I’m convinced most people in long-term relationships are secretly miserable. Sure, it’s nice to have a partner to cuddle with, but relationships can also be terribly inconvenient. If you don’t believe me, consider these surprising benefits of being single.

1. You can travel on a whim.

How do you think a romantic partner would react if you woke up and decided to move overseas, go backpacking through mountains in Iceland, or take a cruise to a tropical destination? They probably wouldn’t be happy if you didn’t include them in that decision (and rightfully so!). Single people, however, have the freedom to travel without hesitation. If you’re a vagabond at heart, then singlehood might be for you.

2. You can flirt without fear.

Let’s face it: everyone flirts sometimes, whether they are single or not. This flirting is usually innocent in nature, but it could nonetheless lead to an awkward situation if a single person ends up developing feelings for somebody who is romantically involved. Add an insecure partner to the mix and this awkward situation could quickly turn into a terrible confrontation. If you love to flirt, then singlehood might be for you. 

3. You can work on yourself.

It is awfully tempting to get complacent when you have a partner. A survey by UK researchers found that 62% of respondents gained 14 pounds or more after beginning a relationship. This weight gain appears to be a direct consequence of typical date-night activities. When asked to choose their primary bonding activity, 30% of respondents chose “watching television” and 20% chose “eating out.” If you’d like to concentrate on improving your mind and body, then singlehood might be for you.

4. You can save tons of time.

It’s fun to send flirty texts back and forth, but can you imagine how much time the typical couple spends on their phones? A lot of people get anxious without constant communication, so those texts and phone calls might add up to a loss of several hours per day. Of course, you could just choose a partner who is more independent, but finding such a creature could be a difficult task. If you would rather invest your time in a more productive fashion, then singlehood might be for you.

5. You can sleep in peace and quiet.

Confession: I really, reallyREALLY miss cuddling. I’ve been single for a while, and love it for the most part…but the absence of physical touch has driven me a bit crazy (maybe I should start collecting applications for a cuddle buddy?). That brings us to the point: even though it’s nice to snuggle, I have a VERY difficult time sleeping next to another person (especially if they snore!). If you know that feeling, then singlehood might be for you.

6. You can become more self-reliant.

Have you ever been through a breakup so emotionally devastating that you couldn’t function for weeks, or months, afterward? Love is a chaotic force that can be both beautiful and destructive (you do know hurricanes are named after people, right?). Passionate feelings cannot and should not be silenced. But never let a person become the single subject of your thoughts, because few relationships are destined for eternal success. If you’re not comfortable with that risk, then singlehood might be for you.

7. You can stay in touch with friends.

“Don’t you worry; we’ll stay in touch!” Those words should sound familiar if you have friends who have gotten married and/or had children. How many of them actually kept their word? Not many, I bet. This shouldn’t come as a surprise since these major life decisions require the sacrifice of free time and personal freedom. It’s hard to find the time to do much when you have a spouse and child to consider. If you aren’t ready for such a commitment, then singlehood might be for you.

8. You can avoid settling for a bad match.

Almost 50% of marriages in America are destined for failure. You have to wonder how many of those still married stay together due to religious beliefs, financial reasons, or the sake of their children. To complete this grim picture, add in how easy it is to settle for a bad match when you’re feeling lonely. If you’re not 100% sure what you expect from a partner, then singlehood might be for you.

9. You can do whatever the hell you want to.

Just like a flower will wither if you don’t water it, a relationship will suffer without proper care and attention. Do you have a friend who complains about how “needy” her partner is? This complaint could be justified depending on the context, but most people simply underestimate how much time it takes to sustain a healthy relationship. There is nothing “strange” about wanting your significant other to spend time with you. If you’re not ready to consider the needs of another person, then singlehood might be for you.

Featured photo credit: kisses for mama/Kymberly Janisch via flickr.com

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