I used to think that being single meant something was lacking in my life.
Friends would pair off, and I’d wonder if I was missing out on something vital to my happiness.
But I realized that being single doesn’t have to be a shortcoming.
In fact, it can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience if we approach it the right way.
I was thinking about this because I just published a new YouTube video on how to deal with being single and lonely in a big city (video is at the bottom of this article).
The video caused me to reflect and share some key learnings on the behaviors to give up to really enjoy being single.
This article is the result. If you’re feeling stuck or unhappy in your single life, maybe these insights can help you too.
1. Comparing yourself to others
One of the behaviors that used to steal my joy in being single was constantly comparing myself to others.
I’d look at friends who were in relationships and feel a pang of jealousy, thinking that their lives were somehow more complete or happier than mine.
Social media made it even worse, with endless pictures of couples enjoying vacations, date nights, and special moments.
But then I realized something crucial: comparing myself to others was like comparing apples to oranges.
Every person’s journey is unique, and what might be right for someone else might not be right for me.
Learning to appreciate my own path and focus on what made me happy as an individual helped me break free from this toxic cycle.
I started to enjoy the freedom and opportunities that single life offered, instead of viewing it as something lacking.
By letting go of these comparisons, I found contentment in my own experiences and began to see the value in my own unique path.
2. Seeking validation through a relationship
Once, the thought of being in a relationship felt like a stamp of approval to me.
I believed that having a partner was a symbol of success, a way to show the world that I was lovable and valuable.
But this way of thinking was a trap, as it made my self-worth dependent on someone else’s affection.
Embracing singlehood taught me to find validation from within.
I began to recognize my worth, my accomplishments, and my individuality, all of which were completely separate from my relationship status.
By learning to love and appreciate myself, I no longer needed a relationship to feel complete.
3. Obsessing over the “perfect” partner
In my quest for happiness, I would often create an imaginary “perfect” partner and then seek that ideal in the real world.
This not only set unrealistic expectations but also prevented me from truly getting to know people for who they were.
By letting go of this obsession, I allowed myself to connect with others on a more genuine level.
I learned that perfection is a myth, and that real relationships are built on understanding, compromise, and acceptance.
This realization made my interactions more authentic and enjoyable, whether in friendships or potential romantic connections.
4. Overcommitting to the wrong things
When I was struggling with being single, I would sometimes overcommit to work, hobbies, or other distractions to fill a void.
While staying busy is not inherently bad, doing it to escape feelings of loneliness led to burnout and dissatisfaction.
Learning to balance my time and commitments, and engaging in activities that genuinely fulfilled me, made my single life richer and more rewarding.
Instead of running away from my single status, I embraced it and used the time to discover what truly made me happy.
5. Ignoring self-care
Lastly, I found that ignoring self-care was a major hindrance to my happiness.
I was so focused on finding a partner that I neglected my own well-being.
Taking the time to invest in myself, whether through exercise, hobbies, or simply relaxing, made a huge difference.
I realized that self-care is a form of self-love, and embracing it allowed me to grow more comfortable and content with being on my own.
After all, if I couldn’t take care of myself, how could I expect to contribute positively to a relationship?
How to find joy and fulfillment in being single
It’s not uncommon to associate singlehood with loneliness.
That empty chair across the dinner table, the unshared laughs during a favorite movie, or the solo weekend outings can sometimes sting.
But this loneliness often comes not from the absence of people around us, but from a feeling that those surrounding us don’t truly understand or connect with us on a deep level.
The insight here, one that took me a while to realize, is that we are always in a relationship with ourselves.
And it’s a relationship that can be as fulfilling, rich, and nurturing as any other.
Being single offers an uncluttered path to self-knowledge. Free from the external expectations and compromises that often come with a romantic relationship, we have the opportunity to explore who we are, what we love, and where our passions lie. It’s a time to connect with ourselves, to learn to enjoy our own company, and to invest in our personal growth.
However, this path is not without its pitfalls. The trap many fall into is a feeling of lack, a continuous chase for something—or someone—to fill a void.
But the truth is, if we are not comfortable being alone with ourselves, we are unlikely to find genuine joy in being single, or in a relationship for that matter.
The key to finding happiness in being single lies in embracing the solitude, rather than fleeing from it. It’s in those quiet moments, when we are alone with our thoughts, that we can truly begin to understand ourselves. We can explore our dreams, our fears, our likes and dislikes without judgment or external influences.
By building a relationship with ourselves, we provide companionship, understanding, and empathy. We can become our best friend, our own confidante, and our own support system. This creates a foundation of self-reliance and self-respect that not only enriches our single lives but also enhances any future relationships we may choose to pursue.
Embracing singlehood as an opportunity rather than a deficiency shifts the narrative. It transforms a period that might be seen as a waiting game into a vibrant, self-directed journey of discovery.
So if you find yourself single, consider it a privileged moment to get to know yourself. Invest in the things that make you happy, surround yourself with those who truly understand you, and most importantly, learn to enjoy your own company. Only when we truly feel comfortable being alone can we fully embrace the joy and fulfillment of being single. It’s not about finding the right person, but about being the right person for yourself.
Check out my latest video below on what to do when you’re single and lonely. I explore this idea in a bit more depth.