By Wendy Rose Gould
The pressure associated with being single can tug at your heart. You might feel a sting at the “plus one” wording on that wedding invitation, or feel bummed scrolling through a social feed filled with images of couples on Valentine’s Day.
If partnership is your end goal, trust that it will happen in time. Meanwhile, it’s important not to feel self-conscious about your single status. Finding joy in being single is actually beneficial to your own personal growth and can improve the partnerships you create in the future. For proof of that, read through these five reasons why you should never, ever feel self-conscious about being single.
Being single means you’re no longer in an unsatisfying relationship
If you’re recently single—or otherwise still dealing with the aftermath of a relationship that didn’t pan out—find solace in the fact that you’re in a better place than you once were. Your single status means that you’re no longer in a relationship headed nowhere. Rather, you’re back on the path that leads to a place that’s much more satisfying.
“Remind yourself that your situation is your own. You’re free to be and do what best suits you,” says psychologist Dr. Carolyn Rubenstein. “While being single at times may be lonely, people can also feel lonely in a marriage. Being single allows you to live life on your terms until you find the right partner who adds extra sparkle to your life (if that’s what you want).”
You get to rebuild a life on your own terms
Being single gives you a chance to reset: prioritize the things you care about most, spend the weekend according to your whims, eat the meals you want, and vacation wherever you choose. In other words, the time you spent focused on your relationship–or compromising for a partner’s needs and wants—can now instead be redirected inward.
“Being single gives you a unique opportunity to shift focus inward and really get to know who you are and build your own happiness outside of a relationship,” explains dating coach Rikki Dymond. “This is powerful, as creating happiness and living an authentic life allows you to enjoy being single and sets you up to build and maintain personal boundaries in dating, which will lead to happier and more fulfilling relationships.”
Zero in on things you truly enjoy doing and that fill your cup with positive energy. As a perk, you’ll be able to determine whether you want a partner whose lifestyle aligns with the one you’ve created for yourself.
You’ve got more time to spend with your crew
Not having a partner frees up your calendar to nurture the other relationships in your life—and that spells a whole lot of fun. Dr. Cheryl Fraser, relationship psychologist, says, “Take this time to reinvest in your friendships and ‘date’ your besties. Bring your best self to your friends the way you do to a new date.”
Also invest time in your familial relationships. That might mean hosting a game night at your place, penciling in rotating dinners, or setting up more video calls. Love comes in many forms, says Dr. Fraser, and a healthy support network is vital to our wellbeing, so remember to celebrate those you love.
You can take a beat to look inward
All of us are subject to dating and relationship patterns, and being single invites us to more closely examine those patterns and assess whether they’re working for us. “Many of us inadvertently get stuck in a loop of choosing the ‘same type’ of partner over and over again,” Dymond says. Having time to yourself can allow you to examine what you really want, and to get back into dating or pursue a relationship more intentionally.
You can enjoy dating again
Whether you’re ready to find someone you connect with deeply, or you’re simply looking for some fun experiences, dating can open up the door to meeting new and fascinating people. It provides an opportunity to try new restaurants in town and indulge in adventurous excursions. You can feel out which types of potential partners you relate to most, figure out what’s not working for you, and have fun along the way.
Being single might make you feel self-conscious at times, but there’s true joy in being a free bird with the world at your fingertips. The world is yours to take, and the future is bright.