6 Things You Need To Do Alone When You're Single

by Rachel Sanoff

Many of us grow up under the impression that our lives only ~truly begin~ once we are married, thanks to the heteronormative and patriarchal traditions that permeate our culture. But can't we enjoy being single and doing things alone? Once we are older, if we are not yet engaged or currently dating, people in our lives have something to say about that, too. Whether our parents are begging us for grandchildren or friends are pressuring us to commit to someone, we are often made to feel that the time when we are single is one of the lowest points of our lives. But that's simply not the case. Healthy partnerships are beautiful and empowering, but singlehood should be beautiful and empowering, too. And in order for that to happen, especially as women, we have to unlearn the stigmatization attached to solitude.

The ability to explore life alone as an independent person is a gift. And while you may not want to be alone forever, once you have a partner, you'll recognize the benefits of being on your own. It is especially important to become a fully-formed person before you depend on or compromise yourself for anyone else, and being alone lets you grow into yourself. The more you know who you are, the better partner you will be and the better partner you will have.

The time before a partnership, should you ever enter one, is a time when you can put yourself first without doubt or shame. You are able to figure out what you enjoy and what you dislike, and what is most important to you. There are a few things that you should do alone as a single lady to help you become a better person for yourself and maybe even for a future partner.

But first, check out our latest episode of our Sex and Relationships podcast "I Want It That Way", where New Yorkers confess their sex secrets"

1. Travel

Being in a relationship means there is now a person in your life with whom you have to check in if you are planning a trip of any kind. That is not necessarily a bad thing, especially if you have a supportive partner who either join yous or understands your wanderlust, but it is different than being single. Of course, traveling costs money, so I'm not advocating that you drop money on an expensive plane ticket, but you should try to travel in some capacity when you are a single person — even if it's just a short trip somewhere a few driving hours away. You deserve to explore without having to answer to somebody else, and you deserve to have new experiences of your own without worrying if someone else is having a good time.

2. Be A Homebody

We all have days when the only thing that sounds good is staying in our pajamas and microwaving leftover Panda Express. Maybe it was a rough week at work or family pressures are getting to you, but you're not looking to do anything outside of your living quarters. Now, you can always have homebody days whatever your relationship status may be, but cutting yourself off from the world for a few days isn't as simple when you are maintaining a partnership. Give yourself all the alone time you need and figure out the kind of alone time you need so that you can recreate that in a healthy way when you are in a relationship.

3. Get Creative

Now, some people require the emotional intensity of love and relationships in order to feel artistic. But the drama and drug-like euphoria of romance can take over your whole mind and unintentionally stifle creative thoughts and ideas on other subjects. Explore a new medium or hold yourself to daily goals. See what you create when you don't have romantic feelings fueling you or distracting you.

4. Have All-Nighters

Whether that means staying out all night with your best friend or staying up for hours reading a new book, pull an all-nighter without fear of it affecting another person's sleeping habits.

5. Cook

You should be able to take care of yourself as a partner and as a single lady. Get those life skills, girl!

6. Figure Out Your Career Goals

What do you you hope to achieve when nobody else is influencing you with their own desires? When you are in a partnership, your career affects your significant other. Where is your job located? Do you need to travel a lot? What kind of attention and focus does it require? If you already know what you want when you enter a partnership, you are probably less likely to give it up to a demanding partner. You are more likely to compromise (if necessary) in a healthy way.

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: Fotolia (1); Giphy (6)