Even if you hate it, being solo can be one of the best periods in your life, because what you learn when you're single is vital. Call it cliche, but it's imperative everyone get to know themselves — because if you're not comfortable with that person, you can't really love and be happy with someone else. Counting on someone else to make you happy is the kiss of death. Not to mention: as daunting as those dating apps — and the people who are on them — can be, your single days may even be your most fun. Why else do you think married couples are constantly begging you to regale them with stories to them or let them play with your Tinder?
But then there's the other side of the coin. When you've been single for a long time, and you know yourself really well, there's another level of self-learning that comes into play. Because it's not all "wow, I can totally program my DVR by myself" like it was the first week post-break up. I'm talking about when it's been years of being single, and therefore you're extremely self-sufficient and so comfortable in your own skin, you may even forget what it's like to be any other way.
Here are some things you learn about yourself when you've been single for a long time.
1. You Really Can Be On Your Own
Let me clarify: hopefully you always know this. But after you've been single for a few years, there's a more advanced knowledge gained pertaining to this fact. You know it because you're actually doing it — and have been for quite some time. If you wanted to, in fact, you could be on your own for the rest of your life. This can be both an extremely rewarding and scary fact. Because you know you can, and may even be meant for this life, doesn't mean you necessarily want to either.
2. You Start To Really Love Yourself
Dating yourself can be just plain romantic. You're always up for new things. Want to join a running club? How about going to catch a movie by yourself (you've always wanted to try that)? In the mood to hit a museum?
Spending time with the person who knows you best — spoiler alert: that's you — is the best way to fall more and more in love with yourself. And no, despite what Bieber says in "Love Yourself", this doesn't have equate to looking in the mirror nonstop. Think of it more like, treating yourself the way you want others to treat you as well. It starts with you. Always.
3. You Know Who Your Friends Are
Obviously friends play pretty big role in the live of singletons; in fact, they're more like family. But here's the best way they differ from family: you can totally cut them out if they end up being toxic. The older you get, and the more you know yourself, the more you will hopefully have zero tolerance for people who don't add to your life. And a single person is likely to point out people like this a lot faster because friends are everything to them.
4. You Know What You Really Want
I'm always baffled when people assume after you've been single for a long time, you're more desperate to settle down with someone and therefore will look past certain traits you've always considered deal-breakers in the past. Um, try the opposite. The longer you're single, the more you refuse to not get exactly what you want. And this is because you think, and rightly so, you're pretty awesome. So why on earth would you settle for anything less than that for yourself?
5. You May Forget What It's Like To Factor In Someone Else
Congrats! You're so good at being on your own, you may damn well have forgotten what it's like to share your life with someone else. Yes, this can be a little disarming — especially when you have to share your bed again (which can also be great, by the way) — but let me assure you it's like riding a bike. When you are ready to be in a relationship again, all this will mean is that you now know you will be fine should one day you're not in it. Just make sure to never let yourself close off emotionally. You may love yourself a lot, and always should, but it's OK to let someone else love you too.
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