Madissyn Fredericks, Licensed Professional Counselor, Symmetry Counseling
What does being single mean to you? It may be getting back to the gym to look your best, going out on the weekends with friends, grabbing drinks after work with co-workers, going on dates, or starting a new hobby. Often when we get into relationships, we tend to get consumed in our new partner and may even begin to lose sight of our single selves in the process. The New York Times article, “For a Better Marriage, Act Like a Single Person” (2018), describes research indicating that certain aspects of being single, such as dedicating time to yourself and socializing with friends, can not only benefit you in many ways but can improve your relationship as well. Embracing your single self has nothing to do with getting physical with or dating other people, but it does include encouraging each other to do the things you used to enjoy when you were single. Below are a few ways to embrace your single self in your relationship.
1. Re-engage with Friends
When you get into relationships it is easy to isolate yourself from your friends and overinvest in your partner. You aren’t “single” anymore and are content with your significant other, therefore, you may feel you have no reason to go out to the bars or reach out to friends. However, The New York Times describes a study that suggests that socializing with others as a couple provides the opportunity to engage in new experiences aside from regular activities and enhance your relationship. Engaging with other couples and friends opens up the opportunity to show off your partner, receive validation from friends and family, and experience your partner in a different setting. You may learn something new about your partner and you may notice the qualities you love about them.
2. Prioritize Your Personal Friendships
While you may want to experience every little thing with your partner, it is healthy to engage in activities without them sometimes. For example, it may be beneficial to plan a girl’s night out, movie/ poker night, or a dinner with your friends. The New York Times describes a study from that states people feel better when their partners have good friendships outside their relationship. Therefore, when you continue to engage with and keep in touch with your friends, you not only feel a higher degree of love and support, but you may see a difference in your relationship as well.
3. Dedicate Time Just for You
Dedicating time and energy to your relationship is beneficial in many ways, however, when you begin to neglect yourself and your needs you may begin to feel isolated and cooped up. Research shows that dedicating time to yourself helps with your self esteem and buffers the negative effects of relationship turmoil. Before you forget what it is like to be by yourself, make sure you are investing in time just for you. Whether you use your alone time to go out with friends, exercise, or even just watch a TV show you enjoy, make sure you appreciate your time away from responsibilities without any guilt. You may find that alone time benefits your relationship just as much as time spent together.
If you are interested in re-discovering your single self and would like some guidance, it may be useful to connect with a therapist. Contact Symmetry Counseling at 312-578-9990 to set up an appointment with one of our very skilled therapists today!