We tend to focus on all the negatives of being single because our brains are hard wired to “need” social connections as much as we need food, water and shelter. In fact, many studies including one by UCLA professor Matthew Lieberman state that, “Being connected is our brain’s lifelong passion…it’s been baked into our operating system for tens of millions of years.” It’s no wonder why we long for human connection and the need to be in romantic (or sexual) relationships; it’s a part of our evolution and instinctual desire to procreate and expand life on our planet. How the hell are we supposed to fight the very essence of how we were designed?
Well, we’re not, but we can fight the primal urge to be in a relationship and feelings of loneliness by changing our negative perspective and looking at the benefits of being single.
#1. You don’t have to fight over the remote and you can watch whatever the hell you want. I can’t tell you how frustrating it was to be married to a man for twenty years that watched every episode of Star Trek a dozen times and forced me to watch every war movie ever made. Now I can watch all the Real Housewives and cry over the Notebook as many times as I want. Rom Com’s for days!
#2. Having the bed to yourself and not having someone hogging the covers or snoring all night (or was that me?) Some people like to be cuddled all night or miss having someone next to them…not me! I love having the bed to myself and no one to smother me with their arms around me like a boa constrictor. Get off me when I’m trying to sleep!
#3. Being able to go out with your friends whenever the hell you want without the guilt trip. This is a big one for me, because I was an extrovert stuck in a relationship with an introvert that never wanted to go anywhere and embarrassed me at parties because he made it pretty obvious he didn’t want to be there by being a complete downer. He also didn’t like when I went out with friends, so I felt like a caged animal. #20yearsahousewife
#4. Having control over how you spend your money. I remember feeling like I couldn’t buy anything for myself or even get a frickin’ pedicure once a year without having to hear shit about spending too much money. He was horrible at finances and always had us drowning in debt. Now I’m still trying to dig my way out but if I want a pair of shoes …I get the damn shoes without having to hide the shoe box and receipts. I love being financially independent (well, up until I lost my job that is, then it just sucked not having another paycheck to fall back on).
#5. Being able to flirt, make out, or have sex with whoever you want! That’s a big plus– don’t you think? Not that it’s all that it’s cracked up to be when you are finding nothing but losers, but they’re good for something now and again. 😉
#6. The simple pleasure of being able to make dinners that you like, instead of catering to his palate of junk food. Or better yet, not having to cook at all! Sure I still have kids to feed, but their old enough to fend for themselves at times…it builds character and independence, right?
#7. Not having to tip toe around someone else’s feelings all the time. Relationships are a bitch to navigate, especially in the beginning. The constant guessing of whether or not the person still likes you because they stopped texting you all day long or the calls get less and less frequent. Like I wrote in my last article, dating is exhausting and relationships are even more draining, so just do you boo!
#8. Not having to deal with the arguments about whose turn it is to do the dishes or take out the trash. It’s always your turn to do it, so there’s no one to argue with. I use to get so annoyed when I would wake up to dishes in the sink after I did the cooking. Now, if I want to leave a few dishes in the sink because I’m too tired or lazy there’s no one to blame but myself.
#9. You don’t have to shave your legs! That’s got to be in the top 10! If you want to rock a 70’s bush you can do that too! Just don’t go on any hot dates looking like Sasquatch unless you use it as a deterrent for not jumping into bed with someone like I do. 😉
#10. Lastly, but most importantly you get to discover who you are and what your dreams are in life. You find your strength and individuality. If you’ve always been in relationships like I have, you never get to figure out what your true passions are because you’re too busy catering to someone else’s needs and desires.
Being single is not all bad. In fact, I think it’s important for people ending a marriage or a long term relationship to be single for a while before they jump into another one. You have to give yourself the time to heal and the time to find out why the last relationship failed. We should always take the opportunity to look in the mirror and examine what we did to contribute to the break-up or what we allowed in the relationship that we didn’t deserve. That’s how you recognize the red flags and avoid going through the same heartache again.
I honestly think I’m happier being single than being in a relationship. That doesn’t mean I’m not open to finding the love of my life…it just means that I’m strong enough to stand alone until he comes along. You are too; you just have to ignore those primal fears that cause you to feel desperate for companionship. Conversely, you have to fight the fears that are blocking you from wanting to open your heart again because everyone deserves love and respect. To sum it all up in one phrase:
“We need to close our legs and open our hearts to the possibility being loved.”
Remember that being single is not a bad thing and enjoy all of the benefits while you still have your freedom. Freedom allows you the opportunity to look inside and find the passion and gifts you never knew you had. Take the time to explore those possibilities and do the things that give you joy. It’s the only path to finding the person that truly deserves you, because you’ll finally figure out who you really are and the person that can hold your hand along the way.