Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.
Do Not Be Afraid to Be Single: Embrace the Opportunity Instead
What is the first thing that you think about when it comes to being single? Does it make you feel afraid? Does it make you feel anxious? Do you believe that you can never be happy without a partner? Does the thought of spending the rest of your life all by yourself scare you? Or are you one of those people who enjoy the thought of being single?
I am one of those people that loves being single. I have been single my entire life, and I am not even ashamed of it at all. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being single. That is a perfectly acceptable lifestyle choice for those who desire it. Being single has a tremendous amount of advantages if you look for them. The problem is that I believe many people look at being single as a curse or something that should be avoided. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Don't Put Your Life on Hold—Enjoy It Now
I used to think that I would never be completely satisfied unless I was in a romantic relationship with someone. Looking back, I realize now how that kind of attitude is not a healthy attitude to have. This is because then you would be waiting and essentially putting your life on hold until you meet someone. Don’t wait until you find someone in order to enjoy life. If you are single now, this is a wonderful opportunity to take advantage of all that life has to offer you. Part of improving yourself is to be happy and content with being single first.
A Celebration of Being Single
This comprehensive article is not meant to dissuade anyone from getting married, but it is designed to help people see that being single is not the bad state that the magazines and books try to convince us to believe.
Single Does Not Mean Lonely
Particular emphasis will also be put on whether being single is equal to being lonely. I want people to realize that being single isn’t the end of the world and that there are far worse things than that. Just turn on the news and you’ll see what I am saying. If you are single, instead of complaining and focusing on the lack of a dating partner, just take a moment and really think about all the advantages that you have. My goal in writing this is to make people feel better about themselves and to get past the constant thinking of needing a partner to feel complete.
Learn Who You Are and What You Love
Being single is a time for all of us to grow and to find out more about ourselves. It is also a time to find out what we really want from life. The fact is that we come into this world alone when we exit our mother’s womb. So doesn’t it make sense for us to take the time to find out what we really want instead of rushing into things?
When you are single, this is a wonderful opportunity for you to find out how you want your life to be. Being single has allowed me to realize that one of the things I love to do is write and I am doing it now. Being single has allowed me to take vacations to exotic and fascinating countries such as Mexico, Japan and China. This is something that would have been much harder to do if I was married or in a serious relationship with a woman.
10 Advantages of Being Single
Here are many of the reasons why I believe that being single is far better than people may think:
1. Being Single Is All About You
This reason is obvious. When you are single, you are free to do whatever you want for as long as you want to. If you want to pursue a career change you can do this without having to explain your actions to anyone. When you are single, all the decision making is in your hands. If you want to travel to Iceland, you can do so without having to consult a significant other about those plans.
Of course, let’s not forget that you still have to make sure to support yourself financially. The difference is that you won’t need to spend money on things such as engagement rings, dinners at fancy restaurants and presents for your significant other’s birthday. You can spend money on yourself and you won’t feel guilty about doing it.
2. Being Single Gives You Flexibility in a Poor Economy
Being single is better especially now given what the conditions are with the economy especially in the United States. Can you imagine what you would have to do if you lost your job and had a spouse to support? That would put you in much more stress and anxiety. Being single allows you to move in with your parents or relatives if you can until you can get back on your feet.
I am still living with my parents and I have to because the economy had put my career on hold although I am doing somewhat better now. We can only hope for the best.
3. Being Single Makes You Much More Relaxed Emotionally
I can easily relate to this one because I notice just how much more relaxed I am. I don’t have to constantly think about all the emotions associated with being in a serious relationship or marriage.
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4. Being Single Means You Won't Get Your Heart Broken
Being single is better because there is no chance of ever getting your heart broken. Getting your heart broken is not fun that’s for sure. I can only imagine how much it hurts. I was talking to a good friend of mine a few years ago on the phone and he told me “I’ll be one of the first people to tell you that relationships are tough.” This is very true. Relationships and marriages are hard work. Just ask anyone who is married or in a serious romantic relationship and they will tell you.
Getting your heart broken is one of the risks associated with relationships and if you are not willing to take that risk, don’t do it. And as for the assertion that you will be lonely if you never get married that is not true. You can have a support system of friends and family members. You don’t need to get married to prevent loneliness.
5. Being Single Means You Won't Get Divorced
Being single is better because you can never get divorced. With the divorce rates in the United States around 50-60% you should be grateful if you are single because you won’t ever have to go through the pain of a divorce. Not only would you have to go to court, hire a lawyer and spend lots of money, but emotionally you can get destroyed.
This is one of the things I suggest that people really think about before they rush to get married. The man usually has the most to lose in a divorce. It is sad that over 75% of all divorces in the United States are initiated by the woman.
6. Being Single Is Cheaper
Being single is better because marriage and relationships are even more expensive. This reason is also obvious because think about all the money you would have to spend if you were in a relationship or marriage. The costs associated with this lifestyle choice include expensive dinners, movies, presents, the engagement ring and of course, the wedding itself.
I have been told that the average cost of a wedding in the United States is around $34,000. Think about that for a minute. That number of 34,000 is a staggering number actually because that is the yearly salary of some people. That is a huge amount of money to spend for one event. Some weddings can cost even more than that. However, according to the online edition of Money Magazine, the average cost of a wedding rose to $32,641 in 2015 (Vasel).
There are many people who spend that much money just to get married and it doesn’t even work out more than half the time. I’m sitting here and thinking why would anyone take the chance to spend that much money on a wedding? It is risky decision. To be honest, this writer is considering the possibility of marriage but patience is very important especially with a decision such as this.
This is another important factor to take into consideration. The bottom line is that relationships and marriages are very expensive. And after the wedding comes the cost of what? You guessed it, the HONEYMOON!! Think about the additional money you would have to pay for the airfare, hotel costs, meals, drinks and other expenses. And the costs get higher when there are children involved.
And don’t forget about having to pay mortgage on a house especially in California. If you have to pay a $3,000 a month mortgage, plus having two kids and a spouse, you are looking at some very high expenses here.
However, according to the same source listed above, the location of where a person decides to get married makes a dramatic difference in the amount of money spent. For instance, couples deciding to get married in Manhattan, NY can expect to spend as much as $82,299 (Vasel). Also, the cheapest place in the US to get married is Alaska where the average cost of a wedding is said to be $17,361 (Vasel).
7. Being Single Means You Deal With Fewer Annoyances
Being single is better in my opinion because you may actually live longer. This is because a single person doesn’t have to deal with the other person’s annoying habits and personality traits. These annoying behaviors can lead to stress, anger, and it may even make you sick.
If you are less stressed and more emotionally relaxed, there is far less of a chance for you to get sick. Your mind and body will be in much better shape. I know that people may say that married people live longer. This isn’t always true especially if you are in a bad marriage.
8. Being Single Frees You From the "Grass Is Always Greener" Mentality
Being single may be better because then you may be able to get out of the mentality of the grass is greener on the other side of the fence thinking. The interesting thing is that as humans when we see couples together hugging, kissing and having a fun time with each other, we wish we were in a similar situation.
I was thinking the same way especially when I was in junior high school. I would see these guys with their girlfriends and I’d say to myself “These people are so lucky". I wish that I had a girlfriend. Why can’t I have one?” I am now past that way of thinking and I actually like being single. Being in a relationship isn’t necessarily better. It just looks like it is better.
There are so many people that are in horrible marriages or relationships and they are stuck with the other person. Some couples stay together for the kids or other reasons. The grass is not greener on the other side of the fence.
9. Being Single Means You Don't Have to Be on the Defensive
Being single is better because then you won’t have to be on the defensive all the time, thinking about what may happen if you develop feelings for another person. This is an interesting reason that I thought about some time ago. When you are married, you don’t have the freedom to meet other people. And if you start having feelings for another person, this is where it can get complicated.
Extramarital affairs can result from actions like this and you basically have to keep it a secret from your spouse. It is almost like a tennis player playing a match to not lose instead of playing to win the match. Being on the defense is no way to live. If you constantly have to keep playing defense all the time, you will be worn out. I know I’m using a sports analogy here, but I thought of doing it to get across the point.
Don’t be on the defensive all the time. Play the game of life to be a winner and don’t play the game to not lose it. If a tennis player goes out onto the tennis court knowing that he or she has a chance to play to win, he or she will be much more relaxed and confident. The same is true of life when you are single. If you are single, you don’t have to worry about hiding anything from anyone. You don’t have to worry about the possible repercussions of your actions.
10. Being Single Gives You the Freedom to Love as Many People as You Want
And finally, being single is better in my opinion because it gives you the freedom to love as many people as you want to. I have always heard that there is only one special person for everyone. I believe that in reality, there are thousands of women that I could love also. When you are single, there is no limit to the amount of people that you can love.
When you are married, falling in love with another person is disrespectful and hurtful to your spouse. When you are married, all your time, energy and feelings are invested in one person. When you are single however, you have the choice to put as much energy as you want to in order to feel love for people.
Love is the greatest feeling in the world. In my opinion, the three best words that you can say to someone are the words “I love you.” I am so grateful that I am still single because I know that I have the freedom to love anyone as much as I want to and I won’t feel guilty about it later on. If you love someone for good reasons, it is all worth it. Love is actually unconditional. But marriage seems to put conditions on love. I don’t like the thought of that at all.
Why Is Being Single Not the Same Thing as Being Lonely? (My Perspective)
You hear this all the time. If you are single, then that means that you will be alone or lonely. This is repeated so often that the person hearing it will eventually believe those statements. What comes to your mind when you think of the word single? Do you think of the image of a person that goes through life all by himself with nobody to talk to or be with? Does being single give you the image of a sad person spending his or her lonely nights wondering what to do with their life?
Being single only means that you do not have a spouse or exclusive dating partner that’s it. Society today places too much importance on getting married and starting a family. Wherever you go, you will see magazines with articles talking about how to attract the perfect partner or how to try and fix a marriage that has gone wrong. But those magazines don’t bother to address being single and the numerous benefits it has. All those magazines talk about marriage, relationships and family life. There are actually many people that are single and they love that lifestyle.
Entire television series are dedicated to relationships and break ups. But none of them will address single life at all.
If you are not married, especially here in the United States, people will look at you in a weird way or they will think something is wrong with you. The truth is that there is nothing wrong with being single. And also, being single does not mean being lonely. This is a myth that has been spread around for years like a wildfire and it is just not true. We are told from the time that we are very young that we have to get married and start a family. Even some mothers from the time that their babies are born will expect their son or daughter to get married when they grow up to be adults. It is time that we stop forcing our children to get married especially if some of them do not want to do that. It is your choice what you want to do with your life and your choice only.
Let’s admit what the simple fact is. The simple fact is that being single does not mean being lonely at all. If you think that being single means being lonely it is only because you have been taught to believe that myth. You have a mind of your own. It is time that you stop feeling miserable because you are single and instead do something with your current single status instead of doing something about it. You don’t need someone else to take care of you because you can take care of yourself. You don’t need to get married because you think it will cure your lonely feelings. The truth is that people who get married to escape the feelings of being lonely are going to be worse after they get married. Getting married is not the solution to your loneliness issue.
If you really sit and think about all the things that you can do because you are single then you will not feel lonely. You have all the time in the world to dedicate to improving your life. Society has the wrong idea of what loneliness is. Loneliness is a situation that is created by the person themselves. If you think that you are lonely then you will subconsciously attract that situation to you and then blame it on your single status.
People especially feel lonely at night when they are single. They see all these people going out to the clubs dancing and having a great time. They also know that their friends have partners or they are married and the person feeling lonely feels like they are lacking something really significant and that they too desire a husband or wife.
It is easy for many people to sit and think that if they only had a husband or a wife that somehow things would magically improve and that they would live the life of their dreams. The truth is that this scenario often times does not happen. The people that go to the clubs and dance don’t tell you how expensive those activities can get. You can easily end up paying up to a $50 cover charge just to get into one of those places. If you add up the cost of food and drinks, the costs become even more expensive. That is too much money to spend at night. And especially with the conditions in the national economy being the way that they are, people should not be spending $80 to $100 for one night just to have fun. When you can spend that kind of money on something more significant, why should you spend that much money just for entertainment?
The people that are married don’t always tell you how expensive marriage is because it is really expensive. So do not feel bad because you are all by yourself. You are not lonely as a single person especially at night. You can sit behind the computer and browse the World Wide Web all night if you want to. You can watch your favorite movies every night if you want to. You can spend two hours talking to your best friend on the phone if you want to and there will be no one around to ask you why you are doing that. Isn’t your life awesome?
What Loneliness Really Is
Loneliness is a situation and a state of mind created by a person. Especially in the United States where there is so much to see and do, there is no reason why anyone should feel lonely. There are so many things that you can do to spend your time. Anyone that says that being single means being lonely has been taught to believe the myth that being single equals being lonely. They are not willing to admit the reality that being single has nothing to do with being lonely. Being single and lonely is not the same thing. You can be married and still be lonely. So stop feeling and thinking that you are lonely because you are single. You are not lonely and therefore, it is your responsibility to shatter that myth and go out and do something productive with your life every day. Note: it is now 2020 and this information is still useful for those that are willing to see the benefits of being single. This does not mean that I am opposed to getting married. I am simply trying to point out that being single and being lonely are NOT the same thing.
Let’s shift back to a more simple definition of loneliness for those of you that feel overwhelmed by this information. Loneliness is defined as an unpleasant emotional response to perceived isolation. Since emotion is defined as energy in motion, if we break down this definition further, when a person is lonely, their energy in motion is directed towards feeling that they are isolated.
Final Thoughts About Being Single
So this is a very comprehensive list of the reasons why I believe that being single is better than what some people may think. Being single should be one of the best times in your life. Take advantage of the opportunity to find out who you really are and what you want to become. I am not saying that I am against marriage. What I was trying to do is to present the other side that the media and other influences in our lives do not present. I suggest that you think long and hard before you rush to get married. This is your life to live. Live responsibly and make the choice that you feel is best for you. If that choice is to be single then you have made a good choice!
Vasel, Kathryn. Couples are spending more than ever to get hitched. 6 April 2016. CNN Money Magazine Web Site. 26 12 2016.
© 2016 Ara Vahanian