9 Traits Happy Singles Have
It may seem to some as though the term "happily single" is an oxymoron, but let me be the first to say that it is 100 percent possible to be happy and single at the same time. That being said, there are very specific traits happy singles have, and if you don't have all of them, it might be worth taking note of a few while you spend some time on your own.
I spoke with nine psychologists and relationship experts about traits happy singles at the same time, and they all shared different aspects of life that are super-helpful to have in place to feel good in your life without a partner. Though they saw the phenomenon of happiness while single from different angles — it's important to remain unattached to the outcome of dates, it's vital to have a best friend, it's necessary to live in the present moment and not project out into the future — they all agreed that it is entirely doable.
If you're already happily single, awesome — and if you're not, read on for some ideas about how best to go about cultivating such happiness. It may take some work, and sometimes it's helpful to enlist the services of a therapist to work through some of your old ideas and outlooks on life, but these nine experts assure you it is surely an option. Happiness is attainable.
1. They Have A BFF
"Happy singles have a best friend," New York–based relationship expert and author April Masini tells Bustle. "Singles who are happiest have a really great friend — or two or three — that they count on for venting, debriefing, asking for advice and doing things with." When you have a close pal, you know you can always count on them to show up when you ned them.
And you can be there for them too. "They also count on the the good friend as someone they can nurture and advise," Masini says. "Feeling useful and valued is important to happiness." And it'll lift your spirits to know there's a solid friend just a phone call away. "It’s hard to truly be lonely and depressed when you have a good friend," she says.
2. They Don't Attach Too Much Value To Dates
"Happy singles are open to relationships, but don't spend so much time focusing on dating that it takes away from work or leisure activities," Carlyle Jansen, author of Sex Yourself , tells Bustle. "They also don't place too much pressure on the importance of a date: If it goes well, that is great; but if not, it is just another adventure." Dating can be tricky, and placing too much expectation on a single date with someone you don't even know is almost a sure setup for pain.
And if a date doesn't go well, you don't place your self-worth in the hands of a stranger. "If interest is not reciprocated, then it is just not a good fit, rather than devastating, or upsetting, or taken as a reflection of one's desirability," Jansen adds. You can move on to the next date — when you're ready.
3. They Understand That Your Happiness Is In Your Hands
"Happy singles know that their happiness is in their own hands," psychologist, author and speaker Karin Anderson Abrell tells Bustle. "They realize that while they may want a relationship, they don't need one." Though you can go on dates and meet people, you're not searching the eyes of every possible mate to see if they're "the one" or whatever.
And you're choosy. "They also recognize that having a partner would be great, but only if it's a great match, so they don't make the mistake of being in a relationship just to have someone around," she says. "Unhappy singles are often bitter because they mistakingly think everyone else's life has played out in ways that have made them happy. That's not the case. There's nothing in this life that makes anyone happy except themselves!" So focus on yourself — the rest will come.
4. They Love Themselves
Singles who have a strong relationship with themselves are generally happy no matter what, life coach Kali Rogers tells Bustle. "Happy single people have found solace in 'me time,' and don't feel the need to fill their time up with others constantly." You love yourself, you shower yourself with affection, you promise yourself that you won't abandon yourself — and you show up for yourself every day.
5. They Stay In The Moment
"One trait that happy singles have is that they live in the moment and enjoying live as it comes," Samantha Daniels, professional matchmaker and founder of The Dating Lounge dating app, tells Bustle. "Single people who are unhappy about being single are always focused on the future and how they will meet their 'person' and how they can change things so that they can meet 'the one.'" Instead, focus on today.
What do you have going on today, this minute, this second, that you can be grateful for? Gratitude is a great way to say in the day. "A happy single person lives for the moment and believes that he or she should have fun, now, as it comes — and then when the time is right, he or she will meet someone special." There's plenty of time to be in a relationship, and there is no race and no finish line. "They don’t let their single status ruin their opportunity to have fun when fun comes," Daniels says.
6. They Move Forward
"They always are able to move forward when they have been rejected or broken up with," Stefanie Safran, Chicago's "Introductionista" and founder of Stef and the City, tells Bustle. Rather than dwelling in the past and running your last relationship through your mind ad infinitum, trying to figure out what went wrong, you move forward. And when you do meet someone you're genuinely interested in, you can be available for that. "They forget about their losses in love when love comes in the door," she says.
7. They Enjoy Their Time With Themselves
"They are at ease with themselves," psychologist Nikki Martinez tells Bustle. "They love the idea that they do not have to answer to anyone, that they can do what they want, when they want, with who they want, and this makes them happy." You like your yoga, your long walks in the park with your dog, your late-night mani-pedi sessions alone at home. "They have learned who they are as an individual, and they like them," she says. "They are happy being single, and they are in no rush to pair themselves off."
8. They Don't Place Their Self-Worth In A Relationship
"A sense of calm," Danielle Sepulveres, sex educator and author of Losing It: The Semi-Scandalous Story of an Ex-Virgin, tells Bustle. "A relationship doesn’t dictate self-worth or guarantee happiness." You relax into life, and let it unfold. "Many people who are single are quite happy to be that way, and it’s permeated with a calmness that they’re not on some timetable or living up to anyone else’s expectations other than their own," she says. "Their relationship status is a choice, and that is their personal choice and it’s marked with power."
Rather than telling the story that you're single because you have to be, reframe the story: You're single because you want to be, because you refuse to settle for just any old person, and you're living life solo right now because you're an empowered, smart, incredible woman. "If they are content, they are fully aware that they are holding all the cards," she says. From there, anything is possible.
9. They Take Care Of Yourself
"They take care of themselves emotionally as well as physically," Tina B. Tessina, aka Dr. Romance, psychotherapist and author of How to be Happy Partners: Working it out Together, tells Bustle. "They stay connected to friends and family, and they have healthy relationships with their friends and family." Self-care is vital, and so is staying in touch with people who care about you. "They have a nice balance of work and play," she says — and they know how to run a great bath or take a great hike or schedule a great haircut or do whatever it is that makes them feel really, really good about themselves.
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