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5 Ways To Shift Perspective on Being Single

Steven Losardo, LMFT

When seeing your friends get married or in a happy relationship, it can be hard not to hate being single, but there are better ways to look at it. Use this time of being single to enjoy your freedom, work on yourself, and try new hobbies or interests. You may have not found “the one” yet, but you will in due time. It is always better to be single than be in an unhealthy relationship with the wrong person, or to settle for a relationship that just isn’t right. Below are a few ways to embrace the journey.  

5 Ways to Embrace Being Single

  1. Be open to the things that bring you happiness – Instead of thinking about what you are missing out on by not being in a relationship, focus on how you can improve your life now without having a significant other (Jalili, 2018). Realize that happiness in life comes from sources besides relationships, including doing meaningful work, maintaining good friendships, achieving personal goals, and developing your inner self (Moilanen & Manuel, 2017; Jalili, 2018). 
  2. Start new hobbies – Discover what you truly enjoy doing. Being single is the perfect time to explore your creative side or try out something social, such as joining a bowling league or that book club you had been considering. Activities such as participating in a bowling league or a team sport will help you feel less alone and make you less likely to dwell on the fact you are currently single (Cleveland Clinic, 2021). 
  3. Put aside the dating apps – One way to feel better and focus less emotional energy on whether you are single or not is to put away the dating apps for a while. Stop swiping or waiting for a match. When you spend so much energy finding dates, being single feels a lot worse than if you are using that time and energy for more positive things (Jalili, 2018). 
  4. Work on personal growth – Working on personal development is important for everyone, especially for those just emerging from long relationships. Use this time to find who you are now, separate from your ex and your past (Moilanen & Manuel; 2017). If you still find difficulty finding your true self even when not in a relationship, it might be helpful to speak with a therapist. Remember, too, that it’s usually a good idea to spend some healing time alone before starting a new relationship (Cleveland Clinic, 2021; Fishbane, M. D. (2007).
  5. Strengthen your friendships and family relationships – Even if you are not in a romantic relationship right now, you are not truly alone. Get together with a friend for brunch or coffee, or set up a FaceTime call if you cannot meet in person. And when you are with that friend, be sure to talk about something other than love and romantic relationships (Cleveland Clinic, 2021). 

With that said, understand it’s a natural feeling to feel lonely at times—especially during a pandemic. Just because you feel lonely now does not mean you will always be. In the meantime, keep busy; for example, if you are an animal lover, you can always adopt a pet or volunteer at a shelter. The more you do, the more people you will meet. Know that the time will come when you will find someone special. It may not happen today or tomorrow, but it will! References

Cleveland Clinic (2021). How to be ok with being single.  Retrieved from

https://health.clevelandclinic.org/how-to-be-ok-with-being-single/ on August 11, 2021

Fishbane, M. D. (2007). Wired to connect: Neuroscience, relationships, and therapy. Family

Process, 46(3), 395-412. 

Jalili, C. (2018). 9 Ways Being Single Can Improve Your Life. Retrieved from

https://time.com/5401028/benefits-being-single-experts/ on August 11, 2021

Moilanen, K. L., & Manuel, M. L. (2017). Parenting, self-regulation and social competence with

peers and romantic partners. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 49, 46-54.

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