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5 Reasons Being Single Is Okay

5 Reasons Being Single Is Okay

The benefits of being single are often left unexplored as many people prefer the idea of maintaining and discussing relationships. Well, we thought we’d give some much-needed attention to the reasons being single should make you just as happy as being in a relationship! Vincent Nguyen of Self Stairway explores five lessons he’s learnt whilst being single:

It’s sad that most people look at relationships like they’re the be-all and end-all of personal happiness. “I can’t be happy if I’m not taken!” seems to be the mantra of millions.

I empathize because I used to be one of those people. Looking back a few years, I was insecure, unhappy, and I felt like the only way I could change all that was if I was dating someone.

Well… My first relationship wasn’t exactly the healthiest and I wasn’t really happy. I don’t regret it because it taught me what to avoid in future relationships, but I shake my head when I think about the person I was then.

I was so needy and dependent on the relationship that even while things were breaking apart, I desperately held on and tried to pick up the pieces that should’ve been left alone. My heart would be racing if she didn’t respond to my texts in less than a few minutes, I’d check up on her all the time and I was suspicious of all her male friends.

That’s the sort of behavior that was normal for me. I couldn’t even imagine how it felt to go back to being… single.

So of course, I kept holding on.

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Eventually, we broke up and I fell into what I call my darkest hours. I’d be trying to sleep and feel this intense pain throughout my body. My heartstrings felt cut. I’d wonder to myself, “How do people handle being alone?”

That was 5 years ago.

If this is you right now, trust me when I say I get it. I remember how it felt to be reliant on one person for your own happiness. It’s a miserable way to live.

How can you be happy in the long run, 5/10/50 years from now, if you’re dependent on someone else to fix all your personal problems? That’s a sign of a larger issue.

You need to be satisfied with who you are before you can get into a healthy relationship. Neither person could accept the responsibility of being a crutch for the all of the other’s issues.

If you truly believe there’s no possibility of happiness because you’re single, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment, pain, and the inevitability of entering a toxic relationship. The relationship you eventually enter won’t last and you’re going to spiral down. Hard.

Here are 5 mindset shifts I had to finally internalize before I realized how to be self-content outside of a relationship.

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You have the chance to build a better lifestyle

Relationships won’t transform you into a captivating person filled with unique hobbies and interests.

That’s on you.

I used to believe that having a girlfriend would somehow make me more interesting. The truth is, the bulk of the work lies on your shoulders, whether you’re single or otherwise. In my case, I began to deep dive on subjects I enjoyed.

Fashion interested me so I went out and bought clothes. New clothes made me feel good because I knew I looked good — and I had a new conversation topic to fall back on. Boom, more interesting.

Then I played more sports. Tennis, Bowling, Ultimate Frisbee, and Disc Golf became hobbies that kept me busy and gave me things to talk about.

Having interests makes you interesting.

Being single can be just as self-improving as a relationship

They say your significant other brings out the best in you. That’s only if you’re in a healthy relationship, which most people currently dating aren’t.

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You can still work on building self-confidence, self-esteem, and everything in between. Personal growth doesn’t suddenly halt when your Facebook relationship status is set to single.

If you condition yourself to believe you can’t grow on your own then your mindset needs a serious shift.

Unfortunately, there’s no magic solution you can drink to realise this, It’s something you’ll have to come to yourself.

Toxic relationships drain you more

Rush into one and you’re bound to be desperate. You’ll fall for the first girl that displays any interest in you and you’ll stay with her because you’ll tell yourself it’s better than being single.

Ferris Bueller’s comment on his best friend, Cameron, says it best: “…he’s going to marry the first girl he lays, and she’s gonna treat him like shit, because she will have given him what he has built up in his mind as the end-all, be-all of human existence. She won’t respect him, ’cause you can’t respect somebody who kisses your ass. It just doesn’t work.”

Is this you? Do you want to be in a soul-sucking relationship just to avoid being single? Relationships aren’t the end-all, be all of human existence. Don’t be Cameron.

There’s no such thing as wasted time

One of my closest friends is in this situation right now. I asked him how his relationship was doing and he was unenthused.

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I asked if he felt happy but his response was that he didn’t know what that meant. Then I asked him why he’s still dating her. He said he didn’t want all their relationship’s work and effort to go to waste.

Okay, you put effort into something that didn’t quite meet your expectations, but so what? You learn what to avoid in the future. You get stronger. You emerge as a freaking beast.

Did I regret my first relationship? I sure did at the time, but I realized I had grown so much from my experience. I know more about what I want, what I don’t, and I learned something valuable; holding onto something broken only delays the disappointment when it shatters.

Learning to be content with yourself allows you find a higher quality partner

After learning to be happy with myself, my expectations for my future girlfriend have been raised much further than just physical appearance. The way I look at it, I’m living an adventure of my own. I want my partner to add onto that and I’m not willing to settle for less.

When I go on dates I’m seeing if I’m interested in them, not the other way around.

This lets me be a lot more relaxed and confident in myself when I’m meeting women because I have all my shit together. There’s no secretly hoping she’s “the one” every time.

All of this because of these 5 mindset shifts.

Vincent Nguyen is the author of Self Stairway. He was a full-time college student, a freelancer, and an intern for 3 different companies, but more recently dropped out of school after landing his dream job. Although he’s juggling a lot, he considers Self Stairway his full-time job.

5 Reasons to Be Happy You’re Single | Self Stairway

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Siobhan Harmer

Siobhan is a passionate writer sharing about motivation and happiness tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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