I don’t like to label myself as knowledgeable or experienced in any particular field, but if I had to then being single would probably come close. For some, romance has been blossoming since the early school days, which means that I’ve had years of witnessing different relationships around me – young and old, successful and unsuccessful. Maybe it’s controversial to say that these observations can provide us with at least a degree of wisdom in the romance department, but I think in some ways being on our own can teach us more than a relationship ever could. Learning how to be single is crucial.
Unfortunately we’re living in an era where being single comes with a negative stigma often confused with loneliness. Our friends and family are more eager to meet our partner than we are, and when they discover that we’re ‘still single’, their automatic response is, “Aww, don’t worry. You’ll find someone.” It’s like our relationship status (or lack thereof) is a magnet for pitying glances and words of reassurance, when in actual fact, it’s a position that we could be taking full advantage of if only we knew how. Here are tips on how to be single!
1. Stop Feeling Sorry For Yourself.
Throwing a pity part and convincing yourself that fulfillment is nestled in the heart of a relationship might seem harmless, but will only plague your mind with negative thoughts. Scoffing whenever you hear the word ‘valentine’s’ and yearning for someone to ‘complete’ you will actually give you more of a negative outlook on relationships than a positive one. It’s time for us to recognise that being single is not the end of the world, and that actually – it’s quite alright.
2. Be Selfish.
Not having a significant other means that there is one less person to run your decisions by. Of course a healthy relationship should have freedom and independence, but alongside it still comes consideration and a large helping of compromise. So accept the last-minute invitation to drinks with your friends, sleep across both sides of the bed, eat at the restaurant that you like, watch the film that you want to see. The only person to consult is yourself. Enjoy it. This is one of the most crucial tips for how to be single.
3. Learn About Yourself (Instead of Someone Else…)
For many, learning the different ribbons that weave together to make up your partner’s character is the most exciting part of a new relationship. Sadly a lot of people are so caught up in learning about a possible romantic interest that they forget to learn about themselves. Maybe it’s cliché, but how can we know if we’re compatible with someone if we don’t know ourselves enough to judge? By making a conscious effort to spend time with yourself and step outside of your comfort zone you might be surprised by the things that you learn, and by the things that a special someone can enjoy learning one day too.
4. Cherish Your Friendships.
It’s a common phrase that relationships come and go, but friendship is for life. Both are equally valid forms of affection, but can sometimes counteract each other. Those who become so engrossed in their love-life that they forget the importance of friendship, or those who move overseas with their partner and you hardly see them anymore. The friendships that you have in this moment are something to be treasured. You have all the love you need if you surround yourself with lovely people. Maybe you’re only close to one friend – allow this to motivate you to hold onto it with both hands. Go to the cinema and see the film you both want to, eat at the fancy restaurant, book the flight to Paris. Trips for two aren’t just for couples!
5. Stop Comparing Yourself To Everyone Else.
So your best friend just got engaged and you’re still single. Someone you went to school with is having a baby and you’re still single. Your uncle’s friend’s neighbour’s daughter is travelling the world with her boyfriend and you’re still single. Guess what? It’s not a big deal. Finding someone who you wholeheartedly want to spend your future with takes time, but it’s worth taking the time now and enjoying the payoff later. It isn’t a race, and if you remember that then you’ll only have yourself to thank when you can look back knowing that your intentions were true.
6. Don’t Be Bitter.
Most importantly, don’t let your single status turn you bitter towards love. It’s easy to pull a face when there’s a sickly romantic scene on television or roll your eyes at the couple walking down the street holding hands. But why? Enjoy the situation knowing that you are free to be just as mushy and romantic one day if you choose to, but that it’s perfectly okay to not have it right in this moment. Instead you have the opportunity to prepare yourself for the future and explore what kind of person you want to be so that when the time does come, you can be seen for who you truly are.
It’s time to start appreciating the moment rather than letting loneliness and melancholy rest heavy on our shoulders, or desperately seeking a relationship to ‘fulfil’ us. There’s so much more to life than who sits across from us in the restaurant, so enjoy it. After all…if we’re going to be single, why not excel at it? Hopefully these tips on how to be single are useful.