Did you know that being happy when you are single is something that is within arm’s reach for you, right now as you read this article?
Did you know that there are ways to accept that you are alone and truly be ok with it?
I believe that acceptance is the key to living successfully and, if you can accept that you are not doubled up (although maybe not forever), being happy when you are single is the best way to be content and look forward to your future with hope.
So, how can you be happy when you are single?
It’s about rearranging your mind set. Instead of focusing on everything that is wrong with your life because you aren’t with someone, focus on the benefits of being single, how being single actually enhances your life instead of detracts from it.
Here are some things to consider as you work towards being happy when you are single.
#1 – It’s all about you.
One of the best parts about being alone is that the only person you have to take care of is you.
Take a look at your day. How much of it is spent taking care of your person? Do you have to cook for them or do errands for them or make sure their laundry is done on time? Of course, you love doing all of those little things but do you sometimes do them at the expense of your own needs?
I know that for the years that I lived by myself I had a lot of extra time in my day because I was only cooking (or not!), cleaning and planning for myself and only myself. That extra time not only allowed me more time for doing what I wanted to do, it also gave me the time to build my business and to volunteer to work with people living with mental illness.
Now that I am with someone else, I spend a good portion of my day taking care of him and his needs. And I love him and don’t mind doing this but I must admit that some days I wish I didn’t have to.
Imagine if your everyday was full of doing only what you wanted to do, taking care of only yourself, cooking (or not), watching whatever TV you want to watch, going to bed on your own schedule and not picking up anyone else’s clothes.
How amazing would that feel?
#2 – You can do things your way.
Now, don’t get me wrong. The willingness to compromise is important in every relationship. However, in many relationships, we sometimes compromise too much.
I know that when one of my clients was married, she lived her life for what her husband wanted and needed. He wanted her to quit a job that she loved, so she did. He wanted to move to another town, and even though she loved their current house, she agreed nonetheless.
He insisted they have dinner with his family on Sundays, in spite of the fact that her family was around on Sunday nights as well.
Don’t get me wrong, her ex compromised too, I am sure, but she had to bend over backwards most days to make him happy.
Imagine that, not having to negotiate with someone else around something that you want or don’t want to do. Living your own life on your own terms. That’s a huge reason why being happy being single doesn’t seem unreasonable at all.
#3 – No more daily little hurts.
One of the hardest things about relationships, both good and bad ones, is the daily little hurts, those little tiny hurts that occur over the course of a relationship, cuts that undermine the strength of the relationship and, sometimes, lead to its collapse.
What kind of little hurts? Not coming home on time, leaving underwear on the floor, lying about how much beer you had with your buddies, spending more money at the dress shop then planned, farting without apologizing, not walking the dog at the right time, slurping your coffee, snoring etc. You get the picture.
One of reasons that you can be happy when you are single is that you aren’t subjected to those little daily pains, the ones that make you feel so bad about yourself and so bad about your relationship.
When I was alone, I remember distinctly how much better I felt at the end of the day because no one had caused me pain that day. My dog was curled up next to me, and he only loved me. I felt pretty good about myself, I have to say.
#4 – Love is all around you.
This last thing is something that seems so obvious but often isn’t when we are feeling sorry for ourselves for being alone.
When you aren’t in a relationship one thing that you notice is that love is accessible anywhere. While romantic love is lovely, you can find love in both usual and unusual places.
First and foremost, you have steadfast and strong love from your friends and family. You know that they will be there for you through thick and thin and that you will always have someone to cry with or go to the movies with or spend the holidays with. No matter what.
There are also other ways to find love. A big source of love is volunteering. There is nothing better than working with people or animals who need love and support for bringing more love into your life. When I was first single, I volunteered at a food shelter once a week and when I went home I felt like a million bucks.
Another way to get unconditional love is with a pet. It might sound like a cliché but it’s true. How many single women do you know who have a pet? They might call us crazy cat ladies but the joke is on them because we are happy crazy cat ladies!
So, know that, if you are single, you can get love in all sorts of places and, yes, you can be happy being alone.
#5 – You can be exactly who you want to be.
The most amazing part of being alone is that you are totally free to be who you want to be.
Of course, being in a partnership can be wonderful but, whether you are happy or not, because you are part of a twosome you are sometimes limited in your choices of who you can be in the world.
After my husband and I got divorced I decided that I was sick of living in the country. I sold my 3000 square foot house in Vermont and moved to a 200 square foot apartment in NYC. I started a life coach business, became a mental health advocate and I no longer had to shovel snow because my doormen did it!
If you are alone, the sky is the limit for who you want to be in the world. That is definitely worth a lot!
As you can see, being happy when you are single isn’t all that hard and is right within reach.
I know that in this modern world being a part of a pair seems imperative but more and more people are realizing that it’s not. Being alone gives you options, you can be selfish and giving and your daily life can be happier and you can be truly who you want to be.
I have a client who was a housewife and a mother before she got divorced and now she is an accountant and a stock trader. She owns her own house, has two amazing girls (and three grandchildren) and she is happy as a clam. She occasionally dates but then realizes that, for her, it doesn’t make her feel good so she stops and goes back to her very happy life!
You can be happy being single too. Truly.
I am a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. My writing has been published on The Huffington Post, Prevention, Psych Central, Pop Sugar, MSN and The Good Man Project, among others. I work with all kinds of people to help them go from depressed and overwhelmed to confident and happy in their relationships and in their world.