Why being single isn’t such a bad thing

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Being single can sometimes seem to be an insurmountable hurdle, particularly if you are single through no choice of your own. Evenings that would have been spent with a partner suddenly seem long and dull and all your friends have families of their own and don’t have the time to hang out with you. However, being single can actually be a smart move sometimes. Itdoesn’t have to be depressing and, once you’ve got used to it, you may even find that you’re enjoying yourself.

The most obvious advantage of being single is that you can completely be yourself. There is no-one around to tell you what you should be doing or wearing. You can look after yourself properly, ensuring that you eat well, sleep well and have pampering time. Some people find themselves forced to compromise when they are in a relationship and, sometimes without realising, find that over the years, they are moving further and further away from the person that they naturally are. Being single gives you the time to rediscover yourself, re-focus your plans and achieve what it is that you want.

Few people come out of a relationship and say, with hindsight, that it was perfect. It may be that the ex-partner was controlling, or bad-tempered and violent, or maybe just plain lazy. If the relationship didn’t work, it is almost certainly for a reason. You may have been clinging on your ex for some time, prepared to put up with their faults just because you are scared of being alone. Once you have had time to grieve, however, you will hopefully realise that you had a lucky escape. All the pressure of fighting for someone wrong for you, which perhaps you didn’t even realise you were burdening, is suddenly take away and you will feel a great deal of relief.

It is easy to get into a rut when you are in a relationship. Your life revolves around your partner; when they want to eat and what they want to do. You may well have been feeling slightly resentful that your plans have been put on hold – perhaps you want to change your job, but can’t because of pressure from your partner. Or maybe you don’t have time to follow a hobby because of time invested in your partner. Being alone means that a whole new world opens up for you. Suddenly, the world is your oyster. You are free to go where you want when you want and do what you want and it can be exhilarating. If you’ve always wanted to learn Chinese, enrol in language lessons. Being single doesn’t mean that you have to be bored and lonely.

Equally, being single gives you the opportunity to meet new people and make new friends. Often, without realising, we are surrounded by the same people for years on end and it is hard to find the time to meet new people. Being single means that you can widen your social circle. This can be an exciting experience. Meeting new people means that you expand your horizons, which may in turn lead to other new experiences. Of course, being in a relationship doesn’t mean that you can’t meet new people; but often we need a shove in the right direction, and there is nothing like the thought of being lonely to do this.

Some people are naturally loners and really enjoy their own company. Or they really like to play the field. However, thanks to the pressures of a society that dictates we should all be in couples if possible, they force themselves into a relationship. This is yet another case where it is smart to be single – being with someone just for the sake of it is never a good idea, no matter how much your mother may approve. Get to grips with what it is YOU want from life and stick to your guns. Don’t let anyone or anything dictate to you. In the long run, it will be bad for your mental health, and probably that of the people around you.

So many people seem to be scared of being single, believing that they will be considered a failure. However, life is what you make it, and there are most definitely situations where you would be better off alone. Then you can take time out, re-focus, and decide on the direction you want to take in life, after which you will be much stronger and ready to face the next relationship – if that is what you want to do, of course.