How to Be Happy Single: 7 Tips for Enjoying Being Alone Without Being Lonely

Updated on July 3, 2017
thehands profile image

After seeing many friends (or himself) seduced by love, only to crash and burn afterwards, Jorge writes advice based on his observations.

How to Be Happy and Single

If you've always felt that you needed a partner to be happy, then it might be hard for you to fathom actually enjoying the single life. You're not alone; a lot of people feel a lack of fulfillment when they're not in a relationship.

The truth is, though, that it's extremely important to be happy by yourself. Not only does it benefit you while you're single, but being happy alone actually makes it easier to be happy with a partner, too.

The relationships that you have with others mirror the relationship that you have with yourself. There's no way to get around that. If you are not "enough" for you, then how do you expect to be enough for others?

So as you can see, it's worth it to work on this and get to a point where you can live a satisfied life, even if you're single. Here are some tips to get you started on that road:

Contrary to popular belief, you can enjoy the sunset when you're single.
Contrary to popular belief, you can enjoy the sunset when you're single.

Tip #1: Focus on Your Freedom

The first thing that you should realize is that being single actually has a really good benefit: freedom.

This can be a scary thought for a lot of people, though. If you were in a relationship before that influenced all of your major decisions, suddenly having a wide open world of infinite paths can be too overwhelming.

Try to appreciate this for what it is. Look at your friends who aren't single and notice all of the restrictions that they often have to deal with. When you're in a relationship, you have the burden of not only satisfying yourself, but of having to please someone else, too. Many times, for people who don't know how to say "no," this devolves into a situation where they give too much of themselves and have nothing less.

Even if this wasn't you, and you know how to set boundaries, being alone and having all the freedom you want can be a huge relief. It's easier to be happy single when you realize how many restrictions have been lifted.

Tip #2: Consider How Much You've Been Conditioned

How much of your desire to be in a relationship is inherent in you and how much of it has been conditioned by society? If you lived in a culture where people didn't get into romantic relationships, would it ever bother you that you were single?

Society may have influenced you more than you think. There's no law of the universe that says you have to pair up with someone else, get married, make some babies, and buy a two-story house. Unfortunately, social pressure can make it seem that we're failures if we don't accomplish these things.

So do you really hate being single, or do you just not want to "end up alone"? Do the implications of possibly never getting married bother you more than the reality?

If you really do have a specific goal to marry and have children, then that's great. Do it for your own reasons, though, and keep in mind that desperation probably won't be attractive to a potential spouse.

Single and Not Looking

What was the longest stretch of time that you've been single (after adulthood)?

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How much was your idea of romance actually molded by society and the media?
How much was your idea of romance actually molded by society and the media?

Tip #3: Guard Your Time and Keep It For Yourself

If you're single and not used to it, it's easy to subconsciously replace the "duties" of your relationships with duties to other people. You may unwittingly construct faux relationships.

What does this mean? Do you have a friend that you're clinging to now? Are you letting your parents or other relatives monopolize your time?

If you just recently left a relationship, there could be a gaping vacuum of time and effort there, especially if the relationship was difficult. Resist the urge to fill it with random duties that serve others.

It may seem that these activities will distract you from the loneliness, but a lot of the time they will just keep you from addressing the core problem: that you feel unfulfilled when you're by yourself. This can stop you from developing your own life purpose.

First and foremost, keep the time for yourself. Learn to work with that void and fill it with activities that enrich you. Only then can you really serve others out of a sense of sharing and not duty or distraction.

Tip #4: Give to Others in Different Ways

Once you are sure that you're not trying to distract yourself from the loneliness (because it doesn't work!), consider spending time giving to others. Volunteer your time to a charity or join a local club that caters to one of your interests.

This will help you form genuine relationships with people that aren't centered around your need to be fulfilled by them.

Tip #5: Expand Your Social Circle

Something that can be critical in making the single life enjoyable is having a good support system. This doesn't mean that you should desperately cling to your friends instead of a romantic partner; it just means that you'll have people to talk to and share with in a platonic way.

Over time, you'll come to realize that the loyalty of a few close friends can often mean a lot more than the admiration and affection of a love partner. It lasts longer, too.

If you don't have many friends, being single is a good time to expand that social circle, since you'll have more free time without a partner.

Spending time in solitary contentment is ironically the key to being happy single.
Spending time in solitary contentment is ironically the key to being happy single.

Tip #6: Allow Yourself to Be in the Moment (Especially With New Romantic Interests)

The key to being content is to accept the moment as it is, pay attention to what's happening in the now, and not try to fight it.

A lot of the resistance to being single happens because of an obsession with the future. "What's going to happen to me? Will I never get married? Will I die alone?" While planning for the future is fine, compulsively worrying about it is not.

If you're going to date or otherwise search for a partner, be open to the possibilities. Stay in the moment. Don't demand instant commitment from the other person. Don't try to push the relationship into moving unnaturally fast, like you have some kind of agenda. You'll only attract desperate people that way, and you'll repulse healthy people who are interested in getting to know you first.

Tip #7: Find Some Silence to Think

Most importantly, in order to enjoy being alone, you have to know how to be alone with your thoughts.

Self-reflection is extremely important. If nothing scares you more than sitting alone with yourself, with no distractions--no TV, no phone, no people--then this is even more of a reason to do it.

You could say that those of us who feel like we desperately need something, are really just looking to distract ourselves. Some people do it by chasing a career that they desperately want, some people do it by taking addicting substances, and still others do it by never being single.

We don't want to be alone with ourselves because we don't want to face the truth of who we are. It's too difficult. It's like staring into a void of random thoughts. Having someone else around with us as we face life can be temporarily soothing--but it's just a band-aid that hides what's underneath.

Learn to sit alone. Learn to meditate. Learn to walk in the wilderness and be perfectly happy by yourself. It will not only help you cope with life better, but it will make you a better partner if one day you are no longer single.

How to Be Happy Single: According to You

What do you think is the best strategy to be happy while being single?

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Questions & Answers

    © 2017 Jorge Vamos

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      • Coffeequeeen profile image

        Louise Powles 

        13 months ago from Norfolk, England

        You've given some good tips there. I've been single for little over 3 years now and don't mind it. If I do find someone, that will be nice. But I'm happy to be single otherwise. =)

      • thehands profile imageAUTHOR

        Jorge Vamos 

        13 months ago

        @dashingscorpio

        Yes, I would agree, and I think most people would, too. "Single" usually means that you're not in a long-term relationship, be that marriage or something else.

      • dashingscorpio profile image

        dashingscorpio 

        13 months ago

        Great tips!

        Over the years I've come to realize that the term "single" means different things to different people.

        1. Some people simply state it means one is not married.

        Generally this is what government and application forms mean when they ask for one's marital status: Married, Single, Divorced. Therefore even a cohabitating couple is still legally "single".

        2. Others define single as "dating" but not in an "exclusive" or (serious relationship) with anyone. Essentially casual dating.

        3. While others define single as not going out with anyone!

        If I'm being completely honest I have never been in a situation where I didn't at least have a "booty call", "friends with benefits" arrangement, or the occasional one night stand. My personal definition of single means I'm not (in) an "exclusive relationship".

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