There are many things people won't tell you about what being single is really like out of fear that maybe, just maybe, you might enjoy your singlehood more than being in a relationship. As much as we like to champion the idea of being independent, and developing who we are through our own choices and experiences, we still seem to live in a world that encourages partnerships, especially for women. It's like electing to remain single means you're either bitter from past romantic experiences, or that you're somehow closed off emotionally. For whatever reason, some people just can't fathom that you want to be alone, and you actually like it.
But for those ready to tune out those suggesting that you should be living according to the notion of a “biological clock,” there are about a million reasons why remaining single may be the best choice for you right now. Though it's not true that any one lifestyle is better than another, what matters most is which lifestyle you feel is best for you. And if that means spending your days as a free agent, taking things how they come and working on yourself all the while, then so be it. Here are some of the things particularly close-minded people won't tell you about being single and not dating.
1. Being Alone Can Be A Really Great Thing
Not that I have to tell you this, but it's still extremely important. I think sometimes we're afraid to be alone because we might start to feel lonely but those things aren't necessarily correlative. Taking the time to be by yourself, whether it's a night in spent with Gilmore Girls reruns, or even doing brunch by yourself, helps you to shut out the world and focus on you. What's more, spending time with just you can help you appreciate the things about yourself you didn't quite love before.
2. You May Feel Less Stress
Relationships have a way of taking you through a series of highs and lows in the most emotionally extreme capacity we can know. When you're ready to be involved with someone, you can take the rollercoaster as it comes, but choosing to be single can mean that things are more even keel. Don't get me wrong: there will be other stress in your life (I'm looking at you, work), but heartbreak and emotional vulnerability may not be one of them. Even dating can put a person under a significant amount of stress; the thought alone of meeting someone new whom you've barely talked to before is pretty nerve wracking. Not the case when you're flying solo.
3. You Can Focus On Your Health
When your first priority is yourself, you can use that energy and time to make positive changes in your life. That means that you're able to focus on your physical, emotional, and mental health more than if you were with someone else. You can definitely still do these things when you're with someone, but I've found that it's significantly easier for me when I'm unattached.
4. You Can Re-Prioritize
In a similar vain, when you're focusing on the progression of your own life without having to make sacrifices or compromises with another person, you can start to invest most of yourself into what you're really passionate about — whether it's a career, hobby or traveling.
5. Your Life May Be More Exciting
Being single has a really bad reputation for being boring. It's as if all all single women are sitting in their five story walk-ups, desperately waiting for a prince to come and stir things up. Um, no, that's certainly not how it is. It's a plain and simple fact that being single means you can do what you want, when you want.
Financial restrictions aside, you pretty much have the freedom to pursue what you wish at any moment. Want to spend a year in Austria? Go for it. Feel like going out with the girls and hooking up with a mysterious stranger? Why not? Want to eat your body weight in pizza without any remorse? Is that even a question?
6. Being Single Is A Milestone In And Of Itself
When we think of milestones in life we tend to think of the big ones like graduating high school, getting engaged, getting married, or having kids. I'm here to say that we seriously need to reexamine what life's great milestones are, and include being single in on the action. Whether being single is just a phase in your life, or how you prefer to live, there is a lot of self-growth and self-knowledge that happens when someone decides to be alone. Not only does being unattached give you the freedom to seize opportunities that you want, it gives you the due time to figure out what you want. And that's extremely important in the long run.
Want more of Bustle's Sex and Relationships coverage? Check out our new podcast, I Want It That Way, which delves into the difficult and downright dirty parts of a relationship, and find more on our Soundcloud page.
Images: Giphy (6); Eugenio Marongiu/Fotolia