9 signs you genuinely enjoy being single, according to psychology

How old were you when you got into your first relationship?

The average age for a first relationship is somewhere between 15-18 years old. My first real relationship wasn’t until I was 27. Hearing that, people usually assume I wanted a relationship sooner but couldn’t find a boyfriend.

In reality, I didn’t want or need a partner. Sure, I dated and had some casual relationships but I genuinely enjoyed being single. The frustrating thing was people questioned this; it was as though they couldn’t believe someone could genuinely enjoy being single.

Maybe this resonates with you? You feel genuinely happy being single but others make you question if it’s even possible.

Sound familiar? If so then get ready, we’re going to put this doubt to rest once and for all. Today, I’m sharing 9 signs you genuinely enjoy being single, according to psychology.

Let’s dive in.

1) You have great friends

You’ve got great friends. They’re not just pals to go out partying with, you trust them and they’re there for you through all the ups and downs.

Does this strike a chord with you?

When I think about why I was so happy being single, I realize it’s because of my friends. Often a boyfriend or girlfriend is not only a romantic partner but someone you can rely on, trust, and have fun with.

My friends provided all of these things for me. We invested time and effort in each other. We spent weekends together, we laughed and cried together. I didn’t need a boyfriend to play that role for me.

And it’s not just me: recent research found that single people invest more in their friends and enjoy higher quality friendships and increased self-esteem as a result.

Having good quality friendships like this is a tell-tale sign that you enjoy being single. You’re too busy having fun with them to think about looking for a romantic relationship.

2) You’re career-focused

Are you passionate about your career and driven to succeed

Most people complain about work but you enjoy it. You’re driven and committed to getting to the top. You know long hours and hard work are the only things that’ll get you there.

You can’t imagine how tough it would be to juggle your hectic work schedule and a romantic partner. 

At the moment, it feels easier to stay single so that you can focus on your career without a partner to distract you. And you’re not alone.

A 2022 study found that people who are career-focused, especially young women, are more likely to be happier being single than in a romantic relationship.

And hey, there’s nothing wrong with prioritizing your career over a romantic relationship if it makes you happy and allows you to enjoy your life.

3) You appreciate your independence and self-sufficiency

In my 20s I loved being independent and self-sufficient. I could go anywhere I wanted, with anyone I chose, to do anything I felt like doing. Having both the freedom and the means to do this was exciting to me.

If you’re also someone who appreciates your independence and being able to handle things yourself then you’ll know what I mean. You’re the boss of you and you don’t have to consult anyone else.

As outlined by social psychologist and author Bella De Paulo Ph.D, studies tell us “the more self-sufficient [single people] are, the less likely they are to have negative feelings”.

In a nutshell: being able to deal with things on your own and enjoying the freedom of independence are signs that you’re genuinely happy being single.

4) You socialize and get involved in the community

Are you the kind of person who likes to get involved with your community?

Throughout my single years, I was actively involved in my local community. I played sports with the local team, volunteered, and participated in walks, quizzes, and cleanups regularly.

I didn’t know it back then but my active participation in the local area made me enjoy being single more. And it’s quite common. 

One study suggests that single people are more likely to socialize and participate in the community. And good social relationships like this are the most consistent predictor of a happy life.

If you enjoy socializing within your community it suggests you genuinely enjoy being single, according to psychology so embrace your choice and forget the doubters.  

5) You value mental and physical health 

Image credit: Shutterstock – By lzf

Is looking after physical and mental health important to you?

You enjoy working out and have incorporated it into your daily routine. You make time for self-care such as journaling and meditation too. These things are not nice to have for you but must-haves.

Turns out: people like you, who make being physically and mentally healthy a high priority in their lives won’t turn their attention to other areas of life such as romantic relationships until these essentials are met and maintained according to a recent study.

As we all know, good physical and mental health are already known to improve happiness and satisfaction. Being able to focus time on these things, adds to your ability to enjoy single life.

6) You value meaningful work

Although you’re highly motivated to achieve, it’s about more than money for you. You value meaningful work. Research shows this is a common trait among singletons as outlined by the American Psychological Association.

Meaningful work might be expressing yourself creatively, or perhaps spending time contributing to society through volunteering or helping others.

Committing your time, energy, and sometimes money to meaningful work like this is very fulfilling for you.

You recognize that being single is one of the reasons you have the time and money to dedicate to this area of yourself and you enjoy that freedom. 

7) You don’t conform or follow the crowd

It seems like everyone is desperate to find love and settle down, marriage, kids, the lot, right? But not you, you’re happy to embrace your unique outlook on life and do things your way.

You’d rather be different and happy than the same and miserable. You share the views of author, Rita Mae Brown when she said “I think the reward for conformity is that everyone likes you except yourself.”

You’ve seen it with your peers: lots of people rush into relationships with the wrong people because they’re afraid to be lonely. Ironically, one study has found that people who never married are the second least lonely of all groups. 

If you’re happy to march to the beat of your own drum despite what everyone else is doing, it’s a sure sign you genuinely enjoy being single.

8) You value your freedom

My friend Denise has been single forever. She’s never been interested in a relationship with anyone and when you ask her why she’ll tell you it’s because she values her freedom too much.

She views a relationship as being ‘tied down’, she doesn’t want that in her life.

Does Denise’s outlook on relationships resonate with you?

If so, the good news is people who embrace values like freedom and creativity are happier as outlined by Psychology Today.

If you value your freedom and being in a romantic relationship feels to you like you’ll lose that freedom, then embrace who you are and the happiness that comes with it.

9) You enjoy alone time

Picture this: it’s Friday night and you’re on your way home from work. You haven’t made plans with anyone until Saturday night so the next 18 hours are all yours.

How does that make you feel? If it excites you then clearly you enjoy alone time.

Some people assume that if you’re alone, then you must be lonely. However, this could not be further from the truth.

Being lonely is a feeling of being disconnected from others. It’s about wanting a connection that you don’t have. Enjoying alone time means you find peace doing things by yourself.

These moments of solitude help you recharge and reflect. And being single allows you to have as much solitude as you need which contributes to your genuine enjoyment of single life

Final thoughts

How many of these signs do you recognize in yourself?

There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to people who enjoy being single but if you see some of these signs in yourself, there’s a good chance that you do.

Embrace the life that makes you happy and don’t worry what other people think.

Cat Harper

Cat is an experienced Sales and Enablement professional turned writer whose passions span from psychology and relationships to continuous self-improvement, lifelong learning and pushing back on societal expectations to forge a life she loves. An avid traveler and adventure sports enthusiast, in her downtime you'll find Cat snowboarding, motorcycling or working on her latest self-development project.

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