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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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Last Updated on August 15, 2018

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

Video Summary

Why is it important to train up our core strength?

There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

One Exercise, multiple benefits

There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

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When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

What will happen when you start doing planks every day

    1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

    Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

    • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
    • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
    • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
    • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

    2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

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      Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

      Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

      3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

        Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

        4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

          Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

          A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

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          A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

          On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

          5. You’ll improve overall balance

            Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

            6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

              Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

              7. You’ll witness mental benefits

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                Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                How to hold a plank position

                1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                  How to improve your plank time gradually

                  1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                  2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                  3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                  Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                  Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                  You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                  • Prolapse
                  • After prolapse surgery
                  • Pelvic pain conditions
                  • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                  • Previous childbirth
                  • Overweight

                  Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

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