Have you recently broken up with a significant other and find yourself struggling to be happy? Or maybe you've been single too long and feel like you'll never be happy until you find your soulmate? It might seem like you'll never be able to be happy and single, but it's really not so different than being happy under any other conditions. By finding out exactly what you're passionate about and cultivating its presence in your life as much as possible, you can learn to be happy in a way that doesn't depend on your relationship status. Keep reading to learn more about how to be happy and single.
Part 1 of 2:Considering the Benefits of Single Life
1Consider the health benefits of being single. Being single is associated with a decreased risk of adverse health effects from dysfunctional marriages or intimate relationships. Some studies have shown that bad relationships can actually make you physically unhealthy. But singles are more likely to be fit and healthy. Singles also tend to go to the gym more, eat better, and have lower stress levels.
Single people tend to be thinner than people who are in a relationship. One study found that people gain an average of 14 or more pounds after starting a relationship.
Single people also get more, good quality sleep than people who share a bed with a partner.
Single women have better mental health than married women, especially married women who have children.
2Appreciate your freedom to spend your time how you want. When you are in a relationship, you can't disregard the needs and desires of your partner. Sometimes you have to do things that you don't want to do in order to keep your partner happy. But when you are single, you can spend your time how you want. You don't need to worry about pleasing anyone but yourself. That means that you have more time for your hobbies, personal interests, career, and overall well-being. Enjoy this freedom while you are single!Expert SourceAllison Broennimann, Ph.DClinical PsychologistExpert Interview. 11 December 2020.
Spend extra time on your hobbies. Did you want to write a song? Climb a mountain? Finish that big history book? Now is your chance! Make goals for yourself, and feel proud of your new accomplishments. Do something fun for yourself.
Work hard at your school or career. When you're single, it's easier to put in more work, because no significant other needs your attention. Try taking on an extra project, or putting additional effort into a difficult part. Enjoy the raised eyebrows as you impress people with what a hard worker you are.
Pamper yourself. Give yourself some extra care, and set aside time just for you. Read a good book, take a long hot bath, put on your fuzziest bathrobe, and listen to your favorite music. Now you can take extra good care of yourself.
3Consider the financial benefits of being single. When you are in a relationship, you may have to deal with a spouse who is irresponsible with his or her money. This can cause financial problems for you as well. But when you are single, you don't have to worry about anyone else's spending and saving habits. You can use the money you earn how you want to use it.
4Enjoy the ability to maintain friendships and create new ones. When you are in a relationship, it is much harder to maintain relationships with friends and make new friends because your partner consumes most of your time and affection. But when you are single, you have more time to devote to your friends and to go out and meet new people. Remind yourself of this when you are feeling down for being single. Consider the relationships that would suffer if you had a significant other who occupied most of your time and energy.Expert SourceAllison Broennimann, Ph.DClinical PsychologistExpert Interview. 11 December 2020.
Work on the relationships you care most about, and build yourself a strong support network. Spend time with your loved ones, talk about your life and your fears, and you will feel more and more loved.
5Savor the less frequent, but more enjoyable sex. When you are in a relationship, you may have sex every day or at least a few times a week. When you are single, your sex life may be much less active than that. But studies have shown that although singles tend to have less sex, they enjoy it more than people who are in a relationship.
6Know that you have the ability to seek out romantic relationships if you want to. If you are still having a hard time seeing all of the benefits of being single, keep in mind that you can always seek out a romantic relationship if you are truly unhappy. Being single is not for everyone and some people thrive when they have the love and companionship of one person. Remind yourself that you can always seek out a relationship if you prefer.Expert SourceAllison Broennimann, Ph.DClinical PsychologistExpert Interview. 11 December 2020.
Consider an online dating site to find people who are also looking for a committed relationship. Seeking out others who are interested in a relationship and not just casual dating may save you from some heartbreak later down the road.
Part 2 of 2:Enjoying the Benefits of Single Life
1Ignore media depictions of happy couples. Part of the reason why some people may feel unhappy when they are single is because of media depictions that reinforce the idea that we need to be in a relationship to be happy. Try your best to ignore this message because it is not true. Avoid romantic comedies and magazines that reinforce the idea that being single is bleak and being in a relationship is bliss.
Depictions of being a single woman may be just as troubling because they are often idealized (a superwoman who has it all) or villainous (a sad lonely woman who has nothing). Neither of these depictions are realistic, so do your best to recognize them as false representations of what it's like to be single.
2Focus on becoming the best person you can be. Being single is an opportunity to focus on yourself and work towards your ideal vision of who you want to be. Take classes, work out, grow a garden, do volunteer work, go to therapy, or do whatever your heart desires. Just remember that everything you do should be for you!
Concentrate on yourself while you are single and figure out what you like and don't like. Developing a stronger sense of who you are will help you as you go through life and it will also help you to identify people who you would be truly compatible with(if you ever choose to enter into a relationship again).
Take up a new hobby! Learn guitar, join a tap class, grow a garden, write a novel, cook some gourmet meals! Whatever you've ever wanted to do, do it now. Trying something new can lead to new skills, friendships, and increased self-esteem.
3Treat yourself. It is important to maintain a positive self-image while you are single. Buy yourself a new outfit, get your nails done, treat yourself to a spa day, or get a massage. Just because you don't have someone to impress or please doesn't mean you should stop doing nice things for yourself. You are a strong, independent person who deserves the best. So give it to yourself!Expert SourceAllison Broennimann, Ph.DClinical PsychologistExpert Interview. 11 December 2020.
4Surround yourself with supportive people. Whether you've found yourself in the middle of a dating cold streak or recently gotten out of a serious relationship, spending too much time alone has the potential to make you feel even worse. Try to make plans with people as much as possible. If you don't feel like any of your friends are supportive, consider joining a club or a gym to make some new friends.Expert SourceAllison Broennimann, Ph.DClinical PsychologistExpert Interview. 11 December 2020.
While being supported by others might seem like a luxury that not everyone needs or can afford, psychologists now know that strong social relationships are actually essential to emotional well-being and physical health.Jetten, J, Haslam, C, & Haslam, AS, (2012), <i>The Social Cure: Identity, Health and Well-Being</i>, ISBN 978-1848720213 So while you don't necessarily need to be in an intimate relationship with another person to be happy, feeling supported by a group of people who you trust can be an essential part of being single and happy.
5Encourage yourself. Say things that you like about yourself to help yourself feel happy. Positive daily affirmations can help you to feel happier day by day. Take a few moments every day to look at yourself in the mirror and say something encouraging to yourself.Expert SourceAllison Broennimann, Ph.DClinical PsychologistExpert Interview. 11 December 2020. You can either say something that you believe about yourself or something that you would like to believe about yourself. Some examples of positive affirmations include:
“I am intelligent.”
“I am a caring friend.”
“People enjoy spending time with me.”
6Become an optimist. Being optimistic can help you to feel happier whether you are single, married, divorced, or widowed. Practicing optimism will help you to stay focused on the things that you like about yourself and your situation and stop dwelling on things you don't like about yourself or your situation.Trustworthy SourceMayo ClinicEducational website from one of the world's leading hospitalsGo to source
For example, instead of dwelling on something you dislike about being single, remind yourself of all the things you do like about being single, such as being able to flirt without feeling guilty and being able to do what you want with your free time.
Try keeping a gratitude diary. Every night, think of three things you are grateful for and write them down. Doing this every day will help you to develop a more positive outlook over time and it can even help you to sleep better and enjoy better health.Trustworthy SourceGreater Good MagazineJournal published by UC Berkeley's Greater Good Science Center, which uses scientific research to promote happier livingGo to source