While there’s no shame in being single, it’s hard not to get down on yourself when you find romance glaring you in your face wherever you look. From Netflix releasing a new rom-com every other day to all the songs on the charts being about love, it feels inescapable. But contrary to popular belief, it’s actually not that hard to be single and happy. It might seem impossible because of the stereotypical image it conjures up (that of single people being unhappy, miserable and lonely), but the truth is that single people are just as happy as those in committed relationships. Their lives are also full of love, meaning and purpose. Happy singles are not an anomaly; they are the norm. So, here are some things you can do to make the most out of being single:
1. Make Self-Care A Priority
Self-care isn’t just taking a bubble bath or journaling (although both of those things are valid and welcome). It’s also making sure you’re getting enough sleep, creating a better work-life balance or practising better methods of communications. You have the opportunity to listen to your body and mind, pay attention to your needs and desires without having to compromise for someone else. So devote the time, energy and effort that you would to a partner to yourself instead!
2. Grow Your Other Relationships
The Ancient Greeks had seven different words for love, categorising it into various forms. This included romantic love, the love between a parent and child, deep friendship and self-love. So to think that the only way to have love in your life is through romance, is unfair. Devote time to your friends and family. Share your joys and sorrows, your highs and lows with them. Being single does not have to mean being alone.
3. Re-Evaluate How You See Yourself
Not being in a relationship does not amount to failure. Your worth is so much more than your relationship status. Steer clear from idealising relationships – you don’t need to wait for love to live better.
4. Let Yourself Feel
If and when you do feel hopeless and lonely, don’t berate yourself for it. It’s natural for anyone to feel that way, even for people in relationships. Acknowledge your feelings instead of bottling them up and know that it’s okay to lean on your loved ones for support during this time. Call your friends and vent to them, have a movie night with a sappy rom-com and some ice cream to cry your heart out – do what you need to do to process and release your emotional burdens.
5. Avoid Media And People Who Perpetuate The Fantasy Of Being In A Relationship
While this is only possible to a certain extent, it is still important to recognise these depictions as false. Feeding into these stereotyped images is toxic and harmful for your mental health. Don’t be afraid to be a little selfish and take a step back.
6. There Is No One-Stop Shop For Happiness
And relationships are definitely not it. A partner cannot make you happy but you can be happy together, which is why it is crucial to learn to be happy on your own. Use this time to learn about yourself and work on improving your mental and emotional health by developing self-compassion and self-awareness. Psychologist Dr Jennifer Taitz discusses this in her best-selling book, How to Be Single and Happy, and offers a guide to becoming a more content individual through mindfulness, breaking negative thought cycles and other scientifically backed methods. In short: happier individuals are happier partners!