How to be happy when you’re single: 14 important steps

Just ended a long-term relationship? Been single for a while? Whichever it is, it’s common to feel lonely and confused.

When we feel this way, it’s natural to desire someone or something to fill that void of emptiness.

If you’re lucky, perhaps you’ll find right person or the right thing. But if not, you’ll have to find a way to work through these negative emotions.

With being single so common nowadays, many people are wondering: Is there something wrong with me? Will I be single forever?

The more interesting question:

Can I be happy even though I haven’t found my partner yet?

The truth is, yes you can!

Here are 14 ways to find meaning and happiness even when you’re single. 

1) Care more about your family

Yes I know, you’ve heard this before. But the truth is, your family keeps you grounded and focused on what’s important.

Caring doesn’t mean you have to provide them with luxury gifts or money.

It’s simply making a quick call on the weekend or a message to your Dad asking how life is.

It’s listening to your Mom’s stories of what’s happening in your hometown or updating her about your life.

Your family will bring you back to reality and help you feel calm and centered. Your perspective on life will be colored with optimism and love.

2) Try a new interest or hobby

Get out there and try something new. You don’t have to do something that’s totally out of your comfort zone. It could be something as simple as taking a dancing class or cooking class.

Now is the time. Just do whatever interests you and allows you to experience something new.

Once you’ve found something that makes you happy, keep doing it! Focus on yourself and what brings you joy and fulfillment.

3) Focus on yourself

Instead of pushing yourself to hang out with others when you’re not in the mood, use that time for yourself. 

Go to the hair salon. Paint your nails. Make yourself feel beautiful. Read a new book or watch a movie. Do things that make you feel relaxed and comfortable.

Spending time alone allows you to discover qualities about yourself that you love, and some that you’d like to change.

All of them will help you understand that you don’t always need to be around others.

4) Spend quality time with your friends

Friends will be with you whether you’re in a relationship or single. They’ll give you much-needed support as you go through life

So don’t just jump straight into dates with random guys. Spend that time with your friends having coffee and talking or nights out with the girls. Enjoy it! Friends will help you realize true happiness and the person you really are.

5) Appreciate what you have

Being single sometimes makes you feel jealous and compare yourself to others. Instead, look at your life and appreciate what you have right now: your family, your friends, your job, your house, your collections, your hobbies, your health. You’ll see that you’re still luckier than so many people.

Focusing on the positive will shift your perspective to one of gratitude and happiness.

Integrate these steps into your single life and you’ll be on a path to deep happiness. And if you do eventually want “the one” to show up, when he or she does, you’ll be that much more desirable because happiness is incredibly attractive.

6) It doesn’t mean you’re alone or lonely

Let’s continue by pointing out that just because you don’t share a bed with someone on a regular basis doesn’t mean you are lonely or alone.

You probably have friends (who pester you to get married) and family (who also pester you to get married), and they care about you.

If you can navigate their well-meaning, yet condescending remarks and find things to do with them, it’s great.

You probably have a very active lifestyle and do the things you want to do when you want to do them.

That doesn’t sound too bad. You probably also realize that being single affords you the opportunity to pick up and go and do things that are important to you.

7) Being single doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you

So many people will tell you that their life was complete when they met their partner, but that means they believed they weren’t a whole person on their own.

You probably realize that you have it within yourself to create the life you want and if you choose to take a partner at some point, they will only add to what is already pretty great – they won’t “complete” it for you.

Nobody can make you whole or complete you. This is a common misconception amongst single people who are desperate to be in a relationship.

As if being in a relationship makes them a better person somehow. It doesn’t. It just gives them something else to focus on.

But you can be single and be fulfilled in lots of different ways beyond who you are sleeping with.

8) You don’t have to compromise

We’re going back to this one because it’s huge. Relationships are all about compromise.

When you’re single, you get to call the shots. All of the shots. You don’t need to explain yourself to anyone or make excuses for what you want and why.

Plus, you get to change your mind on a whim and relish in all that you create on your own.

It’s not to say that you couldn’t share all that gloriousness with someone else, but you realize you don’t need them to have a great life, to begin with.

9) You know that knowing yourself is what matters

So many people are so desperate to be in relationships they dive in without fully thinking about what they are doing.

Women marry men they don’t love because they have good jobs. Men marry women they don’t love because it’s the next right step in some made-up construct we have all signed up for.

But if you’re single, you spend time building a life that is important to you first.

That means that when and if you decide to have a partner, your partner gets to share in what you’ve created but they don’t get to take credit for it and they don’t get to take any of it away from you.

When you jump into relationships thinking someone is going to make you happy, you often find yourself years older, not much happier, and feeling sort of resentful that this person hasn’t lived up to your expectations.

Whatever your relationship status is, consider that your partner doesn’t make you happy.

They might do lots of nice things and make you feel safe and cared for, but that is not the same as happy.

You are responsible for your happiness. Get to know you and what you want and understand what makes you happy and then when you get into a relationship – if you do – you’ll have a much more enjoyable experience.

Relationships are about two people going through life together. One is not responsible for the other’s happiness. Or at least, we should release them of that responsibility if we think they are.

10) Spend time with yourself

In order to like yourself more, you need to get to know yourself. So many of us are used to living the life other people think we should live.

When you slow down and start paying attention to what actually makes you happy, you might find that you don’t need as much as others tell you that you need.

And that includes a romantic partner. Plus, if you don’t like yourself and you don’t like hanging out with yourself, why would anyone else?

11) Spend your own money

Some people get into relationships so others can take care of them, but single people will tell you how great it is to have and spend your own money.

You don’t need to ask anyone’s permission or “check-in” before you buy something. If you want to love being single, treat yourself.

Then when you do find yourself in a relationship, you won’t need to rely on that person to buy you things. They just get to be with you. And that’s enough.

12) Make friends

Single people have the best friends and spend more time with their friends than those in relationships.

When you’re single, you have more energy and time for people. When you get into a relationship, you know how it is: you disappear.

And you end up missing your friends.

So before you get into a relationship, find friendship and be happy with your friends. They’ll be there for you in a different way than your partner.

13) Care about something other than yourself

If you’re stuck in your head and can’t seem to get over something, take time to pay attention to someone else.

Volunteer, help someone, visit a friend, create something: do something that isn’t for you.


Rest assured, you’ll benefit greatly from this approach to life and you might even find a new hobby or friend because of it.

You don’t need someone to make you happy. Purpose brings happiness with it naturally.

14) Strive for goals

When you work on yourself, people notice. So if you are looking for a relationship, it’s important to have things you want to work for in your life before you put someone else’s needs front and center.

So many people – women especially – throw away their dreams when they get into a relationship that they wake up one day wondering what happened.

Happiness is about building a life, not settling into one. If you want to be happy, whether you’re single or not, have something to focus on for yourself.

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