It’s something that has been instilled in me from a very young age without me even being aware of it. For as far back as I can remember, I’ve been inundated with images of people meeting, falling in love, getting married, and living happily ever after. These subliminal messages were everywhere: on TV, in movies, at family get-togethers, at school; the message being: you will not be happy until you find someone to cling to like a barnacle on a whale for the rest of your life.
It was never explicitly said but I knew that the only way I would be allowed to leave home and be “on my own” was if I got married. There was no ‘go away to college’ option or ‘rent an apartment with a friend’ option; there was the ‘go to a college nearby so that I make it home every night’ option and the ‘wait until Prince Charming comes and sweeps me off my feet and takes me away to live with him in his kingdom’ option. So when I was younger, I would fantasize about getting married primarily as a means of escaping the life I had come to hate at home.
One problem with this was that I never focused on finding ways that I could make myself happy. I was mentally reliant on some unknown person to make me happy. It wasn’t until I got married at a young age that I fully realized that I had short-changed myself. It wasn’t until I got married that I understood the value of being single.
Why Being Single is Awesome
1. It’s the perfect time to find out what you like/don’t like
Would you believe me if I told you that one of the questions I find the most difficult to answer is: What do you like to do? How can that be, you ask? Well, in all honesty, it’s because I don’t know!
What do you like to do?
For various reasons, (financial, religious, parental), when I was growing up, I was discouraged from pursuing many things I had an interest in, ranging from chess to gymnastics.
So what’s my go-to answer when asked what I like to do? A nervous chuckle, followed by: “Umm…I like to read.”
Now, don’t get me wrong; reading is one of my absolute favorite things to do. Buuuttt…I want to explore different things, discover new interests, and get excited about something else besides Agatha Christie once in a while. And being single gives me the perfect opportunity to do that on my own terms, unapologetically, and with no need to compromise. I love it.
2. You get to meet new people
I just have a feeling that I haven’t met all the awesome people that are going to influence my life yet: new friends, new mentors, new friends that are like family. And the perfect time to meet these potentially incredible people is while I’m out there, single, free, and exploring things that interest me. Great friendships can bloom from partaking in a shared interest. So instead of focusing most of your attention on a single person, being single is a great time to expand your circle of genuine friends.
3. You learn to be OK with Being Alone
I tend to be a clingy person. I will be the first to admit that I have abandonment issues to the point that if someone gets up to use the bathroom, I’ll be like: “Where are you going???! Don’t leave me!” But since my divorce and moving into my own place, I’ve become waaaayyy less clingy. Since there isn’t always someone here to interact with, I’ve had to become comfortable with being by myself.
Being alone has given me time to reflect on feelings and emotions that I have kept bottled up for years. It has allowed me to analyze these feelings and begin the process of self-healing. I’ve started to become a more emotionally healthy individual and it’s by putting my time as a single woman to good use that I’ve been able to do that. I wouldn’t trade that for anything.
4. You’re Able to Build Up Your Self-Esteem
I know this is not the case for everyone but I always knew that my self-esteem could use a little, no, a lot of work. I mean, I know I’m smart and that I can be funny but I don’t think I really thought highly of myself, which may be why I let people walk all over me and found it hard to stick up for myself. But being single has served as an epiphany of sorts for me. The combination of seeking out things I like, having conversations with strangers about things we have in common, and using my alone time to work things out mentally have given my self-esteem a huge boost! I now have a better understanding of who I am and why I am the way I am, so much so that I can no longer hold back from expressing myself and sticking to my guns in situations that would have caused me to waver in the past.
Self-esteem: a realistic respect for or favorable impression of oneself; self-respect
- Gives you a chance to work on yourself; to develop your good qualities, and to work on your bad ones
- Helps you discover yourself
- Lets you explore your world on your own terms
- Improves your self-esteem
- Helps you grow as an individual
Being single is a time to do you until you find someone that adds true value to your life.
You aren’t going to be single for the rest of your life, but while you are, why not see the benefits it offers and take full advantage of them?
What other benefits does being single offer?