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This Is Why You Prefer To Be Single Now

This Is Why You Prefer To Be Single Now

What I’ve come to realise more than anything is that being single is not a better or worse path than being in a relationship. It is quite simply a different one. It has its own incredible, warm and enlightening benefits, just like being in a relationship does. And when you realize those benefits, well, it can be a hard life to un-choose.

The thing is, we always are in a relationship – with ourselves. And when this relationship is good, when we nurture it and find all we need from within, it is the happiest we can ever be. Anything on top of that is a bonus.
When we take the time to have this relationship with ourselves, we find out what we really need. We realize the true power and freedom in making choices for ourselves, and all of the possibility that includes. We can go anywhere we like, with anyone we choose, and it is only while on these paths that we discover who we are and what we are looking for in life. As a single person, we have time for this and are making time for this, and we are feeling good about ourselves because of our own making. We are not in danger of losing our identity, only of finding it.

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I recall reading the infamous Eat Pray Love, and stumbling across a paragraph whereupon Elizabeth Gilbert leaves her husband and begins to allow herself single-person thoughts, such as “What do you want to do Liz?”
To which she replies, starting small and slowly getting larger in her ideas:
I want to go to Yoga class.
I want to go home early from this party so I can go home and read a novel.
I want to learn how to speak Italian.”

Our possibilities are limitless, and the more time we spend with ourselves, the more we begin to see just how large we can actually dream. In the words of Bob Dylan: “When you ain’t got nothing you got nothin’ to lose.” Which is true, in terms of responsibility. Except you don’t have nothing. You have everything, right at your fingertips.

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The greatest joys I have ever known within a relationship are when you can share the joys of your own life, of the things you love and strive for – the things that make you who you are. When you know those things and live them, they are only then exacerbated by the people who come into your life and love them too. And vice versa. We can be proud and excited and strong for our loved ones when we are strong in ourselves.

We can also exist entirely in the moment, without thinking about the future. Being single means a lot of traveling, sleeping over the whole bed, flirting, and wreckless fun. It’s about enjoying our own achievements, answering to no one, going where the wind takes you. It is a time we can fully commit to our education, our careers and hobbies.

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We spend so much of our lives either in love or thinking about being in love. So we must cherish those precious moments in between, the moments where we don’t have someone else to think about, the moments where we understand the true value of selfishness, and its place in the balance of all things. Because if you don’t know these things about yourself, you cannot truly understand your needs in compliance with somebody else’s – the bright somebody of your future. The somebody who will someday run alongside you, as your best and most wonderful single self.

“My alone feels so good, I’ll only have you if you’re sweeter than my solitude.” – Warsan Shire

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Featured photo credit: Magdeleine via magdeleine.co

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Last Updated on December 3, 2019

10 Life Lessons You’d Better Learn Early on in Life

10 Life Lessons You’d Better Learn Early on in Life

There are so many lessons I wish I had learned while I was young enough to appreciate and apply them. The thing with wisdom, and often with life lessons in general, is that they’re learned in retrospect, long after we needed them. The good news is that other people can benefit from our experiences and the lessons we’ve learned.

Here’re 10 important life lessons you should learn early on:

1. Money Will Never Solve Your Real Problems

Money is a tool; a commodity that buys you necessities and some nice “wants,” but it is not the panacea to your problems.

There are a great many people who are living on very little, yet have wonderfully full and happy lives… and there are sadly a great many people are living on quite a lot, yet have terribly miserable lives.

Money can buy a nice home, a great car, fabulous shoes, even a bit of security and some creature comforts, but it cannot fix a broken relationship, or cure loneliness, and the “happiness” it brings is only fleeting and not the kind that really and truly matters. Happiness is not for sale. If you’re expecting the “stuff” you can buy to “make it better,” you will never be happy.

2. Pace Yourself

Often when we’re young, just beginning our adult journey we feel as though we have to do everything at once. We need to decide everything, plan out our lives, experience everything, get to the top, find true love, figure out our life’s purpose, and do it all at the same time.

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Slow down—don’t rush into things. Let your life unfold. Wait a bit to see where it takes you, and take time to weigh your options. Enjoy every bite of food, take time to look around you, let the other person finish their side of the conversation. Allow yourself time to think, to mull a bit.

Taking action is critical. Working towards your goals and making plans for the future is commendable and often very useful, but rushing full-speed ahead towards anything is a one-way ticket to burnout and a good way to miss your life as it passes you by.

3. You Can’t Please Everyone

“I don’t know the secret to success, but the secret to failure is trying to please everyone” – Bill Cosby.

You don’t need everyone to agree with you or even like you. It’s human nature to want to belong, to be liked, respected and valued, but not at the expense of your integrity and happiness. Other people cannot give you the validation you seek. That has to come from inside.

Speak up, stick to your guns, assert yourself when you need to, demand respect, stay true to your values.

4. Your Health Is Your Most Valuable Asset

Health is an invaluable treasure—always appreciate, nurture, and protect it. Good health is often wasted on the young before they have a chance to appreciate it for what it’s worth.

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We tend to take our good health for granted, because it’s just there. We don’t have to worry about it, so we don’t really pay attention to it… until we have to.

Heart disease, bone density, stroke, many cancers—the list of many largely preventable diseases is long, so take care of your health now, or you’ll regret it later on.

5. You Don’t Always Get What You Want

“Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.” – John Lennon

No matter how carefully you plan and how hard you work, sometimes things just don’t work out the way you want them to… and that’s okay.

We have all of these expectations; predetermined visions of what our “ideal” life will look like, but all too often, that’s not the reality of the life we end up with. Sometimes our dreams fail and sometimes we just change our minds mid-course. Sometimes we have to flop to find the right course and sometimes we just have to try a few things before we find the right direction.

6. It’s Not All About You

You are not the epicenter of the universe. It’s very difficult to view the world from a perspective outside of your own, since we are always so focused on what’s happening in our own lives. What do I have to do today? What will this mean for me, for my career, for my life? What do I want?

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It’s normal to be intensely aware of everything that’s going on in your own life, but you need to pay as much attention to what’s happening around you, and how things affect other people in the world as you do to your own life. It helps to keep things in perspective.

7. There’s No Shame in Not Knowing

No one has it all figured out. Nobody has all the answers. There’s no shame in saying “I don’t know.” Pretending to be perfect doesn’t make you perfect. It just makes you neurotic to keep up the pretense of manufactured perfection.

We have this idea that there is some kind of stigma or shame in admitting our limitations or uncertainly, but we can’t possibly know everything. We all make mistakes and mess up occasionally. We learn as we go, that’s life.

Besides—nobody likes a know-it-all. A little vulnerability makes you human and oh so much more relatable.

8. Love Is More Than a Feeling; It’s a Choice

That burst of initial exhilaration, pulse quickening love and passion does not last long. But that doesn’t mean long-lasting love is not possible.

Love is not just a feeling; it’s a choice that you make every day. We have to choose to let annoyances pass, to forgive, to be kind, to respect, to support, to be faithful.

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Relationships take work. Sometimes it’s easy and sometimes it’s incredibly hard. It is up to us to choose how we want to act, think and speak in a relationship.

9. Perspective Is a Beautiful Thing

Typically, when we’re worried or upset, it’s because we’ve lost perspective. Everything that is happening in our lives seems so big, so important, so do or die, but in the grand picture, this single hiccup often means next to nothing.

The fight we’re having, the job we didn’t get, the real or imagined slight, the unexpected need to shift course, the thing we wanted, but didn’t get. Most of it won’t matter 20, 30, 40 years from now. It’s hard to see long term when all you know is short term, but unless it’s life-threatening, let it go, and move on.

10. Don’t Take Anything for Granted

We often don’t appreciate what we have until it’s gone: that includes your health, your family and friends, your job, the money you have or think you will have tomorrow.

When you’re young, it seems that your parents will always be there, but they won’t. You think you have plenty of time to get back in touch with your old friends or spend time with new ones, but you don’t. You have the money to spend, or you think you’ll have it next month, but you might not.

Nothing in your life is not guaranteed to be there tomorrow, including those you love.

This is a hard life lesson to learn, but it may be the most important of all: Life can change in an instant. Make sure you appreciate what you have, while you still have it.

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Featured photo credit: Ben Eaton via unsplash.com

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