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10 Things You Must Do When You’re Single

10 Things You Must Do When You’re Single

So you’re single? Whether you just got out of a relationship or have lived the single life for a prolonged period of time, being single has its advantages and disadvantages. But no matter what you’re feeling on your single status, one thing remains true: you are free. And if you are like most people, it means that you will, one day, find love again. So while you’re on your journey, here are 10 things you must do when you’re single.

1. Stay single for three months.

This is mostly for the newly single, but take your time. If you just got out of a relationship, learn to enjoy life on your own. Find the things that make you happy, do things that you’ve wanted to do, and spend time without a significant other. Date if you want, but do so casually. Learn what you like and dislike and give yourself a hard, firm timeline to stay single. You’ll find that when you are content with being single, you’ll be less likely to jump into a relationship for the wrong reasons.

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2. Take a trip with your best friend.

Reconnect with your friends. Take a long weekend trip to visit your hometown, visit a new city with old friends, or hit up the beach with your best friend. Spend time doing the things you love doing with the people who know you best.

3. Spend a weekend with a married couple.

Find some friends with a great relationship who are around your age and hang out with them. See what they do well and get a view of your struggles. It’s easy to romanticize relationships and focus solely on the honeymoon stage, but take time to see what a true, long-term commitment should be based on.

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4. Travel. Visit a foreign country by yourself.

Be bold. Being in a relationship can be great, but the logistics of taking a major trip can be a nightmare. Do it while you’re single! Visit Europe, backpack through Central America, explore Australia, or visit the pyramids in Egypt. You’ll find it liberating and adventurous: a true, once in a lifetime opportunity. And you’ll have great, interesting stories to tell on that first date.

5. Be picky. Don’t fall too fast.

Learn to say no. It’s much too easy to jump right back into a relationship if you’re just out of one, or jump too quickly at the first sign of sparks when you’ve been single for a long period. Don’t do it! Take the opportunity to find someone who truly complements you, whom you have a deep connection with, and whom you find attractive.

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6. Find yourself.

The easiest path to a happy, healthy relationship is understanding what you like and what makes you happy. Take the time to find yourself while you’re single. Learn what you love, discover your goals and ambitions, and write down your priorities. Make sure any relationship going forward allows you the opportunity to be yourself and reach your goals. There’s always give and take, but make sure you have a firm understanding of where to draw the line.

7. Reconnect with old friends.

Relationships, particularly difficult ones, can be very hard on friendships. While you’re single, reconnect with old friends and create a meaningful, lasting connection that can continue no matter what the relationship status. Don’t use friends as a crutch to fill the void of your lost relationship, rather find ways to ensure that your friends and family can stay part of any new relationship.

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8. Get in shape.

When you’re single, you want to look and feel your best. Hit the gym and get in shape! You’ll feel better, have more confidence, and get your next relationship off on the right foot. Find unique ways to get in shape. Play tennis, golf, basketball, etc. You may find that you meet someone who has the same interests.

9. Actively meet new people.

Meet new people every day, or at least learn more about the people you know. It’s easy to sulk and feel isolated when you don’t have that special someone in your life. Don’t be scared of online dating and use all the tools available to you to meet people on your terms. But don’t stop there. Talking to people at your office, at the store, at the gym, etc. is a great way to stay social with no pressure. It’s not just about finding someone new, rather it’s a chance to become a more social, engaging person.

10. Enjoy it.

Being single can be fun. Take it as a challenge. Learn about yourself. Take chances. Go on trips. Being single doesn’t have to be lonely or filled with late nights in bars. It’s a chance to discover what you like, learn more about others, and take your time to find the person of your dreams. So enjoy it.

Featured photo credit: photosteve101 via flickr.com

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Kyle Robbins

Founder, BrandingBeard.com

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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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