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10 Things Singles Should Do

10 Things Singles Should Do

While the sanctity of marriage remains a prominent cultural aspect with global relevance, the rate of divorce remains comparatively high in developed economies throughout the world. This is creating a higher volume of singles,who subsequently have a tremendous chance to develop as individuals and significantly better their lives before embracing commitments such as marriage, home-ownership and child rearing.

With this in mind, let’s consider 10 things that you should look to do or accomplish while you are single and before you embark on a long-term relationship:

1. Travel independently and as often as possible

Travelling is a wonderful thing to do whilst you are single. It is one of the few things in life that allows you to have a sense of complete freedom, and travelling independently helps you to optimize this sense of liberty and abandon. By travelling alone you can literally go wherever you wish to in this world, without having to compromise on your experience or the type of holiday’s that you aim to enjoy.

Given that travelling abroad has the potential to expand our horizons and to help us become more rounded individuals, doing so as an individual will enable you to absorb as much cultural knowledge as possible. So long as you are able to choose suitable destinations and purchase insurance coverage that protects you in specific regions of the world, you can travel safely while becoming a more rounded and complete person.

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2. Live Alone as an Independent Adult

Similarly, living alone as a single adult enables you to learn more about yourself in a stressful, intense and satisfying manner. Above all else, it allows you to become comfortable with your own company and live happily in solitude, as you reflect on your life and consider future goals. This will make you far less likely to choose unsuitable romantic partners when you are older, or make relationship decisions that are based ondesperation and a desire not be alone. Given the stress that can be caused by romantic separation and divorce, living alone as a singleton can spare you from considerable heartache and distress in the future.

3. Establish Routines and Coping Mechanisms

They say that humans are creatures of habit, and there is a good reason for this. More specifically, we thrive on routines as it enables us to cope with the stress of our busy and occasionally complicated lives. It is particularly beneficial to develop these physical and emotional routines while you are single because, unlike when you are in a relationship, you are completely independent and only have yourself to rely on.

This is empowering, as you can develop a greater understanding of your psyche and establish routines or psychological coping mechanisms without becoming co-dependent withanother person. You can also become a more rounded and confident individual, who is able to serve as a source of strength and assistance for others.

4. Work out what you want from a Relationship

If there is one most imprtant thing that you should do while you are single, it is to work out what you want from your future partner. This is far easier to do when you are not already in a relationship, as the concepts of time and space enable you to have perspective and develop a clear understanding of what you want in a life partner. It also has additional benefits, as it enables you to break bad dating habits and create good one’s going forward. So not only will you be able to identify a compatible partner when the time comes, but you can also create a favorable impression and afford the relationship the best possible chance of long-term success.

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5. Donate and assist charities

Donating your time and energy to charity can be a life enriching experience. Helping those that are perhaps less fortunate than you, not only ensures that you appreciate what you do have, but also what you do not actually need. It may even change your perspective on the aspects of your life which are actually important to you. This is a particularly wonderful thing to do whilst you are single as you will have the freedom to donate as much of your free time or disposable income as you wish; without having to consider any social engagements your partner may wish to attend.

There is a whole wealth of volunteering opportunities out there, while there are a number of socially conscious brands that deliver initiatives that you should be aware of.By taking part in initiatives such as TNT’s Christmas drive to offer the free delivery of donated goods and items, you can help those less fortunate than yourself and aid your personal growth in the process.

6. Listen to your gut and go on spontaneous adventures

Once you embark on a long-term relationship, you can encumber a number of responsibilities including marriage, home-ownership and raising children. Although these are varied in their nature, they are bound by financial obligations and the need to budget your income in a responsible and productive manner. As a singleton you are free from such restrictions, however, meaning that you have a unique opportunity to indulge your passions and achieve more selfish, potentially irresponsible goals.

The more you invest in care-free and self-centered experiences when you are single, the more content you will become to settle down and embrace the responsibilities associated with adult relationships.

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7. Save Money on a Regular Basis

On a similar note, the financial responsibilities associated with owning a home or raising children can make it extremely difficult to save money. So while saving money while you are single may be challenging, you may never have a better opportunity to reduce your monthly expenditure, invest your disposable income and focus on your life goals.

With the average rate of disposable income set to rise in line with global economic expansion throughout 2015, singleton’s will have an even greater opportunity to save their hard-earned cash on a regular basis. Saving when you are single and able allows you to lay the foundations for future financial security, while making it easier to accomplish goals once you have embarked on a relationship, such as purchasing a home or planning a wedding.

8. Achieve the Ideal Work-life Balance

You cannot hope to save or achieve financial stability without a regular source of income, whether you are single or in a relationship. Managing your career development alongside a relationship or life as a parent can be particularly challenging, however, as you must divide the same amount of time between a wider range of activities. It is therefore important to develop your career as aggressively as possible as a singleton, while also determining a suitable work-life balance to create a seamless and productive everyday routine. If you can achieve this, you will find it far easier to embark on a successful relationship and fulfill your additional responsibilities as a partner, spouseand parent.

9. Learn New Skills or Achieve Academic Goals

In addition to addressing your work-life balance, you may also want to use your time as a singleton to pursue new skills and academic achievements. This is far harder to do when in a relationship, due to the cost of private or adult education and the amount of time that is required to learn effectively. Not only do you have a clear career focus when single, but you also have the time and disposable income to acquire specific skills and qualifications that will boost your fledgling career. So while some people may consider age to be the primary barrier to learning new skills, it is in fact individual life circumstances and the pressures of embarking on a romantic liaison.

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10. Spend time with your Closest and Dearest Friends

Friendship is a powerful and persuasive bond, but one that can suffer when you devote time and effort into building a romantic relationship. It is therefore crucial that you spend as much time as possible with your closest friends while you are single, as this can be easily balanced alongside your working schedule and any recreational hobbies that you may have. This not only enables you to live in the moment and make the most of your long-term platonic relationships, but it also helps to create viable routines for spending time with friends and loved ones in the future.

Featured photo credit: Kafubra via en.wikipedia.org

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Last Updated on February 21, 2019

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

In business, in social relationships, in family… In whatever context conflict is always inevitable, especially when you are in the leader role. This role equals “make decisions for the best of majority” and the remaining are not amused. Conflicts arise.

Conflicts arise when we want to push for a better quality work but some members want to take a break from work.

Conflicts arise when we as citizens want more recreational facilities but the Government has to balance the needs to maintain tourism growth.

Conflicts are literally everywhere.

Avoiding Conflicts a No-No and Resolving Conflicts a Win-Win

Avoiding conflicts seem to be a viable option for us. The cruel fact is, it isn’t. Conflicts won’t walk away by themselves. They will, instead, escalate and haunt you back even more when we finally realize that’s no way we can let it be.

Moreover, avoiding conflicts will eventually intensify the misunderstanding among the involved parties. And the misunderstanding severely hinders open communication which later on the parties tend to keep things secret. This is obviously detrimental to teamwork.

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Some may view conflicts as the last step before arguments. And they thus leave it aside as if they never happen. This is not true.

Conflicts are the intersect point between different individuals with different opinions. And this does not necessarily lead to argument.

Instead, proper handling of conflicts can actually result in a win-win situation – both parties are pleased and allies are gained. A better understanding between each other and future conflicts are less likely to happen.

The IBR Approach to Resolve Conflicts

Here, we introduce to you an effective approach to resolve conflicts – the Interest-Based Relational (IBR) approach. The IBR approach was developed by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their 1981 book Getting to Yes. It stresses the importance of the separation between people and their emotions from the problem. Another focus of the approach is to build mutual understanding and respect as they strengthen bonds among parties and can ultimately help resolve conflicts in a harmonious way. The approach suggests a 6-step procedure for conflict resolution:

Step 1: Prioritize Good Relationships

How? Before addressing the problem or even starting the discussion, make it clear the conflict can result in a mutual trouble and through subsequent respectful negotiation the conflict can be resolved peacefully. And that brings the best outcome to the whole team by working together.

Why? It is easy to overlook own cause of the conflict and point the finger to the members with different opinions. With such a mindset, it is likely to blame rather than to listen to the others and fail to acknowledge the problem completely. Such a discussion manner will undermine the good relationships among the members and aggravate the problem.

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Example: Before discussion, stress that the problem is never one’s complete fault. Everyone is responsible for it. Then, it is important to point out our own involvement in the problem and state clearly we are here to listen to everyone’s opinions rather than accusing others.

Step 2: People Are NOT the Cause of Problem

How? State clearly the problem is never one-sided. Collaborative effort is needed. More importantly, note the problem should not be taken personally. We are not making accusations on persons but addressing the problem itself.

Why? Once things taken personally, everything will go out of control. People will become irrational and neglect others’ opinions. We are then unable to address the problem properly because we cannot grasp a fuller and clearer picture of the problem due to presumption.

Example: In spite of the confronting opinions, we have to emphasize that the problem is not a result of the persons but probably the different perspectives to view it. So, if we try to look at the problem from the other’s perspective, we may understand why there are varied opinions.

Step 3: Listen From ALL Stances

How? Do NOT blame others. It is of utmost importance. Ask for everyone’s opinions. It is important to let everyone feel that they contribute to the discussion. Tell them their involvement is essential to solve the problem and their effort is very much appreciated.

Why? None wants to be ignored. If one feels neglected, it is very likely for he/she to be aggressive. It is definitely not what we hope to see in a discussion. Acknowledging and being acknowledged are equally important. So, make sure everyone has equal opportunity to express their views. Also, realizing their opinions are not neglected, they will be more receptive to other opinions.

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Example: A little trick can played here: Invite others to talk first. It is an easy way to let others feel involved and ,more importantly, know their voices are heard. Also, we can show that we are actively listening to them by giving direct eye-contact and nodding. One important to note is that never interrupt anyone. Always let them finish first beforeanother one begins.

Step 4: Listen Comes First, Talk Follows

How? Ensure everyone has listened to one another points of view. It can be done by taking turn to speak and leaving the discussion part at last. State once again the problem is nothing personal and no accusation should be made.

Why? By turn-taking, everyone can finish talking and voices of all sides can be heard indiscriminantly. This can promote willingness to listen to opposing opinions.

Example: We can prepare pieces of paper with different numbers written on them. Then, ask different members to pick one and talk according to the sequence of the number. After everyone’s finished, advise everyone to use “I” more than “You” in the discussion period to avoid others thinking that it is an accusation.

Step 5: Understand the Facts, Then Address the Problem

How? List out ALL the facts first. Ask everyone to tell what they know about the problems.

Why? Sometimes your facts are unknown to the others while they may know something we don’t. Missing out on these facts could possibly lead to inaccurate capture of the problem. Also, different known facts can lead to different perception of the matter. It also helps everyone better understand the problem and can eventually help reach a solution.

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Example: While everyone is expressing their own views, ask them to write down everything they know that is true to the problem. As soon as everyone has finished, all facts can be noted and everyone’s understanding of the problem is raised.

Step 6: Solve the Problem Together

How? Knowing what everyone’s thinking, it is now time to resolve the conflict. Up to this point, everyone should have understood the problem better. So, it is everyone’s time to suggest some solutions. It is important not to have one giving all the solutions.

Why? Having everyone suggesting their solutions is important as they will not feel excluded and their opinions are considered. Besides, it may also generate more solutions that can better resolve the conflicts. Everyone will more likely be satisfied with the result.

Example: After discussion, ask all members to suggest any possible solutions and stress that all solutions are welcomed. State clearly that we are looking for the best outcomes for everyone’s sake rather than battling to win over one another. Then, evaluate all the solutions and pick the one that is in favor of everyone.

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