8 Reasons You Should Love Being Single
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It’s an opportunity to define what you want.
There is a lot of internal and external pressure put on those who are single to find “the one” or “finally settle down,” that it’s easy to feel like something is wrong with you if you’re still single over a certain age.
Spoiler alert: There isn’t. You’re not broken.
In fact, not only is singledom something to not be ashamed of, it’s something you can (and should) love and embrace.
Here are 8 reasons why:
1: It shows that you don’t lower your standards.
Many people think that if you’re single, it means you can’t find someone. But, in reality it’s smarter to wait for the right person to come along, than to settle for all of the wrong ones.
How many people do you know that are in unhappy relationships because they’ve settled just for the sake of being with someone?
They figure it’s “better than nothing.”
But, it’s not.
In fact, lowering your standards and being with the wrong person can make you feel even more alone than staying single would’ve — because someone is physically present but emotionally absent, and it feels like there’s nowhere else to turn.
Choosing to stay single even when sub-par options are staring you in the face is a sign of strength and commitment to your boundaries and standards – take pride in staying true to yourself.
2: It gives you time to learn about yourself.
The most important relationship you’ll ever have is with yourself. If that one isn’t healthy, none of your others will be.
Often times “serial monogamists” have a difficult time finding a long term healthy relationship because their identity has always been tied to being with another person.
They are uncomfortable being single and therefore repeat the pattern outlined in #1 over and over again.
Being single is an opportunity to take a breath and really explore who you are and what you want (and need) in a relationship.
You can do the inner work and get clear on your identity and purpose so you’ll know when the right person comes along, and even more easily separate yourself from the wrong ones.
3: It gives you time to learn about other people, too.
Finding the right person isn’t just about knowing what you want, it’s about knowing what you don’t want. And sometimes, the best way to find that out is through experiencing it.
Experience through dating new people, going to new places, making new friends…
When you’re single, you have full autonomy over where you go and who you spend your time with. Use the opportunity to explore, get to know people, and have fun with the process.
In sales, you’re trained that every “no” gets you closer to a “yes,” which is why the more calls you make, the better you’ll eventually do.
Dating is a similar world: The more of the wrong people you can recognize and weed out, the easier it will be to find the right one.
4: You can make sure you’ve fully moved on.
Past relationships don’t always just…end.
Sometimes you will stay in touch with someone you shouldn’t have even been with in the first place, or you carry emotional baggage into your next relationship from the bad experiences you had.
We all need the proper time to move forward mentally and emotionally before we’ll truly be ready to fully give ourselves to someone new — and being single allows for the mental and emotional space needed to do this.
When you no longer feel pulled back to an ex, or pushed forward to someone who isn’t right for you, you’ll enjoy the true autonomy of choosing what’s best for yourself because you’ve shed the weight of past grievances.
5: You’ll never feel trapped.
The harsh reality is that I’ve spoken to a lot of people who feel trapped in their relationship. This happens at all stages of the game, from early — on when they don’t want to break a heart, to years down the road when they don’t want to break up a marriage, a family, or a household.
The further down this road we go, the heavier the pressure becomes.
If you’re with the wrong person but are married, or have children, or own a home together, the prospect of walking away can be deeply troubling and overwhelming.
This is why we must remain honest with ourselves at every stage of the relationship building process and address any serious concerns that arise.
In doing so, we prevent ourselves from feeling like a prisoner of circumstance and maintain the freedom to remove ourselves if things don’t feel right or have the promise of a future.
6: You can travel and explore.
When I was single, I was getting on a plane any chance I got. I found myself in New York City for dinner at a moment’s notice on more than one occasion (I live outside of Boston).
It was easy to pack a bag and go somewhere for a night, a month, or even a year (when I lived in LA).
The experiences I had and the people I met during these times in my life completely shaped and transformed me into a new person.
It taught my valuable life lessons and put me at tables with incredible people I never would’ve met otherwise.
It brought me personal and professional opportunities that I never thought possible.
And most importantly — it provided me with life experiences that will remain memories and stories forever.
Let me be clear: I’m not saying that being single is the only time you should travel and explore. It can be deeply fulfilling to share these experiences with the right person along the journey.
What I am saying is that it’s much easier to be mobile when your schedule and budget is the only one to consider.
You can go wherever you want, see whatever you want, and do whatever you want.
Being single is an opportunity to see the world around you through fresh eyes and embrace the people who cross your path.
Many a person has found themselves yearning for these experiences after passing up the chance when they had it. Carpe diem.
7: You can fully focus on your passions.
So, you want to dive head-first into your career or business? Now is the time.
You want to Eat, Pray, Love your way through Thailand? Now is the time.
You want to give 72 cats a foster home until they are adopted? Now is the time.
No matter what sets your soul on fire, the truth about being single is that you can be as selfish (I mean that in a good way) with your time as you want to be.
You get to choose where you put your energy and focus. There isn’t a partner who will make you feel guilty, or pressured, or obligated to split your time.
You can fully and unabashedly plunge into the depths of your passions and go full throttle for as long as you want.
I maintain that the right partner will support and encourage you along your journey and will love to see you thriving in whatever path you choose for yourself, but the simple truth is that relationships require work, commitment, and time — and balance between your love and your work is required.
When you’re single, this balance doesn’t need to exist — so build the foundation now, and then you can weave the right partner in when the time is right.
8: You’ll find out what YOU are truly capable of.
Here’s another uncomfortable truth: Many adults have spent so many years relying on other people that they become dependent.
Real love is about being independent first, and choosing someone who enhances your life. Not being dependent on them so they can manage your life.
We never really know what the future is going to bring. We could lose a spouse, or a loved one, and be left to our own devices.
We could face a breakup or divorce or a complete unraveling of something we’ve built alongside someone else.
What happens then?
If you challenge yourself during your single years, you’ll know exactly what you’re capable of and have the courage and confidence to dust yourself off after any challenge.
What’s more — you’ll be less likely to settle for someone who drains your energy because you know you don’t need them in order to survive.
You are a fully capable, confident, strong, and independent human being — that’s how you’ve made it this far into adult life.
The person you choose to be with should remind you of that and magnify your strengths — not make you doubt or forget them.
When you know who you are, what you deserve, and what you’re capable of — you’ll simply never slip into a situation where you’ll get anything less than that.
It’s not selfish to focus on yourself and build the life that makes you happy. It’s necessary when becoming the person that you’ll be proud to be.
At the end of the day, that’s what matters most.
James Michael Sama is an internationally recognized speaker, author, and personal development coach.
Finding success in creating hundreds of viral articles and videos on building limitless confidence and healthier relationships, James has accumulated over 38 million visitors to his website and a collective social media following of over 400,000.
James speaks at live events and in the media across the U.S. and has become a go-to expert with outlets such as CNN, Bravo, The New York Post, The Huffington Post, The Daily Beast, CNBC, The Boston Globe, CBS, and more.
This article was originally published on Medium.
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Valid points, especially for a relatively young person. But for a 51 year old like me, who at this point in his life knows A LOT about himself and about others, who has definitely moved on from past relationships, who does not like to travel and explore by himself and has few friends available to accompany him on vacations (because they are either married and or parents, and or not doing well financially), who has always had plenty of free time to focus on his passions even when he was in serious relationships, and who has never been dependent upon anyone since graduating college 27 years ago, I really hate being single. And, sadly, the older I get, the more likely it seems I will remain single, as I don’t want to lower my standards, but it seems like my standards (i.e. I want a young looking woman who is very good looking, emotionally available, and who does not want kids or who has young kids), are pricing me out of the market of otherwise good candidates.