“…and they lived happily ever after.”
We all recognize this ending from fairy tales and the overwhelming majority of Hollywood movies. But is it possible to live happily ever after without the “they”?
A lot of that happiness depends on the type of person you are.
Marriage rates, at least for middle- and lower-class people, have been steadily declining for years and reached only 66% and 38% of people in these economic classes, respectively.
As of 2019, 38% of people overall between the ages of 25-54 were living without a spouse or partner.
So it seems that more and more people are either choosing to be single or unable to find life partners.
On the one hand, many of these people could be divorced or separated, and whether or not they’re happier single is up for debate.
But there are many people who choose to be single, who feel like that’s the best way for them to live their lives.
And if you share these eight personality traits of people who are truly comfortable being single, this just might be the best life choice for you, too.
1) Highly sociosexual
In case you’re not familiar with his term, sociosexuality is a person’s tendency towards uncommitted sexual interactions.
In other words, it’s having sex without commitment.
And people’s sociosexuality levels really differ.
Some people have no interest at all in sex outside of a serious, loving, committed relationship, while for others, sex is another activity like a sport or other hobby that doesn’t need to be particularly related to any relationship.
People with lower levels of sociosexuality want partners and commitments, and usually monogamy. They want emotional intimacy woven into their sex lives and don’t much enjoy having sex with anyone but a committed partner.
However, those with high levels of sociosexuality view sex as play. They don’t need a committed relationship for sex, and if they are happy with their sex lives, they’re much more likely to be comfortable living their lives single.
Many people who are highly creative are able to be truly comfortable being single.
Whether temporarily or for the long haul, these people have less need for partners to help them feel like their lives are whole.
Creative people have very rich interior lives. They can escape, create fantasy, daydream, and otherwise keep themselves occupied in their thoughts.
Generally, this makes them less likely to get lonely than non-creatives.
They also pursue their creative activities with gusto, whether in art, music, gastronomy, or any other field.
These creative pursuits excite and stimulate them and also keep them occupied. This might be a strong reason why many of them feel they don’t need partners.
They’re essentially able to occupy and entertain themselves, so they’re much less likely to feel as though they need others to “complete” them.
Being non-conformist means rejecting a lot of the norms laid out for you by society and going your own way in life.
Just like those fairy tales I mentioned earlier, there are expectations and social pressures on people to partner up.
Maybe when you’re younger, it’s acceptable and even expected to play around, but society seems to view this as a way to find the right partner. You’re supposed to grow out of this stage in life, get married, and start a family.
But non-conformists ignore or outright revolt against these expectations.
Take my uncle, for instance.
He was actually married, but things just didn’t work out. He and his wife grew apart, largely because of his numerous projects and desire to live off the grid, which she didn’t share.
They’re still great friends, and he’s basically besties with her new husband. But he continues to live alone in the woods and really enjoys his single life.
It seems like society’s idealized life plan simply wasn’t for him.
You don’t have to be non-conformist to be independent.
You just need to have a strong sense of self and a sense of your own capabilities.
It isn’t that independent people don’t need others – not necessarily.
It’s more that they’re highly capable of taking care of themselves, making their own decisions, and planning their own lives.
This is one personality trait that’s very common in people who are truly comfortable being single.
In fact, in one study of the advantages of singlehood, many people rated “more time to myself” and “no one dictates my actions” as important reasons why they chose to be single.
It seems that independent people simply don’t feel that strong urge to partner up and, therefore, are more than happy to live their lives single.
As a free spirit, you’re not held down by society’s traditional rules and expectations.
While a non-conformist actively rejects these rules, a free spirit simply floats above them.
These are people who go their own way and follow what their spirits tell them to do in order to live their best life possible.
And while many free spirits find partners who are great complements to them, many also do not.
Sometimes, this is because they don’t find it easy to find people who are compatible with them.
It’s hard for a free spirit to connect with someone who’s controlled by rules and restrictions.
Other times, it’s simply because they don’t feel that need to partner up.
It’s not a priority in their free-spirited lives, at least not in the way it is for most regular people.
They also generally don’t let themselves be tied down to societal rules like monogamy, commitment, and the institution of marriage.
Free spirits value their freedom and work to keep it at all costs, including the freedom to be single and happy.
If you’re a person with a very goal- or career-oriented personality, you might find yourself being comfortable with leading a single life.
Intense focus on your life and career goals can mean that you have much less interest in things like dating, relationships, marriage, etc.
You could be just too busy, but it’s more likely that you’re just too focused elsewhere.
There’s also a big discrepancy between men and women on this front.
While men have traditionally been more career-focused, they’ve also traditionally still had partners and families.
While this is lessening, the case for women is very different.
Because of women’s roles as mothers, there’s been a choice for a long time now: have a family or have a career.
There just hasn’t been all that much room to negotiate another option, so women who are career-focused have often simply decided to choose work over having a family.
These days, there might be less pressure to choose and more freedom to negotiate a compromise.
However, women and men who find great fulfillment in their work often find that their career is enough, and they don’t feel the need to also find a partner.
7) Not easily lonely
If you find that you’re lonely often and easily, the single life may not be for you.
There are definitely people who just don’t like to be alone and who like to share most every aspect of their lives with someone else, usually a trusted life partner.
But there are many people out there who are very comfortable with solitude and don’t get lonely easily or even at all.
These people may not need partners to be happy.
For the most part, they’re very self-contained and usually have rich interior lives that give them a lot of fulfillment.
Others find that they get a lot out of the social interactions that they do have and, therefore, don’t need to have a spouse or a partner who’s with them all the time.
8) Good at keeping strong social ties
When I think about my uncle, who lives alone, I really don’t worry about him and his happiness.
He is happy on his own, and he’s not lonely at all.
On the contrary, he’s quite social, and he likes to go out and find people to talk and laugh with often.
Many people have relationships that require strong commitments, and over time, they start to drift apart from their friends and even their extended family, spending most of their time with their partners.
And as they get older, they might find themselves getting lonely even in that relationship.
But people like my uncle haven’t let their important social ties slip away.
They maintain strong bonds with a lot of different people, and these are very important to them, even fully replacing any bonds that a partnership might have represented for them.
So they’re quite stable and content with their single lives.
Single and happy
People with these eight personality traits can truly be comfortable being single. They don’t feel sad and lonely, wallowing in regret over loves lost and relationships that might have been.
Instead, they feel fulfilled, whole, and happy with their single lives.