another reason to enjoy being single is that you have a lot of time and energy for rewarding forms of personal development. One aspect of this is the challenging sort of work you might do through therapy.
This can help work through old wounds and to create new patterns of behavior. This may not be fun in the short-term, but it can create the preconditions for you to have a more fun life.
On a lighter note, when you’re single you can also take the time to think about what you really need from life. You don’t need to split that compassion between yourself and another person.
So, you can do a daily mindfulness practice uninterrupted, take a duvet day, or be as whimsical as you want about trying new hobbies.
Far from being selfish, this type of personal development can inspire gratitude and give you the resilience required to make a difference in the world.
4. Find Your “Thing”
Yes, there are lots of perks associated with having a good romantic relationship. However, a common complaint of couples is that having a shared life can stop each individual from finding “their thing.” This is especially true of people who found a suitable partner very young.
In other words, exactly the sort of person we usually envy!
The key thought here is that we all have at least one special thing that makes us feel excited, passionate and alive. As a single person, you have better chances of finding that, and of maximally pursuing it.
Plus, once you have found it, research suggests that this special purpose or source of inspiration can make you just as happy as a good relationship would.
Once again, the underlying message here is that there’s definitely more than one way to live a joyful and meaningful life.
5. Give Back To Others
Being single doesn’t only provide you with more time to spend on yourself. It also gives you unique opportunities to give back to the world around you.
For example, you might sign up to volunteer with a charity, use some of your free time to help your community or work at a helpline for people who need someone to talk to.
People who do volunteer work reliably report that it enhances their sense of self-boosts feelings of gratitude and increases self-confidence.
While your primary motivation might be selfless, it doesn’t hurt to know that you’ll get something out of the experience too!
As a bonus, this kind of helping work also gives you chances to connect with others. You’ll speak to people you may not normally have encountered, and may well make some good friends along the way.
Doing something challenging and ethically significant with a group of other people can help you to create and cement bonds.
6. Appreciate Having Your Own Time
Finally, as a single person, you can have a deeper appreciation for your own time. Instead of having to do something with your partner when you’re really too tired, you can honor your own needs by spending the evening inside.
As you get used to being single, you’ll also learn to enjoy being alone. The idea of so much quiet time can be intimidating if you’ve just left a long-term relationship, but it’s very good for cognitive development and self-care.
To start appreciating having your own time, try making a list of 5-10 things that are good for you but that requires being on your own. You’ll probably come up with more activities than you think, and there’s nothing to stop you from doing some of them today.
As with many of the items on this list, the trick to actually enjoying time spent alone is to experiment with new ways of using your time as a single person.
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