Copyright© 2013-2019 Leyla Bagheri M.A in Psychology, Certified Life Coach email@example.com 416.770.0462
Ughhh, the single life. It can be the best of times, or it can be the worse or the best times…literally.
Ironically, most people who are single fall into 2 broad categories: the 1) “Having the time of my life” singles or the 2) “The single life sucks” singles. And if you’re single, or know someone who is, you can probably make the distinction of where you (or your friend) fall in those two categories quite instantly.
What Kind of Single Are You?
1) “Having the Time of My Life” Singles
Life is great when you’re single. No worries about where your partner is, what he/she is doing, what special days are coming up, having to plan events and dates with regard to their likings and opinions… it’s great! You finally get to just focus on what really matters, which is yourself! You can fully do whatever you want and be yourself without having to think about what he/she might think of you if you play video games all day, eat ice cream at 12:00 am, or don’t take a shower for a day. Disregard the last point if you don’t do that…
You get to focus on your hobbies and have less headaches over stupid things. And not to mention, you don’t have to deal with the roller-coaster of emotions! You can actually think straight and get work done. These points almost make you want to stay single forever doesn't it? Ok.. maybe not forever, but at least for now.
2) “The Single Life Sucks” Singles
If you’re not part of the above single life category, you’re probably part of the singles who wish that they had someone special. You envy the people in a relationship and don’t enjoy being alone. You are probably constantly talking about how being single sucks and have signed up to a dating website where you’re religiously on the lookout. Life feels incomplete, dull, and even worthless without that special someone to bring meaning to your life. You may feel lost and don’t know how to get back to feeling happy again. And let’s face it, sometimes you can come off as a little desperate or pushy. But it’s ok, you know the importance of settling down; all the power to ya!
Which Single Life Mentality is Better?
From the 2 single life mentalities that I described above, the first one may look like a better deal than the second. I mean, if you could choose to feel excited or miserable about being single, would you not choose to be excited? But on the other hand, if you are that careless about being in a relationship, what if you miss out on a great opportunity?
As you may have noticed already, both single life mentalities are far from ideal. There must be a better way right?
The great news is that there is a better way! And I'll get to that in just a minute.
The Downside of “Having the Time of My Life” Single Mentality
Although you may have gained some benefits from becoming single, or staying single (like feeling like yourself again, feeling a burden lifted off, having some excitement about future opportunities, having more freedom, etc), these “positive” emotions and experiences are only short-lived. And MEANT TO BE short lived. Once you choose to stay single for a prolonged period of time, it is usually an indication of a problem. And sometimes, we don’t want to admit this to ourselves, or other people.
Truth is, after every breakup there is some level of heartbreak. And people who seem like they are doing “great” are usually not. Breakups hurt and we are often bruised after them. It takes time to heal and some of us try to mask our problem by partying it up and refusing to form meaningful relationships that we think could potentially lead to pain and heartache again.
If you are part of this category, you know deep down that you want something more, but you are not ready yet. You want to feel happy, fulfilled, special, important, cared for and loved. It’s a human need no matter how much you may try to mask it.
Forming meaningful relationships is a universal need
There is not a single person on this planet that does not want the happiness, love, and fulfillment that comes with being in a meaningful relationship. It is our human nature to want to have a deep romantic bond with another person. Being in a relationship is optimal for us and it is just how we are designed.
The negative impact
Some of the negative consequences of choosing to ignore the impact of previous heartbreaks and settle for the “benefits” of a single life is that you might miss out on the opportunity to overcome the damage from your previous relationships and grow. This means that you are making yourself prone to the same negative cycle of your past relationships, or create an even worse one later down the road. You may miss a lot of opportunities with great people from developing a negative reputation, or getting used to a certain habits that’s may contribute to a negative relationship in your future.
The downside of the “The single life sucks” mentality
There are many downsides to this single life mentality as well. Like not enjoying you’re life at the moment, becoming overly dependent on someone else to make you happy, or making yourself vulnerable to unhealthy relationships by not knowing how to handle yourself on your own.
If you have this mentality, you already know that it’s an unpleasant state that you don’t want to be in. This category has many of the same adverse consequences as the “having the time of my life” singles mentioned above: This mentality keeps you from self-development and growth (something you will need in order to get into a better and more meaningful relationship in the future). And as you probably know, not many people want to be with someone who cannot be happy on their own. This is because it is very difficult to make someone else happy if you don’t know how to make yourself happy first. So jumping into another relationship too soon may not be a good idea.
But does this mean being single is a bad thing? And that we can’t be happy as singles?
Regardless of the single life mentality that you choose, you will most likely end up in a relationship again. This blog isn’t about whether you will end up alone forever or not. You won’t! The real question is what kind of relationship will you get into once your single life is over, and how will your quality of life be when you are in the single stage? What distinguishes the kind of relationship you have in the future is almost entirely due to how much you learn about yourself and what you take away from your past relationship(s).
So the answer to “is being single always a bad thing” is NO! It can actually be an amazing life changer. But it will more likely be a good thing if you stay away from the two single life mentalities I talked about above.
How You Can Use Being Single to Increase Your Quality of Life and Future Relationship
There is a third kind of single life mentality. It doesn’t involve any extreme need to be with or without a relationship. I call it “the total package” single. This kind of a single life mentality allows you to be happier and more fulfilled during your single life, and have a healthier and more meaningful relationship once you decide to cross over to the other side.
The “Total Package” Single
Being single is a great time to really collect yourself and evaluate your life and what you want. There are many great opportunities that come with being single and you should take advantage of it if you don’t necessarily have a few things in place.
To become a “total package” single you need to have:
1) A clear and solid picture of:
A) Who you are – what are your values and beliefs. What are your goals, What are your strengths and weaknesses. What are your passions. What makes you happy.
B) What kind of life you want to have- what do you want in life, what kind of lifestyle do you want to have, what do you want in a partner, etc.
This doesn't mean that you need every aspect of your life completely figured out, or that things in your life can’t change. But, it does mean that you need to have a firm grasp of who you are and what you want in life. In return, you will be able to be more clear, more confident, self-aware, and more likely to succeed in your future relationship and everyday life.
2) The Ability to:
A) Be happy and content on your own
B) Transfer happiness and love to others
C) Respect yourself
D) Have your own life- have goals, hobbies, friends, interests, etc
Many times, it's difficult to develop the above abilities in a relationship. It’s easy to get sidetracked because it's difficult to think clearly. But without the points above, it will be very difficult to have a positive and meaningful relationship with someone. So having the knowledge and skills down while you’re single is a great investment in yourself and your future relationship.
A Single Life That is Great For You and Your Future Partner
By becoming a "total package" single, you will be building yourself for a greater single life, as well as a great future relationship. You will be prone to less fluctuations in your mood whether you are in a relationship or not, and will have more value once you’re in one. You will be able to contribute more, and as a result, more likely to receive more.
By becoming a "total package" single, you can finally break free of unhealthy cycles of past relationships and become ready for a meaningful, happy, and fulfilling one in the future. The opportunity is there! So use the single life to your advantage: to learn, to grow, to experience, and to be ready for a meaningful and healthy relationship in the future.
If you are single, or if you are in an unhealthy relationship, I want to invite you to think about how being single can help your current and future situation. What will you gain? What can you learn and how can you grow? As always, feel free to write a comment below and share your thoughts.