A single’s guide to happiness

Movies, TV shows, songs, plays, even commercials are all selling love. Actually, “selling” is kind of a soft word, it’s more like they’re pushing it on us. They’re like drug pushers – they’re love pushers! And while I’m more the cheesy action fan myself, I’ve seen enough romantic comedies to understand why so many people believe that romantic love makes the world go ’round.

From Jerry Maguire’s “you had me at hello”, to Johnny’s “nobody puts Baby in the corner”, and Mr. Darcy’s “you’ve bewitched me body and soul” (yes, I’m aware this line would be really creepy if said in this century)… you get the point. We’ve been conditioned to believe that life and true happiness starts when your prince charming walks (or gallops) into your life. According to Hollywood, love equals happiness. And I’m not here to refute that logic, but after many a long conversation with single friends feeling the pressure, I decided to address the issue. Let’s consider for a moment that perhaps romantic love does not equal happiness. I’m not an expert on happiness, but if you want my opinion (and since you’re reading my blog, I’ll assume that you do), here are my tips on the subject.

1. Be happy with yourself. This is obvious and should be relevant whether in a relationship or not. Whether you are newly-single, looking to be in a relationship, or are intentionally single for a time, you are most likely a pretty decent human being. But since I don’t know who you are, I can’t say that for sure. Regardless, learning to be happy with who you are can be a long process and not quite as simple as it sounds, but figure it out – nothing will be worth it if you don’t.

2. Keep active. An added bonus to being single means that you can be as selfish as you want in this regard – your time is your own so make the most of it. Take up hobbies and try new things. I like to read and write but in the past I’ve also taken up cooking, running, climbing, hot yoga, and more. I’m also a huge movie fan so going to the cinema is a regular thing for me as well. If you’re uncomfortable seeing movies alone, find another friend who loves movies as much as you, or find a small indie theatre – either no one will notice, or in my experience, there tends to be a lot of singles seeing movies on their own at these places. Which brings me to my next point…

3. Don’t be afraid to do things on your own. This is probably the biggest challenge for sad-singles. Fact: If you don’t do the things you want to because you don’t want to do them alone, there is a very real possibility you’ll end up on your couch every night. Which, in my opinion is a single’s guide to depression, not happiness. If you’re not sure where to start, make a list of things you might be interested in trying and then put them into action (see point two).

4. Make friends! Perhaps more importantly, make friend groups. This isn’t as lame as it sounds. Making friend groups is a great way to fulfill certain needs. For example, if you’re a music lover, make friends with people who like to go to concerts, or, if you’re religious, make friends at your church who you can have coffee nights with. This logic is also true of team sports and book clubs, if that’s your thing.

5. Have your own “go-to” places. This is easier if you’ve lived in the same place all your life, but if you’re like me and are constantly traveling, I try to find cafes, restaurants, theatres (or usually, libraries), to frequent. I try to get to know the names of the employees and before long, it feels like a home away from home. These places also come in handy for the nights you just don’t want to be alone in your apartment.

6. As the old song says, go find somebody to love. As much as you may want to ignore it, love is fundamental to your happiness, but this doesn’t have to be romantic love. This can be evident in your relationships with friends, family, God, or even strangers. Try spreading the love by doing some volunteer work. As silly as it may sound, on some of my lonely days in Malawi (they will happen), I would visit the animal shelter near my work in Blantyre and play with the dogs, they didn’t get many visitors and the puppies were just so eager to have someone around. Those little guys instantly lifted my spirits.

I want to make a note here that you should be fully aware of the reasons why you are committing to being single. You don’t have to justify them to anyone else but yourself, but you should know what they are. If you’ve been hurt or heartbroken, being single for a while might seem like a good idea but you shouldn’t live in the past. I encourage you to use this time to heal and move on. Whatever your reasons may be, keep them in mind for the day when they may no longer be relevant. Committing to a single life doesn’t mean that you have to turn away every Romeo. If you’re interested, don’t turn him down just on principal. Being single is meant to feel like freedom, not a prison, so learn to appreciate it.

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803 responses to “A single’s guide to happiness

  1. Beautifully written post and a well deserve one to get freshly pressed. I am glad that i came across this post due to FP. Hope to read more from you.
    Congrats on getting freshly pressed. You did a great job here.

    • Thank you Arindam! I’m so honoured to have been freshly pressed, I feel like opening my inbox this morning was equivalent to confetti shooting out of my computer screen. Very exciting. Thanks for stopping by! πŸ™‚

  2. Great post! I’m only in high school, but I already feel the pressures of being single. I think your point about being happy with yourself is the most important of all. Prince Charming isn’t going to be someone who will totally change your single life–he’ll be someone who’ll come alongside you in your passions and make everything just a little bit sweeter.

    Congrats on the FP!

    • Thanks for your comment – I was single throughout my entire high school years, I went to prom with fellow single friends and my dad even bought me my corsage – and guess what? I loved it. I had the best time in high school and I really value that memory with my dad. Sometimes it’s hard to forget about what everyone else thinks, but you have such an amazing perspective about what a Prince Charming is meant to be! Also, I checked out your blog, and Leet Speak? Is that a thing now? SO cool.

    • Sounds like you’re a pretty smart high-schooler! I was also single all through high school and still am! I hated it back then. I thought something was wrong with me because I didn’t have a boyfriend. I liked plenty of guys, but I am fully aware now that none of those would have worked out. I am constantly thanking God for saving me from the drama and heartbreaks that would have come if I had dated them. Now I realize what a truly beautiful gift singleness is (or can be when you let it). I still plan to marry someday, but I’m not lowering my standards for anyone and I’m not going to go after anyone. He’s got to step up and be a man. If I’m not worth the risk to him, then he’s not worth my time. πŸ™‚

      Great post, @amylleblanc!

    • Aloha, I’m impressed with you. I was single in high school too. I went to my senior prom stag, and I had a blast!! Hormones are confusing enough as an adult, I think being single in high school is a blessing. Enjoy your friends– you’ll never have this much time with them again, it gets so much harder after you graduate college and everyone moves to different cities,starts getting married and having families. You change, it’s harder to get together even when you really want to! You have the right attitude at a very young age. Go you. πŸ™‚

  3. You are preaching to the choir and just as my friend said a few minutes ago “Lets all sing the rest of the song.” When my daughter moved out I was devastated but after much reflection I could tell it was little things about me not her but the ghosts…wow.
    Anyway that was five months ago now she is a Boomerang child so she’s back now and I have to shift my schedule a little. I did take up walking and I love to drive to relax but I had to donate my gas money to her gas money to get to class.
    Also I also recommend that you make friends. When mine moved out one of her friends came to visit me almost everyday. It meant so much. I was very grateful.
    I agree with your opinion thanks for giving it.

    • Thanks for sharing, Patrick! I love walking too, it can be a great time to get out of your own head and just enjoy the view, or for some reflection. But I also recommend morning walks with a friend! Thanks for stopping by! πŸ™‚

    • Thanks, Edwin, it’s a little trick of mine. Sometimes it doesn’t work out so well when employees don’t remember you and you keep calling them by their first names… sometimes I seem like a stalker… Kidding. Give it a go! πŸ™‚

  4. I find that romantic love is just that, one of excitement and mystery; one of limited happiness. My understanding of true love begins with the self and then extends to everything else. It can be a partner, a dog, a book, a concept, or a pair of headphones. What matters the most is that the unlimited fountain be sprung from within. I thought your attitude and voice spoke to this in your post, giving me a new way of seeing this concept. thank you =)

  5. I appreciate it! πŸ˜€ And I also very much appreciate you writing this. A thoroughly helpful list to keep in mind, it is! Aw, and now I wanna go play with puppies and kittens too!

  6. After dating a guy for 3 years and nearly getting engaged at a very young age (20) (he had bought the ring, but hadn’t yet proposed, before I decided to stop and think for a minute if we were in fact doing the right thing) I spent the next 2 years of my life.. single. I had no idea I could be that happy not in a relationship. I thought the happiness I was finally feeling, single, could only be felt in a relationship, boy was I wrong! It was amazing, I took advantage of being me, getting to know myself more, and doing things that I wanted and how I wanted.. for me! Like you said it is so important to know how to be single. During this time all of my close friends were DYING to be in relationships and I just didn’t get it – I guess its a certain place you have to come to on your own to be happy enough by yourself that you stop settling for losers until you find somebody worth while to share your time and life with. I think this is really the sad part.. some people believe so strongly in this romanticized idea of being in love that they settle for people who bring them little or no happiness because they think even though its not all they imagined, being in a relationship is the end-all, be-all. I sincerely hope everyone out there can find the fulfillment and happiness you are talking about and the same that I experienced in their lifetime, when they still have time to be a bit selfish before marriage and children. Those years you spend with yourself and learning about, and enjoying yourself are as precious as the ones you will spend with the love of your life – and there is sometimes only a certain frame of time for them and then they vanish.

    • Well said! I worry when I see my friends with guys who clearly don’t appreciate them – and not necessarily because they’re bad guys, they’re just a bad match. Both partners are putting effort into a relationship that just wasn’t meant to be because they’d rather not be alone. Girls! Guys! Stop settling! Singlehood is not a disease. I promise. Thanks for sharing! πŸ™‚

      • Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes !!! I totally agree – some people treat being single as if it’s the interim step between one relationship and other …. I don’t. I’ve been single for the past four years after coming out of a 12 year relationship – and now, I’d never understand the opinion that “I couldn’t survive without a partner – they are like my other half, I am incomplete without them” …. wrong!! That doesn’t make sense to me now. Life is yours to have now, so live it! Don’t waste time waiting for something else to happen.

  7. The worst thing for any single to do is stay at home and feel bad. Dont be like that. Go out and do everything you would like you have a partner with you. Go meet and talk to people, mix around, join social groups, takeup a ceative hobby to occupy your mind. Start a weekend group cycling or other sports.

    If anything, there are now many singles in the world and the numbers are growing.

    I wish I was single again. But its too late for that now πŸ™‚

    • Haha, johnny, you’re not going to make me write “A couple’s guide to happiness” are you? Kidding. You are completely right – staying active is so important to your wellbeing, even in relationships (no one wants a re-do of the opening scene in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, do we?)

  8. Very true πŸ™‚
    You don’t need a boyfriend/girlfriend or spouse to be happy, if you have family and friends πŸ™‚

    And by the way, love the motto “I took the one less travelled by, and that has made all the difference.” πŸ™‚

  9. So true! Just recently I wrote a smiliar but much shorter post on how many singles take away part of their life quality because they don’t do the things they’re really eager on doing and wait “until the next relationship comes along”. It starts with pancakes on a Sunday morning, moves on to going alone to the movies and can spread so much further.
    Great post!

  10. “A single’s guide …………………………. really beautiful to understand friend………… really a good story to make someone realises their alone time ……………….. and passing this time ………… I admire it friend :-> beautiful top picture also. …………… ……………/\…………………… alone in front of a nature ………………………………………………………………. bi bi :->

  11. There is a real prejudice in our culture against singledom, as well as against couples who choose to remain childless. I also think its really difficult for widows and widowers who suddenly find themselves in a new category, suddenly excluded from “couples events” when they had always thought they were just hanging out with friends. I was single until my late-30s and it was often a challenge for me, but what I’ve learned since being happily coupled for 8 years now, is that I still have to be happy with myself first, or else the “we” doesn’t work very well anyway.

    • Well said! Being single isn’t a curse, and the sooner we singles (and other couples) realize that, we’ll all be better off! Thanks for the comment – Awesome blog, by the way! πŸ™‚

  12. A very lovely blog. I have found things in my life to learn about and the most important is the love of self.
    This isn’t meant in selfish or narcissistic way but simple as a love and acceptance of who you are. Whether you happen to be single, in a happy (or unhappy) relationship or whatever your circumstance in life. Take the time to show yourself love, be loving to yourself.
    Allowing yourself to do this will draw more people that love you close and may just change any life circumstances that are not your most ideal.

    • I completely agree! With out love of self, you’ll never fully realize what you deserve and even if you find it, you’ll never be able to appreciate it. Thanks for taking the time to comment!

  13. This is great advice and great ideas. But, I also think this is good advice towards people who tend to lose themselves in relationships. I think those people should follow these ideas too..don’t lose sight of yourself whether you are in or out of a relationship. Great post! πŸ˜‰

  14. Nice thought of taking this issue. and i am totally in agreement with you that now a days we are more forced( or pushed) toward love and for the search of that single person we some time loose many special and incredible person. its right that love make life beautiful, when u r in love everything feels too awesome. but if you don’t have any one special than also you can make your life beautiful and its always up to us what we choose either we spend our life by waiting or searching someone or we can become the life of those who are still in our lives….

    nice blog .. πŸ˜‰

  15. All true and you don’t have to be single either – it all applies throughout life. At the moment I’m noticing how much it comes into play for the newly retired who suddently have a life of their own and have forgotten how to exercise it. Being involved in your own life involves a group of muscles that get stiff and ‘rusty’ if not exercised, and lack of usage influences how you see yourself and what you have to offer to others. It can be both frightening and fun πŸ˜‰ Thanks for sharing these thoughts.

  16. thank you for writing this. I enjoyed reading your article and will try hard at working this out. Having a really rough patch right now, where I’m struggling between choosing to let go or fight on.

  17. Thanks for this post. I sooo needed this today. It helps a lot. For sure, it will help others who are seeking happiness, too, that doesn’t require the company of a significant other. Lovely post!

  18. One more Idea to your perfect 6 points:

    about Love:

    β€œIf you can love

    when there is no reason to love,

    you sure

    are able to love

    when time comes”

    (Mark Minick)

  19. I could SO connect with the part where Maggi doesn’t know how she likes her eggs in the movie Runaway Bride. I used to be the kind that fell into relationships soon after a break-up. At one point, I was waiting for a Mr Wrong to come back to me and make me happy, and I suddenly realised that I didn’t need him. I learnt so much about myself during those days – basic things like what I like to eat, wear, watch, read.. everything was about me! No compromises there! πŸ™‚
    I strolled into another relationship after deciding what I wanted from life, and we’re now engaged. I don’t NEED him to make me happy, but he ensures that I am πŸ˜‰ I think at some point, everyone needs to be alone, find themselves, and realise that they can be happy as long as they try.

    • Thank you so much for sharing – this is what I mean when I tell people to make the most of being single! Figure out who you are and learn how to love it. When you do this, you’ll learn what you want out of life and find someone who shares that goal! Thanks for stopping by, Jal! πŸ™‚

  20. Thanks so much for this. I’ve been single for a really long time, which is really more my fault than anything else. I absolutely love the freedom and independence that singledom provides, and as I’m an adventurous soul it’s really great to be selfish and go where the fancy takes me. Being single can occasionally be lonely but I’m perfectly happy to learn more about myself and develop as an individual before the right person comes along. In a world where being in a relationship is the be all and end all of modern society, your post was very refreshing, so thanks again!

    • I hear you, SallyChan. I’ve been fortunate enough to lead a very transnational life, which I love, but it means that loneliness sometimes happens. This posting was a reminder to “all my single ladies” (yep, I just quoted Beyonce) and myself that being in a relationship isn’t the only way to happiness. Thanks for sharing! πŸ™‚

  21. Happiness is a mental state of mind, i’ve been looking for happiness for so long, and the only one thing i was sure of, is my happiness is money. Once i have it, and i mean having a lot of it, Money will bring me the extreme happiness ever. Well i was wrong, because the more money the one will have is the more worried the one will become. Happiness is to realize and enjoy everything around you, do not wait for it to come to you! Because maybe by tomorrow the one will not be there to enjoy it.

    • Yeah, I think money can actually be a hinderance to happiness. Statistically, the more money one has, the less they give back – probably because the more they have, the more they want. I listened to this amazing sermon that noted that if you’ve been blessed with money, perhaps consider “instead of having a higher standard of living, maybe you should have a higher standard of giving”. Thanks for commenting! πŸ™‚

  22. I’m with ya all the way. Your list is a definite follow list. After my divorce, I was single for 15 years. I enjoyed the freedom and I learned many things that you have on your list. And now, I’m in a 10 year relationship, but I still keep my single mind-set. I think it’s not only important, but mandatory.

    Nice post πŸ™‚

    http://valentinedefrancis.wordpress.com

  23. I agree with you, girl πŸ™‚ I am single and I am contented with my status right now. Happiness should never be dependent on the things we have, with how much money we have in the bank or with the love we are getting out of this world. Our happiness starts within ourselves..

  24. Great post! I truly feel that one cannot bring another person into his or her life unless that person learns to be content with himself or herself.

  25. Very glad you pointed this out… Especially the cultural dogma. the only relationships that actually seem to “work” are the ones where the people were already happy on their own. I was brainwashed into thinking that I could only be happy after finding the “right girl”, and nothing else. That is the most horrible thing that could have ever been planted into my little kid brain. I’m sure the producers think they are promoting loving relationships when in actuality they are just providing people with a flawed archetype that will prevent them from experiencing love and happiness. I have only ever been happy while single, and as a newly renewed single guy it’s good to have a list to just help get things back to normal : )

  26. I agree, being single is great..especially if you are satisfied with yourself (but I guess, the same is true if you do have a partner.) Being satisfied and fully accepting yourself is the hardest road to take..once we manage that, everything else just comes naturally.
    great post! πŸ™‚

    • I agree, but I have to say that being truly happy with yourself takes work, which is true of any relationship. I don’t think you just get there one day and then things fall into place. It takes constant effort, but it’s essential to your happiness! πŸ™‚ Thanks so much for commenting, stvolpina!

  27. Please forgive my English. It is not my native language.
    My view it is usually refused by others only for one main reason (besides being heavy thoughts). I only say the truth. And although you might think β€œwho does not like to hear the truth”, believe me, truth is what most people don’t want to hear.
    Most people suffer from loneliness and what actually are looking for is someone else to lean on, some other dependency instead of a cure.
    It is just like modern medicine. When you have pain you take a pill in order for the pain to go away. But what about the cause of the pain?
    Same in here. You are alone and looking for some one in order not to be alone. What about why you are alone and what the β€œalone has to offer you”?

    Generally speaking, one big truth is valid for every aspect of life. When you want to change something, anything, you first need to examine the situation with clean eyes and only then you will really know what the situation is, and what you can do about it. Clear point of view is logic. Blurred view is generated by emotions, desires. Because loneliness is based in what you wish, what you want and not on what it really is. Logic and emotion are the two ends of the same line. Equilibrium is the golden middle.
    To go through from one state of mind to the other its even more painful than loneliness, but once you know, …..its like you was dead and resurrected.
    Many people at the end of their life they realize what real life is and feel that all their life was gone wasted. Can you understand what bitter feeling that is? Do your selves the favor and don’t be this case too.
    β€œThe whole system that we live in, drills into us that we are powerless, that we are weak, that society is evil, that it’s crime ridden and so forth. It is all a big fat lie! We are powerful, beautiful, extraordinary. There is no reason why we cannot understand who we truly are; where we are going. There is no reason why the average individual cannot be fully empowered. We are incredibly powerful beings.”
    β€œI think I spent 30 years of my life, the first 30, trying to become something.
    I wanted to become good at things, I wanted to become good at school and business. And everything I kind of viewed in that perspective, I’m not okay the way I am, but if I got good at things… I realized that I had the game wrong. Because the game was to find out what I already was.”
    Now I’m by choice single because every one around me is deeply and fully surrendered to the emotion, desire, want, and I see no reason for a sacrificing here.
    Maybe some day comes for me too that I am not alone, but maybe not. It’s all ok. Life will be beautiful as long I will see life beautifully.
    Love you all

  28. Ah! What I’ve been telling myself each day since I parted ways with my partner. Thank you for putting it in such beautiful words. Must. Put. Them. In. Practice. πŸ™‚

  29. Excellent advice – I’m going to pass this on to some of my single friends! Glad to see that you are so positive about a situation which many find themselves in either through fate or choice.

  30. I think, the biggest problem is that a lot of people (often girls but not exclusively) feel that they need to be with someone to be whole or complete. I think quite the opposite is the case. You will first have to be whole as a person before you can go out and give some of this ‘you’ away into a relationship. In my eyes, this is the single most important prerequisite for a happy and fulfilled relationship. Other than that you will only be like leeches, trying to suck the life out of your partner and that is a surefire way for unhappiness.
    Some very deep thoughts, elegantly expressed and well-deservedly Freshly Pressed! Thanks for sharing.

  31. Newly single…sort of. Long story but suffice it to say, this post went a long way toward reinforcing what I know and keeping me on track. It’s the transition from “couple-think” to single living that gets me every time. Once I get through this, I’ll be back to enjoying life. In the meantime though…LOL.

    Anyway, hate to sound redundant but what everyone else said – great post!

  32. You had me at 1!
    You hit the nail on the head. Being happy with yourself is paramount to happiness and related directly to the ability to give true love. When people are unhappy with being single or alone, then what ends up happening is that they look for reassurance in the eyes of others. That is one heck of a burden to place on someone else’s shoulders. Once you reach happiness with yourself, then the package you offer to others turns out to be more appealing.

    Great post. Merry Christmas!

    • Did I just become your Jerry Maguire? πŸ™‚ But seriously now, I think it’s also human instinct to search for comfort in another person – we just need to be careful that the security we find in romantic relationships isn’t central to our positive opinions of ourselves. If that’s the case, you’re right in saying that it will affect our ability to “give true love”. Thanks for commenting, Steve!

  33. Hi, I really loved your post.
    In this particular day for me, was so helpfull.
    Great post. Great words. Now is time to learn and live this!
    Pratice every day.

    Hug’s from Brazil

  34. Love this post. I hate that as a single gal, I feel this huge push to find someone to love. I am no less of a person because I am alone. Your suggestion of friend groups for different activities sounds like a great idea. I totally will have to try that out.

  35. I’m so glad you addressed the whole “being single” issue. I can really relate… I love what you said: “I want to make a note here that you should be fully aware of the reasons why you are committing to being single. You don’t have to justify them to anyone else but yourself, but you should know what they are.” You made a lot of great points here. I love this blog post! πŸ˜€

  36. *Shrieks* #6 is exactly what I’m trying to do with my new blog! That is so cool! And I totally agree with you, no one can find a lasting relationship if he does not know how to be happy as a single person first. Good job!

  37. These are awesome tips and I’m sure a lot of people (myself included and I’m sure my sister too) agree with what you have to say. Congrats on being freshly pressed!

  38. I experienced singledom around my fifties, having married too early as a teenager. When I was finally single, I had four children. Being a single mom was the best time of my life. I would still be single today except for the fact that I met a man who treats us like a treasure. It’s a once in many lifetimes opportunity so I took it. One thing I learned from being single reflects what this post says. Happiness comes from within. Being single gives you that empowerment to know you can be happy on your own. That’s a wealth rarely obtained. Also, the years I spent being single gave me the wisdom and experience to know how to have a better relationship this time. When there’s no dependencies, you are free to see relationships as friendships. That makes a difference. That’s also another blog.

    Thank-you for your post. It helped to make a wonderful morning.

  39. Amy, I’ve been consistently single all throughout my life till I got married and so I can feel how true your statements are – I took up so many activities just to kill the single-ness which was originally forced upon on me but which I turned into an opportunity of leaning so much new stuff.
    Nice post and apt photo.

    • Thanks for commenting, thephoenix! Some days being single feels like a choice, other days it feels like a curse, but on all days it’s about making the most of it! πŸ™‚

  40. Your post is really inspiring!
    I would like to add a number 7:
    Love is timeless – dont be impatient. Don’t act like the world is going to end up tomorrow. Some people find their soulmate at the age of 20, some with 30.. some with 60. Being impatient just leads to errors which will make your life uncomfortable.
    Greetings from Germany

  41. “Being single is meant to feel like freedom, not a prison, so learn to appreciate it.”
    Interesting take on social convention.
    Most people view realtionships as prison, not being single!
    Well done.

    • Thank you Naseem! I completely agree! In fact, last spring I made a point to grow my own vegetables from seeds, when they were big enough I transplanted the seedlings into a garden. It was so rewarding to eat things I had grown! Unfortunately, I move too frequently to keep that up, but if I even settle down, a garden will be a must-have! πŸ™‚

  42. Amazing how some people think of being single as something to be unhappy about; to the contrary. Most people are driven to be with someone by their insecurities and still never find happiness. It’s quite a sad existence.

    Very nice points. Congratulations.

    • So true Mark. I think I was “driven to marry someone by my insecurities,” and it WAS a sad and unhappy existence. Now six years later I find myself a 27 yr old divorcee. It’s the doing things alone that is hard sometimes, but I’m trying to enjoy the new freedom by planning to backpack Europe toward the end of this year. Can’t wait!

      amylleblanc, great post! Thank you!

  43. Pingback: A single’s guide to happiness | slopestreetcats.com·

  44. make friends..!! yesss.. it really works..!!
    and when you’re broken heart, don’t let yourself alone. πŸ˜‰
    #self experience πŸ˜€

  45. These are some really great ideas to work with. As someone who has battled depression I can say from experience I know what this is like and how difficult it is to process through it. Especially, as you say, we are inundated by a culture that is determined to sell us fairy tales in lieu of reality.

    Thanks for sharing this with us. It means a lot for me to read something like this from someone who understands what it is like to be and feel alone and bereft in today’s culture. πŸ™‚

    • Thanks Kenneth! I worry that most singles are inclined to falling into a sort of depression in a society that favours romantic love above most things. But reality in this case is better than the ‘fairy tale’ because it means happiness is attainable for all! Thanks for sharing! πŸ™‚

  46. Three things in this life that will evade you until your death if you continue searching for them.
    1. Love
    2. Happiness
    3. Balance

    Those same three things come looking for you with a vengeance when you make up your mind to live a life that is full of purpose and meaning, which is different for everybody.

  47. Lovely post. There is so much to enjoy about being single but we’re often taught that being single equals being alone equals a worthless life. Not so! Not so at all, and you make many wonderful suggestions.

    • Thank you, non-single πŸ™‚ But make sure to take time out of your relationship and familial responsibilities for some good old fashioned “me time!” (or, “you time” in this case).

  48. I enjoyed your post. I have to admit, I like being single. It’s the perfect time to develop my relationship with God and also build friendships with some of the kids at church. I don’t think I could reach out to them the say if I was in a relationship of some sort. Not going to say it’s easy all the time, but really it’s not that bad.

    • I agree! Being single and a student at the moment, I have a generous amount of free time to commit to growing in my faith. Loneliness is bound to happen, but that doesn’t mean it has to define our lives – loneliness happens even to those in the most committed of relationships. Thanks for sharing, norrems! πŸ™‚

  49. I did not get to read all of the comments, and I am sure it has been said before: I think some people may truly need to read something like this. Sometimes when you go through a messy breakup it can be so hard to just “walk away” and still feel like the world is intact. But, these tips offer hope and allow us to look at the good and the bad things and keep all of them at a similar distance.
    Thank you so much for writing this.

    • I loved that you put “walk away” in quotation marks. Sometimes it doesn’t feel like walking at all – perhaps crawling, or falling, or not moving at all. But there is hope and to all those coming out of such a relationships, I hope my advice will be of some help in their journey forward! πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing!

  50. Great blog! I agree especially with the last paragraph. I wish I had that advice a few years ago after having suffered a devastating heartbreak. But I’m happy today that I’ve moved on, discovered who I am and what I like. I am now in a healthier and more stable relationship than ever before πŸ™‚

  51. Thank you SO much for writing this. I especially liked the advice to get out and find somebody to love, and it doesn’t have to be a romantic love interest. Thank you. Really.

    • Thank YOU for commenting! It was a beautiful day when I was listening to that song and finally realized that I could find someone to love! Love really isn’t that evasive – step up and share it with someone, anyone! πŸ™‚

  52. Your blog was very helpfull and uplifting. I was married for almost 6 years to a man that had mommy issues and acted like a child, so I was more like his mother then his wife. We also have three children togeather. I sorta lOst who I was in all that, so I’m trying to find who I am again. You gave some very good tips.

    • Sadly, I think losing yourself in relationships is very common, it’s easy to get caught up in the emotion of it all, but I’m so happy to hear that you’ve figured things out! I hope my advice is helpful to you! πŸ™‚ Thanks for commenting!

  53. Pingback: The Road less traveled by « The Fascinating World of English·

  54. Yes! Finally! Someone who agrees with my point of view! πŸ˜€ I loved your post! I am trying to get my sister to agree with this because she just recently became single. One day she will learn to be happy without a guy, at least until the right one comes along πŸ™‚

    • Thanks Jam! Yeah, give your sister some time, coming down from the high of a relationship to single-ness can be challenging. She’ll figure it out! πŸ™‚ I hope my post can offer some help! Thanks for commenting!

  55. Very practical tips! I have a great marriage, and in the years before I did basically what you described. I grew up knowing there was “the one” out there for me, so I just waited for her. I had to wait a lot longer than I thought it would, but the result was well worth it! Instead of chasing girls I spent my time learning what life is and becoming who I am, with God’s help, much to my wife’s delight as she did the same.

    • That’s so refreshing to hear, JasonMcIntyre55. I’m a happy single, but I still hope for the day I’ll meet someone who has done the same as you – a man who has used their time for God and for becoming the best possible version of himself. I don’t want a fixer-upper who has lost who he is by the time he lands on my doorstep! Thank you for sharing! πŸ™‚

  56. I love this so much. I’m very obsessed with living life pre-Prince Charming, so I’m always interested to know what someone else has to say on the subject. You’ve hit the nail on the head, my dear. There is SO much more to life than moping around, waiting for your knight in shining armor to come sweeping in. Love you suggestions. And love your heart!

  57. Congrats on a well-deserved FP. Being single can result from more than not having a partner; it can be a state of mind due to circumstances or decisions. Your suggestions apply across the board.

  58. I love this! I really needed to read it about 4 months ago (I really could have used a kick in the ass then). I will definitely be taking it to heart though as I’m moving (again) in a month. I shall be following now : )

  59. Great post, and congrats on being freshly pressed!

    Though I am not single now, these principles were some of the hardest to come by when I was. It’s also great to keep them in mind when in a relationship. As you said, being happy with yourself is always key, which may mean having your own set of friends or hobbies beyond those you enjoy with your partner. It’s important to remember your own identity, or your partner may lose interest because you’ve lost the one person they fell in love with in the first place!

    Thanks for a great post! It helped to remind me of a few things I need to work on!

    • “It’s important to remember your own identity, or your partner may lose interest because you’ve lost the one person they fell in love with in the first place!” – Well said!! Thanks so much for sharing!

  60. Great post, congratulations on being freshly pressed! I couldn’t agree more with “not being afraid to do things by yourself”. I just moved to a new country where I don’t know anybody and I’ve got a ton of free time so doing things by myself is what happens more often than not. I’ve met some neat people along the way and have the chance to explore my city by foot. If I didn’t venture out because I had no one to go with me, I’d be at home all day continuing to be bored and not knowing anybody.

  61. Congrats on the well deserved FP! Whether young or old (er) your points are valid! Thanks for reminding us to look to the future while comfortable in our present. I’m finding I agree with you… it’s a state you should be comfortable living in. Again, well done!

  62. Just found your post on the WordPress home page. Love this post. I’ve been single for three years after staying in an incredibly unhealthy relationship for 6 years. Once you’ve been with someone for that long it can take awhile to find a good use for all that free time, but it sure is worth it to put the time and effort into making yourself the best person you can be…at least that is my experience. Thanks for posting and I’ll be following from hereonin!

  63. Great post and great advice! I’ve been single for years and I do yoga, spinning, running, I have traveled and just use my time wisely writing, drawing, reading or just making stuff. I have 3 kitties to love, who love me back, and I just won’t sit on my couch moping waiting for Prince Charming. I wish more single people wake up and realize there’s so much to do, so many places to see and people to meet, and to stop complaining about being single. I know a lot of married ones who are unhappy all the time, arguing with their spouses and nagging, and yet they dare to ask me, how come you’re not married? Why are you still single? Pfft. I’d rather be single than in a relationship that does not fulfill me or with someone who does not complement/understands me just for the sakes of being with someone and not alone, like so many people do.

  64. This is a great post. I myself have never been in a relationship and I would very much like to be, but my nerves seem to break down whenever I want to talk to a girl. I feel as if she’ll believe I’m creepy, I shouldn’t be talking to her, I’ll run out of things to say, etc. I’m starting to love myself more and I realized that you must be open to giving and receiving love if you want someone else to love you. Maybe soon, maybe not. Thanks for the ray of sunshine.

    • iamscotia! I know how you feel! It starts with your own self confidence. If you find a way to be truly happy with yourself, that “ray of sunshine” will most definitely be obvious to others! Also, in my opinion, worrying so much about what others will think of you distracts from what you think of them. Figure out what you’re looking for and what you deserve and look for those qualities when you talk to a girl, rather than hoping to fit her criteria! Hope that helps! πŸ™‚

  65. Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed!

    This post made my day! I’ve been single my entire 29 years minus probably a grand total of 4 months. I love my own company but sometimes it’s hard to remember what makes singledom so wonderful. Thanks for reminding me how awesome it is!

  66. You are so right! How can you love or expect to be loved until you love yourself? A lot of us miss that because we’re in such a rush to find our other half. I believe in love, but I am happy being single right now finding out more about me. Great post!

    • I believe in love too. I think romantic love is wonderful and hugely fulfilling – but not all-encompassing! I’m happy to hear that you’re discovering more about yourself, I hope it’s a wonderful journey! πŸ™‚

  67. A great post for single women. My personal fav is #3. But this could also apply to married women or women in a serious relationship to keep their “self” happy so that they can better enjoy the happiness with their partner.

  68. Wonderful post! You have to be comfortable with yourself to be single and happy and being in that place is worthy achievement. Congratulations on being FP πŸ™‚

  69. I’m 45, and about 15 years ago, I broke up with someone I’d been seeing for several years. I still remember the way I felt when I hung up the phone: relieved. Thank GOD. I felt like I’d been holding an unnatural position for years, and when I put that phone down, I could finally relax back into my natural shape. 15 years later, I’m still not done being relieved.

    We all get “sold” on partnering off as if it’s going to make our lives better, but let’s face it, they sell toothpaste to us as if it’s going to give us enlightenment, fabric softener as if it will cause us to witness the face of god, and beer as if it will turn us into rock stars. Everything gets sold to us with a lie.

    Compare that to what I hear about relationships and marriages for real: resentment, grumpiness, lost opportunities, and people who sabotage one another’s ambitions. You amputate a LOT of yourself in a relationship, and you had better be okay with that. I’m not and never have been. When I was 30, most people I knew invested a lot of effort into trying to convince me that it wasn’t like that at all, their husband was different, they were so lucky … and now that I’m 45, all those people (most of whom are now divorced) are all looking at me and going, “I wish I’d done what you did.” Two women who had tried the hardest to get me to cave got walked out on when their ex-husbands had affairs.

    I get up on the weekend, make a pot of coffee, turn on the piano, and my time is blissfully my own, with as much or as little peace and quiet as I want. I cook what I want, invest how I want, and my hobbies are mine. Four hours of 300-year-old opera? Six hours on the piano in one day? You got it. πŸ™‚ I’m a hobby musician, and the stories on the online boards run about 100 to 1 on women whose husbands resent their instrument and try to talk them out of doing it compared to husbands who really support them. (I imagine wives can be resentful as well.)

    When I think of the four-or-so opportunities I had for marriage, two with rather wealthy and good-looking men, I would not change a thing about staying myself. It’s the perfect life. But everyone’s contentment looks different.

    • I’m so glad that you’ve found happiness as a (possible) life-long single! Congrats! πŸ™‚ I’m a single who still believes that romantic love can be very fulfilling and that may just mean church bells in my future. But I think single women (while single) can and should live the fulfilling kind of life you describe! Thanks for commenting! πŸ™‚

  70. Its a great post that is completely matching my life too.sometimes it feels me like to cry for being alone and having no such friends which can go everywhere i love to, but this all things you pointed out to be done are really very good remedy, to wear us out and prevent from being a freak.

    • haha, aditya, I hope my post isn’t telling you how to not be a freak – be a freak if that’s what you are! Let your freak flag fly, as they say! We’re all freaks! Those who deny it, just don’t know it yet! πŸ™‚ Being sad and lonely is an inevitable part of life, it will happen. My steps are just some suggestions for how to handle those feelings instead of wallowing in them. I hope they helped you! πŸ™‚

    • It’s true. The holidays are often marketed as being SUPER couple-y (especially New Years Eve), but you are completely right! Thank you for your comment! πŸ™‚

  71. Nice post Amy;

    As a happily single person, after learning the hard way that my primary interests are not in long term relationships and raising a family, and after many other hard fought lessons… I have found learning to be single is just like learning how to drink responsibly… it requires being able to look that friend who is desperately trying to get you to have another drink square in the eye and peacefully, lovingly, respectfully, and repetitively say, “no thank you”, and nothing more. Any word beyond “no thank you” is a defensive reaction that will cause damage in the long run.

    Sincerely,
    Craig

  72. I’ve stumbled onto your blog accidentally, and I’m glad I did. The theme is universal and you’re right all the way through. It Γ¬s a tough thing though being single. But then again, so is being in a relationship. That’s life I guess. And without the negative, there isn’t any positive. All I can say is: don’t search for it but when it comes, embrace it.
    Most importantly though, your writing is absolutely brilliant. Sorry for blabbering about a bit there!

    • Awe, you’re not blabbering at all. Besides, even if you were – isn’t that what blogging is for? πŸ™‚ You are completely right though, happiness, like unhappiness is possible in or out of a relationship! Thanks for commenting! πŸ™‚

  73. This is a good thought for married people too. “Married, with little kids” love is very different from romantic love. It is hard not to miss romantic love sometimes and wonder where it went. It is buried under the laundry and diapers and schedule and everything else. But family life is a nice place to be too.

    • I’m sure that’s very true, thank you for your insight. I look forward to the day when I’ll write blogs about that kind of love. Even though I’m sure it’s necessary to dig through the mess for it every now and again – I can’t help but think there’s something pretty wonderful about that mess as well! πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing catatori! πŸ™‚

  74. The title and theme of your blog is deep and intriguing; and I LOVE it!

    I like reading posts about happiness and being single and yours was an excellent read. All your points hit home what singles should be doing and how they should appreciate this time in their lives.

    I think many girls, especially, dread being alone, and need positive encouragement like yours to realize it’s perfectly fine to be single. I wish every girl who reads your post heeds your advice, empowers herself, and then takes time to find the right guy.

    Girl power! What more is there to say:)

    • Thank you! I think most singles (girls or guys) are consistently faced with a flood of opinions on dating, love, relationships. It becomes a weird obsession. I hope my post did something to ease a bit of that pressure. Thanks for sharing! πŸ™‚

  75. Well said! The grass is certainly not greener on the other (married) side. Let’s think bout this. If half of marriages end up in divorce, and unhappy marriages yet remain, then less than half of all marriages are happy ones. (Sorry to be a downer here.) There’s a reason why romantic movies end at the wedding scene: Because the marriage that follows usually isn’t worth writing about. In order for me to end on a high note, I’ll say that love (romantic or otherwise) is the greatest experience our lives have to offer…and therefore, worth the risks. I’m glad this post made it to Freshly Pressed. πŸ™‚

    • Thank you for killing the mood. Kidding. But you’re right – love is wonderful and I hope I have reminded a few people that it doesn’t have to be romantic love to be wonderful and “the greatest experience our lives have to offer” (well said)! Thanks for sharing! πŸ™‚

  76. I am happily married now, but before I met my husband, I was single (or rather, unsuccessfully dating) for about five years. It was sometimes difficult and lonely, but it was also a hugely creative and interesting time. I finished and published a novel and a book of short stories, started another novel, picked up a ton of new hobbies and deepened my relationships with a lot of my friends. My only regrets about being single concern the times I started to feel sorry about myself and withdrew into isolation. Self-nurturing is key, but it’s also important to recognize when it turns into laziness or fear.

    • That’s wonderful – congrats on your literary success! The isolation part is what I’m hoping to tackle in this post. I said it on someone else’s comment too, but loneliness and sadness is an inevitable part of life, but I hope the steps I’ve laid out will help others in overcoming those feelings before they’ve consumed them. Thanks for sharing your story! πŸ™‚

  77. I’ve been doing a lot of #5 lately. My “go to place” happens to be the nearby bar. I’ve always got a friend to talk to in there, they know my name, and I know theirs. And of course, there’s always potential in there, where my living room has none.

    • Isn’t it great to have a place like that? I’m a non-drinker these days so I opt for cafes or, in the past, even the gym. Wherever it may be, “there’s always potential in there, where my living room has none.” Well said! πŸ™‚ Thanks for commenting!

  78. Thank you for this advice. I know it all in my heart, but it’s nice to see on the screen that SOMEONE out there knows how I’m feeling right now! I’m single by choice for at least the next year, so sometimes it’s lonely and sometimes it’s liberating. But other people don’t understand that I’m not “missing” something. I’m exactly where I need to be and I’m at peace with that.

    • Miss Anderson, you’re an inspiration! Accepting those feelings of loneliness and liberation is all part of finding your happiness and peace! Thanks so much for sharing!! πŸ™‚

  79. I am single (mainly) by choice, and I try to remind myself of these things every day. It’s hard, but it’s nice to get that affirmation/reminder from an external force, too. Singledom is freedom–thank you for sharing a much-needed reminder.

  80. Great job with this post! You’ve created a wonderfully comprehensive guide to enjoying the single life in a condensed blog post. I really appreciate you writing this because everything that you’ve said is true. All too often, it seems like “single” gets equated to “lonely” or “alone”, and while there can be an association between those two states of being, they aren’t necessarily equal.

    It is such a valuable experience to be able to volunteer and love people who are not significant others. I think it’s also helpful to remember that seasons of singleness are great opportunities for personal growth and adventure that help us get to know ourselves without the pressure of trying to be a certain way for anybody else.

  81. What a delightful post. Several years ago, I went through a divorce. I realized I had never been truly alone, just me. I lived at home growing up, then headed off to college and, even though I had two years of a single dorm room–you’re never really alone in college. . . then I moved to grad school and my fiance moved with me. Got married and when I hit my early 40s, lived alone for the first time.
    It took a while, but I finally found comfort in being with me. Just me. I did all of the above, but I have to admit, I had a puppydog who was my constant companion. She gave me such inner courage and strength. Added benefits are that petpeople will talk to any petperson, so I was constantly meeting and talking with folks on our daily walks/runs.
    I also started a new hobby, learned how to swim, and began writing in earnest again. I wish you great luck in your endeavors, and hope you never tire of the beautiful person that you seem to be!
    Best wishes, happy person!

    • Wow! What a kind thing to say! Thank you so much for that! I really believe that animals are an example of unconditional love which makes them perfect companions – that little fur ball will always be excited to see you when you come home. Thanks so much for sharing, Sandra!

  82. Being newly single and pretty heart broken about it, I feel like I keep running into literature on love and relationships. I’m sure they were always around before but I felt no reason to check them out. Now that I mope around most of the day and try to figure out this weird emptiness feeling, I’m certainly branching out and learning what I can on the subject.

    I LOVED this list. I really appreciate finding a good blog and I plan to subscribe to yours. One thing I hate about this heart break feeling is how unoriginal I feel. As a writer that’s bad news. But when everyone else has felt similar emotions, the positive side is I can get some really good, specific tips on how to cope. What you wrote about being confident to do things alone and not just sit at home, (which I’ve been doing and I can assure you it’s the fast track to depression) were very accurate and I suppose a little inspiring.

    I saw great diligence in your responses to comments but it appears you may have more than you bargained for with being freshly pressed. I hope you get to this one and know that I think you did something very special here with this post. Excellent work!

    • You, madhaus7, are actually my response before I hit the sheets! haha. But I will continue the comment-response tomorrow (I said that with a fist-pump)! First of all, I’ll say I know what you’re going through, but I’m sure you know that – you’re right in assuming that others have been there. The up-side to that? You can see that it gets better! πŸ™‚ I hope this list will help you cope but just for you, I would also recommend watching “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” (I watched it again the other week and was amazed by it’s hilarity all over again)! Hang in there, bud. It might seem that happiness is taking a lot of work these days, but if you put in the effort, soon it’ll come more naturally and you’ll move on! πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing your story! πŸ™‚

      • The last comment before bed, how honored am I?! I appreciate the advice and will do my damndest to secure a copy of Forgetting Sarah Marshall for another watch. I did certainly enjoy that film and can probably get a new found understanding on the humor since I’m dealing with that emotion haha. If you find the time, I’d invite you to check out my last blog entry. It was the first thing I was able to write in a month and I’m happy to get back into the swing of things. I admire your determination to reply to all of these comments! Best of luck in doing so! http://madhaus7.wordpress.com/

  83. You did an awesome job at laying out the options and necessities for the single. It’s interesting, because as much as it is okay to be “selfish” as a single, I love how you pointed out that “finding someone to love” and “getting out” are key in keeping you from diving into depression. I’ve found personally that being more others centered is very beneficial! Thanks for the post!

    • Thank you, desireunleashed! I wanted to include both aspects because I think they’re both necessary. Selfishness without giving would never lead to happiness! Thanks so much for commenting! πŸ™‚

  84. Great writing. I would like to emphasize an another aspect: in this mood, we don’t have to make ourselves closed. Instead of that, we have to step out of our comfortzone and try something new; to measure ourselves with something more different which could be embarrassing at first. And when we realize the fact that we are able to accomplish that goal perfectly, we will feel the force that we can influence our life properly…

  85. Sounds good – I do all those things, and I’m enjoying my single life. I wasn’t always single, and believe me, being single is far better than being in a bad relationship! I’m having a great time.

  86. Great post and steller advise. It is hard sometimes when we are alone to see what we NEED to do by getting out and being active in our community and feeding our souls and brains.

  87. This is, as you may have realised by the number of responses, a great post. You show wisdom and practical sense without being condescending or preachy. Just the kind of post that deserves to be Freshly Pressed. I’ve enjoyed wandering through some of your other blog-posts too – not the easiest task without tags or categories but perhaps that’s part of the road less travelled journey x

    • Yeah… sorry about that, haha. I actually just don’t totally know what to tag or how to tag so I never bothered. Horrible, I know. Thank you for sharing, I appreciate the compliments! πŸ™‚

      • Hi again. There’s an easy introduction to tags and categories in this video http://wordpress.tv/2009/01/14/adding-categories-and-tags-to-your-posts/ . It’s pretty easy to divide posts into the kind of categories you most write about – you’ve got some great travel blogs for example, which would probably deserve a different category to this one. I have some categories like relationships and connecting which I would probably put this post into, but I’ve never been found by so many people so I guess you’re doing fine without! πŸ™‚ My blog is heartensoul.wordpress.com if you ever get back through all these comments!

  88. I always appreciated my “singlehood” because it’s helped me learn more and grow into my true persona. I’ve then learned to love myself… I believe that’s important before I can find someone to love.

    Very good entry! I will be cross-posting this to my blog this week.

  89. Amy, great blog post. Positive thinking is the key and appreciating the smaller things in life. I am married and whilst my husband and I do lots of interesting things together, we both give each other time to pursue separate interests that we then share with the other. I think its important not to loose your own identity just because you are married. I have never had a problem with going to an event on my own. I find that it encourages you to meet new people instead of sticking with the friend you go with. It takes courage but you feel great after for pushing yourself to do it. It makes you feel alive. Regarding your comment re going on to the cinema alone – I use to do it at uni and still do sometimes. You can then see what you want to see and besides its not as if you can talk through the movie!! You seem super sweet so I am sure that you will find someone equally charming before long. love Torie ps: Malawi rocks – i went there on my honeymoon ;o)

    • Thanks for your kind words, Torie! I think it’s so important to do things apart as well! Also, Malawi does rock! What an awesome place! πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing! πŸ™‚

  90. “Being single is meant to feel like freedom, not a prison, so learn to appreciate it.” AMEN!! Congrats on Fresh Pressed, Amy!

    I started my blog here last March, when I gave up dating for Lent because it was stressing me out! I thought it would be freedom, but it ended up backfiring and suddenly I was fixated on The Thing I Couldn’t Have. But as ambivalent as it was, I did learn a lot from those three months. I’m 31 and have felt a lot of pressure the past few years to just “settle down already!” But I have faith that when it’s right, it’s right– and I’ll know and accept it. πŸ™‚ I’ve been getting a lot of closure this year about past relationships, or the ones I was waiting on to change and wake up. But what I’m realizing is, *I* have changed. I’m not waiting around for someone who considers me his “option”– and my heart grows back bigger πŸ™‚

    • That’s great! It’s funny you mention “settling down” because I sincerely look forward to that day – I have many plans for those days (I want to renovate an old house, etc) and nothing about those plans mean that I have to be married. Right now, I’m busy travelling and pursuing my career. But when I decide to “settle down” and make a home is not dependent on finding a partner! πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing! πŸ™‚

  91. This is one of the best blog posts I have ever read.. I whole heartedly agree with everything you have written. I’ve just come out of a relationship and have been spending the time doing some introspection, but I probably veer more the other way. I enjoy my own company, I have been doing stuff on my own for years, I basically thought, why should I miss out on stuff I want to do because no one else wants to do it..
    You have clearly inspired a lot of people, myself included, so thank you for such an eloquent, beautiful post.

    Take it easy

    Paul

    • Thanks so much, Paul!! Wow, what a compliment – I’m feeling like I have a lot to live up to now – it’s going to be all downhill from here! πŸ™‚ You seem to have a great perspective on being single! Thanks for sharing! πŸ™‚

      • haha not at all, I mean it. I opened up my email and had something over 300 emails just telling me people have commented on this post! So I don’t think I’m the only one πŸ™‚
        I like to think I make the most of being single, and most importantly I’m happy with myself and I think that is key. and I love the idea of going to local cafe’s and getting to know people, so thank you.
        I also think the fact that you have taken the time to reply to everyone’s comment is unbelievably generous and thoughtful of you, You actually rock πŸ™‚
        Take it easy

      • Thank you so much for saying so, Adam! I’ve actually had your blog open on my browser for about an hour now. I skipped over your comment so I could read through a few posts before I respond, haha! So far I can say that you seem like an amazing Dad, but I’ll post more on your other comment in a bit, haha! πŸ™‚

      • Thank you, Paul! I was also overwhelmed by the emails (in a good way!) haha. I haven’t gotten through all the comments yet, I’m working on it – I was in a four hour lecture today so it was a perfect time to send replies… I hope my Professor doesn’t read this… haha. Thanks again! I’ll be sure to check out your blog as well! πŸ™‚

  92. I don’t have time to read the 200+ comments here so if this has been said already I apologize. “Be happy with yourself.” I find that sad people are the ones who don’t understand (or forget as I sometimes do) that this is a choice they are not making.

    • Yeah, you’d have to be crazy to read every comment… hahahahaha (nervous laughter)… thank you for sharing, Anne! Sadness is inevitable but you’re right that we can choose how we handle it! πŸ™‚

  93. Fabulous post!! This reminded me of some things I learned from reading, ‘The Happiness Project’. You’re a great writer and I really enjoyed this. Cheers doll xoxo

  94. I am amazed at how many singles there are…somehow, I’d started to feel like an endangered species, especially being 40 and still single and childless. I feel the pressure from many fronts, both intentional and not, to ‘correct’ those perceived gaps, but I will not settle for anything less than what I want. I am grateful every day for my family, friends, and godchildren who help keep me lifted in spirit — in between asking how my dating life is going. πŸ™‚ Thank you for this post, and all the subsequent comments!

    • Thanks for sharing, Regina! You’re completely right though, I’m in my 20s and it can feel the same way. I think it’s a matter of perception. Singles really are everywhere, we just forget to look for them! πŸ™‚ Also, when friends/family get pushy about my dating life, I try to see it as an act of love. They sincerely want me to experience the romantic love that they have, which is fair, and maybe I will one day, but for now, I’ll take the love that they’re offering! πŸ™‚

  95. At times I am kind of doing some things on my own like going to restaurants I like and stuff. I fing it more enjoyable to do things with friend. Maybe its about time I made more friends.

    • My go-to line is “I’m always looking for more friends” – and I am! Who doesn’t want more friends? But you can have your safety nets too – I almost always have a book on me at any given time just in case I pop into a restaurant/cafe solo! πŸ™‚

  96. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed! Awesome post with excellent points! Recently becoming single after being married for 17 years & divorcing has taught me a lot about myself. I found it extremely ironic how when I had someone to travel & do things with, we never really went anywhere and came up with a plethora of excuses to NOT do stuff. Now I don’t let my “single-ness” stop me from doing things I want to do, especially travel (much to my family’s dismay- they worry about a little five-foot Filipino woman traveling alone but they greatly underestimate me)! I always smile when I’m out by myself at a restaurant, concert or wherever and people do that not-so-quiet-whisper “Oh my gosh, I can’t believe she’s by herself! I’d never be caught dead alone! There must be something wrong with her. Doesn’t she have any friends?” because I like myself, don’t mind being with myself and I’ve got tons of friends -they just have their own lives, kids and spouses so they can’t always hang with me. I smile because they don’t realize it’s a greater shame to miss out on living life, eating at fabulous restaurants, traveling to wonderful places and experiencing life simply because you’re afraid of what OTHER people think of you. Who’s the REAL loser at that point? It certainly isn’t me. ^_^

    • What an inspiration! I take my family’s concerns as signs of love and I’m always there to offer them assurances, but I rarely let being alone stop me from doing what I want. Let’s live by example – maybe it won’t be so strange to those critical strangers! πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing!

  97. I really love your blog! I’m experiencing America for the moment, and love it. Hope you enjoy Europe. Keep on writing, so we can keep on reading πŸ™‚ Helen from Norway.

  98. Amazing Post:)) I’m currently single as well and I couldn’t be more content with my situation. Through the tai chi/meditation, that I do on a daily basis, I let go of certain desires. Not that I wouldn’t mind a relationship but it’s not top priority to me. I will definietly give it a chance, if the opportunity comes along, but I don’t kill myself over the fact that I’m not “in a relationship.”
    jonwatersauthor.wordpress.com

  99. What a lovely post! Good advice too, all of it based on sound principles.
    I use many of them myself, and will be taking up some of the rest!

    Take care,

    Dave

  100. Pingback: I read the other day … « helenefosse·

  101. A definite “must have” read for our 22 year old daughter. Thank you!
    I treasure “alone” time…In my earlier years, I would become a bit irate when border police(taking advantage of my being alone while driving) attempted to intimidate me….(being alone makes one also warrior like)….
    But it also enables me to take my time, listen to my spirit, and reflect.

    • Thank you so much for your comment, I think alone time is hugely necessary to our wellbeing. I really like your blog, you have a new follower – and I’m dying to learn how to knit – it’s on my “activities” list for 2013 (see point 2 of my posting, haha).

  102. I firmly believe a live-in crowd isen’t for
    all of us. I really hate it when certain
    religions preach that a larger family
    means greater wealth. When people
    feel morally obligated to marry – or
    that there is something wroung with
    them if they don’t. I feel this is more
    harmful then any other kind of peer
    pressure. I’ve see it today, I’ve seen
    in history books. Sad cases that
    probably whould have better off on
    their own. Just once I want to see a
    movie about a guy or gal whose
    circle of friends helps them stay

    circle of friends helps them acheive
    a big dream rather then setteling
    down. We should be thankful for
    singles, if everone had a big
    family, mother earth would be in
    serious trouble.

    • I think that despite religious pressures or moral beliefs, people should enter marital unions as complete individuals (happy of their own accord) and of their own choice. Beyond that, happiness is what you make of your life and I think fully explored and personally accepted religious beliefs can be a really wonderful part of that. That said, I agree that nobody should be subjected to pressures for being single in any community, including religious communities! Thanks so much for sharing, rastelly!

  103. lovely advice there! Would surely suggest it to friends who text in to share their relationship dilemmas πŸ™‚

  104. Great post actually. Certanly that what you write will help me also finding happiness. Thank you.
    Go check my blog, your words and my photos can make a good match.
    Kind regards,
    Antonio Cardoso

  105. Very lovely post. I am myself 2 years deep into singlehood, and although you seem to have a predominantly female audience, your post applies equally well to men. Well, to enlightened men anyway. πŸ™‚

    You are absolutely right that learning to be happy with yourself and by yourself is not always an easy process, especially when you have spent a good part of your life definining yourself through relationships. It’s been a huge, huge struggle for me, especially over the past couple years, but I think I’ve made tremendous progress on that front. With that, I am finally coming to truly understand the very things you wrote about here. It really is possible, to go from a viewpoint that says you need a relationship to feel whole, to one where that says that your life belongs to you and you alone; sharing it is great, but not at the cost of one’s esteem.

    Thank you.

    • Thanks for sharing, Eric! I’m glad you think this post is also applicable to men, I imagine it would be, but being a woman, I didn’t want to make any misguided assumptions. I’m happy to hear that you’re finding my points relevant to your own life, I hope you have learned/are learning to love this journey as a single! πŸ™‚

  106. Hello

    I’m a new writer and I was really intriuged by your post, very original and as a singleton I found it comforting! I’ve also been to the cinema on my own as I’m a film fan and didn’t see why I should miss out on films just because I’m not in a relationship or because my friends might not be interested in the same ones I was!
    Sonia

    • Thanks for commenting, Sonia! I completely agree, going to see movies alone at first can seem awkward, but it’s not that bad and being a movie-lover, seeing your favourites on the big screen is just always so much better than at home! πŸ™‚

  107. i LOVE this! as a fairly recently divorced mother, i had to learn most of these bits of advice the hard way. i had my husband, my friends, my comfort zone…then the divorce really threw me for a loop. now i’m happier than ever and living a life that i’m proud of. adventure and new people and experiences that would otherwise have never encountered. great read!
    http://www.icouldntmakethisshitup.wordpress.com

  108. Sound advice. I have been single for most of my adult life and I like the idea of having time for myself, to do what I want when I want. And when you’re happily single and not desperate, you can take your time in finding the right partner, if you choose to go that route. I would like to hear songs from happily single people to balance all the love songs–though I’ll admit I’m a troubadour.

    • Well get composing, little lady, I want to hear those songs! πŸ™‚ It’s true that most songs are about romantic love. But, sometimes, if the lyrics fit properly and when appropriate, I transfer the lyrics in my head to reflect a different kind of love.

      For example, right now I have David Guetta and Usher’s “Without You” on my running playlist. To me, I’m singing that song to my God, not to some guy. Try doing that to some of your favourite songs! πŸ™‚

  109. Thank you. This really makes me feel better. I’m only 17 and still in high school, but I can’t tell you how bad it feels when everyone around you is in a relationship and you feel like an alienated outcast because they keep trying to hook you up and you just want to stay single!

    • Be strong, Kae! Enjoy this time you have to hang out with friends or take up activities. I remember being 17 and it seemed like the world revolved around boys – but that’s just hormones, I promise! Try to use this time to really discover something great about yourself! πŸ™‚ Thanks for commenting! πŸ™‚

  110. You know what’s great about these tips, they actually also double as good relationship advice, not just good singles advice. Congratulations, you have DEFINITELY hit the nail on the head here!

  111. Great post! I was worried why i was single at high school and then just as i was going to uni i met the most amazing guy who i dated for 4 years. Last year i found myself suddenly and reluctantly single and i’m only just starting to find myself enjoying my singledom again properly. I love this post and i’m definitely doing all these things you’ve listed and its great! πŸ˜€

  112. This is amazing, thank you for shedding some damn light!!!
    From a single girl who completely understands πŸ˜‰

    xo

  113. Awesome and important post! I went to TEDx event last week with some absoloutely amazing women as speakers. One of the women, SARK, said that she fills herself up with love everyday, like succulent plants do. She also mentioned a story about running into a guy on an elevator who was absolutely glowing. She asked him what was going on, and he replied, “I love myself.” Not sure why our society is so afriad to embrace that concept, but it’s never to late to change that!

    • That’s awesome – we should all be a little more like that elevator guy! Also, I checked out your blog and I’m a new follower! What a great idea for a blog! πŸ™‚

  114. I couldn’t have said it better myself! I can relate to this entire post, and it’s encouraging to know someone else gets it! I agree 100%. I’ve found that being single is freedom, and a time to really grow and get to know oneself without that ‘romantic love’ to get in the way. Not saying romantic love is bad, but my being single is by choice. Right now, it’s what I want. Unless a guy is totally fantastic beyond belief haha, I plan to stay single for a while. I’ve done more and explored more and found out more through being single, as opposed to being in a relationship. It’s a good place to be. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and opinion! πŸ™‚

  115. Your tips are all very good! I have been single for many years — divorce cured me of any thinking that I need a man to be happy. Sadly some people assume that if you’re single, you must be lonely. Having friends and activities you enjoy is very satisfying. Reading a good book is too!

    • Thank you, I’m glad it helped in some way – I checked out your blog and your post about Starbucks is exactly what I meant by point #5. It’s great to have those kinds of places! Thanks for sharing! πŸ™‚

  116. Though I am not single, I will happily pass this on to my 4 boys who are all basically in their 20s. One thing I would add, is the equation to happiness. I found making a list of what brings me joy, really helped me in the times when I was feeling alone. I’ve altered that list as I have grown older and now with someone. On my worst days, I will look at to see what can I do to bring me joy today.
    Well written and appreciate you sharing.

    • That’s lovely aefountain! I love the idea of a joy list – I’ve also heard of inspiration boards for photos, quotes, dreams and such. I hope you boys find it helpful! πŸ™‚ Thank you for sharing!

  117. More power to you, girl! Married or single, we should all learn to be happy with ourselves…every single point you made is applicable to any kind of woman…because happiness inside always creates an inner freedom.

    THANKS!

  118. You write clearly and beautifully, glad I stumbled upon your blog. I am a writer as well and it’s always great to see what other writers are putting out there to share with the world πŸ™‚

  119. you’re totally right! but I think being single is a way of life. Me, for example, I made a choice: to be “self-sufficient” . It could seems a kind of apathetic decision but it allows me to stay focused on my aims and myself (on the philosophical poin of view). even if this choice it’s not always so easy to honour πŸ™‚

  120. I once had the principle that “singleness” will lead me to success and bring me to the better side of life. True, in some point. When I was in High School I never been into a relationship, staying focus on school works and happy with gals. When I got married, I am still satisfied with everything in my life because Im with a good guy πŸ˜› Great post here! Gratzy ..Freshly Pressed wohoo!

    • That’s a great perspective! Being single can give you the time to commit to personal and professional success, anyway. Way to use your time wisely! Thanks for commenting! πŸ™‚

  121. Well said! And as someone who is not single I can honestly say that these tips can make anyone feel more comfortable in their own skin. Regardless of why they are single or how long they choose to remain so. When I was single, ideas and activities like these made me feel as though i was free. Not lost!

  122. I have done with several tips but I get new Perspective.
    Great Post and Happy Freshly Pressed Day

  123. Do any of you really think that there is only one person out there for everyone? I disagree; different people bring out different sides of your personality. If you’re with someone with a good sense of humor your mind goes toward finding funny comments; if it’s a bookish person you’re channeling your literature vibe, an outdoorsman, dredging up the best places to hike or mountain bike.

    Whoever it is, I hope he or she treats you well.

    Ronnie

    • Whether you think there’s one person meant for you or fourteen, I think most readers will find themselves single and lonely at some point. I hope my tips will help in those times! Thanks for commenting, Ronnie! πŸ™‚

  124. true . so true. loving oneself helping in making of better human being… making upto our social expectations .. we almost forget the one most dearest to us is…oneself.

  125. Very well said. It is so important to just be happy being yourself! No need to explain! As a traveler I am very excited to have my own time to vacate without feeling obligated to care for a significant other.

  126. Rock on, singlegirl! Your post was fantastic and dead on. Thanks for your lighthearted honesty. I’ll never forget the first time I went out to eat alone. I felt like Steve Martin in “The Jerk,” spotlight was on me, whole place silent as I chewed… needless to say it was a hurdle. But I survived and am proud of all my solo accomplishments! Thanks for highlighting how wonderful it is to choose to be an independent woman.

    • Thanks mcglam! It’s true, the first time you venture out on your own is always a little unsettling but as you know, it definitely gets easier! (I also say that it’s not cheating to bring along a book! It’s just boring otherwise!) Thanks for sharing! πŸ™‚

  127. I’m married, but your advice rings true — especially tips #5 and #6. I do have “go-to places” where people know my name and I love your idea about donating time to a place like an animal shelter. A very enjoyable blog.

    • Thanks so much for sharing notablyprettymiss! πŸ™‚ You also have the unique opportunity to show your child that happiness is attainable without a partner! πŸ™‚

  128. Being a 27 yo that’s never had a boyfriend, this post has reminded me why it’s okay that I’m single even though the TV says differently. Thanks for the “get out and have fun” advice!

  129. Very well written and interesting article. It gives me a lot to think about. However, I think that it must be said that these criterias need to apply on a case by case scenario.

    Take my example. IΒ΄m 25, going into 26 next month, and IΒ΄ve been single all my life. I had a very causal almost relationship when I was 19. Because of that, in a way in a way IΒ΄ve been forced to apply these 6 criterias.

    I like myself and think of myself as a nice guy. I do keep active (as much as school lets me, lol). I donΒ΄t mind going to the movies by myself. I do that a lot and donΒ΄t feel the least bit sad about it. IΒ΄m also very sociable and get a lot with people everywhere I go. I also have my “spots”, so to speak. Lastly, I love my family and friends a great deal.

    However, my need for some female love is there and cannot be completely ignored and it sometimes takes a toll on me. If I did choose to be single, these things would work much more smoothly. I would have some certainty that IΒ΄m doing what IΒ΄m doing by choice and that I feel happier this way. But being forced to be single is hard to swallow regardless of how active you are in your life.

    • Big D, I completely relate. I think most singles live the points I’ve made without even noticing it. You’re right that it is completely human for one to long for the closeness and love of a romantic partner – but in the meantime, when the loneliness strikes, I hope my list will be a reminder to singles that they don’t have to be stuck in that sadness! Thanks for sharing! πŸ™‚

  130. That was incredibly motivational for this guy! As a new-single this was a breath of fresh air. It is great to know that there others out there. And you couldn’t be more correct about staying active. Pursue new challenges!

  131. Thanks, Amy, for your sound advice presented in such a clear and accessible manner. Your points are well made. I agree that it’s not about which is better, being single or in a relationship. It’s really about making sure you’re doing or not doing either one for all the best reasons rather than the worst. There’s a lot to be said for building a healthy relationship with yourself so you can bring that you to all your connections. Thanks again for your observations.

  132. Great post! Although I am in a relationship I learned a lot after my divorce. Instead of my present relationship defining me I am my own person. This post holds true whether single or in a relationship. It’s important to get to know yourself and be truly happy with yourself. I was not happy with myself while married and now 5 years divorced I can honestly say that I am. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed.

  133. Absolutely love this post! I want to share this with my mom who feels she has to be with someone to be happy – because she doesn’t. While the last relationship I was in ended, I can hobestly say I’m taking that time to myself because I find it more enjoyable. Great post again!

    • Thank you Amber! I hope it helps your mom – but she’s definitely not alone, I think a lot of us cement our happiness in relationships, but that doesn’t have to be the case! Thanks for commenting! πŸ™‚

  134. I love this post and it is SO true. I committed myself to being single until I learned more about myself and why I kept ending up in bad relationships. I have done so many new things, travelled to new places, and met new people. My friends say I am an inspiration because I do things alone that they may not consider even with a friend. Some of the people I have met going places alone have turned into wonderful friends. It’s just recently I am feeling I am ready to be in a relationship but now instead of “falling” into one, I will do my research when someone comes along…like buying a car! HAHA!

    • Haha, not the most eloquent analogy, but I see where you’re going with it, haha. I agree though, your friends are right, you sound like a very inspirational person! Thanks for sharing! πŸ™‚

  135. Thanks for pointing out that it’s important to know the reason that you’re single. The prescribed actions that you mentioned (be happy, keep active, find other love, etc.) only work if you acknowledge that single-ness is where you’re living for good reason, not just a state that you’re making the best of at the moment but secretly loathing. Being confident in your reasons for living single gives you the stability to actually proactively enjoy the season in life.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts πŸ™‚

    • I completely agree! For me, this was a live and learn experience. I was doing all the things I thought would make me happy but I just wanted to be in a relationship. It took some patience and a lot of self-reflection until I figured out that it was time to just accept my singleness for what it is, learn to love it, because the days were slipping away while I was going through the motions, just waiting for something else! Thanks for sharing, Reisytal! πŸ™‚

  136. Great Post!!! I just finished watching one week with Marylin, and without spoilign the movie I got a sense of loneliness in Marilyns life.. Ironic how someone who had everythign and everyone seemed so lonely and sad.. With each of us I truly believe we need to search for our longings of the heart.. What is triggering the emotion?? Look backwards to move forwards.. What was my life like growing up? Who influenced me? What was God’s intention for that relationship? What was the reality? How has it made me become who I am today?
    I ask myself these questions to understand my heart and how it moves.. I have also been able tolook past the exterior of people and look into the hearts by really trying to understand my own heart.. Nothing I made up, but I thought I woudl share.. Great job!!

    • Thanks so much for your insight, billthemortgageguy! I’ve been dying to see that movie! πŸ™‚ You make some really incredible points too about learning from your life and applying those lessons to everyday! Those are really important questions that will have unique answers for everyone because we’re all on our own journeys! Thanks again! πŸ™‚

  137. Hi Amy, what a great post. Being single, especially in the long term, is not without its challenges, particularly in a culture that “pushes” romantic love. The problem is not so much the romantic love itself, but the sub-text that says singles cannot be happy because they are not in a relationship, and that they are some how lesser people because they are single. I think this is particularly true for people who may be single by circumstance rather than by choice. A statement like “You complete me” in the film Jerry Maguire does nothing to help singles realise that they are whole and complete people in their own right.
    As a long term single myself I know that some days are definitely easier than others, but I’ve also learned that being grateful for what I have, rather than what I don’t have, is really important. And I’ve discovered that it’s possible to be content in my singleness, even though I hope not always to be single.
    You’ve provided some great tips for people to live well and to make the most of who they are, regardless of their relationship status. Thanks Amy and congratulations on being Freshly Pressed.

    • I completely agree – romantic love is great, but that doesn’t mean “singles cannot be happy because they are not in a relationship” (well said!) – I admit, Tom Cruise’s tearful delivery of that line has me sobbing like a baby every time… haha, but you’re right. I am most definitely not half a person because I’m single, and neither are you! Thanks for sharing anngraham! πŸ™‚

    • juliagraces, I’m so humbled that my post helped you out a little! πŸ™‚ Also, great blog! That sweater is really awesome – but sometimes Christmas sweaters need to be ugly… heaven forbid I run out of sweaters to wear to Ugly Christmas Sweater Parties! πŸ™‚

  138. Very true Amy, I am single and pretty content πŸ™‚ cos there is so much to do and I’m enjoying doing it. While being a couple is great, being single is like icing on the cake:) keep the blog going…

  139. I loved this post. You touch on some very pertinent points here and I love the first one – being happy with yourself. This is essential – whether you’re single or not.

  140. I just want to say thank you. I am recently single after over two years (unfortunately not my doing), and the past few days have been rough. But as everyone tells me, I am young and have my life to enjoy. My friends have been keeping me busy and it really does help. Your post really helped me realize that I will be fine and happy without that guy. Thanks πŸ™‚

    • I’m sorry you’ve been going through a tough time but I hope my post helped you out a little! You most definitely WILL be fine and happy without a guy! Thank you for sharing your story Soccer Mom! πŸ™‚

  141. May I be respectful on this post and mention another Guide for Living and Happiness. It has been around for thousands of years; it is called the Toran, the first section of the Bible. It was the very guide that Jesus, Himself followed. It is the inspiration of my non-profit poetry writing that has brought me hope and peace for many years. It is my gift of light, and my shield that defeats Evil in my own life each day. Continued Blessings in your individual journey.

  142. im one of those who would never go to the movies alone, even though i have thought about it, and this makes me want to and not be afraid of what people would think.

    • That’s the spirit, malomateo! Seeing movies is a good alone activity as well, you’re in a dark movie theatre – trust me, unless you’re seeing a really crappy movie, no one is going to be noticing you! πŸ™‚ Best of luck, let me know how it goes! πŸ™‚

  143. Great post! It should also be emphasized that not everyone finds a soul mate so it is important to be able to be comfortable with being single. Hollywood makes it sound like veryone finds love but there are some people who end up single for the rest of their lives. I’m one of them and it is tough when everyone around you has a soul mate and every holiday seems to revolve around couples. There’s even Valentines Day for couples to celebrate their love.

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  145. The article is indeed, very effective though. I did not believe in ‘love’ for a while before, but hey, i totally agree with you. Cheers ! πŸ™‚

  146. Hi Amy,

    I’m married, but have been so long enough that I find romance intriguing, if not elusive! Your step one is certainly a prerequisite to all other steps. Number six can be helpful for us old, married folk too. Great post. I look forward to reading more of your work!

  147. “love is fundamental to your happiness, but this doesn’t have to be romantic love. This can be evident in your relationships with friends, family, God, or even strangers.” HALLELUJAH! Someone said it!
    You did make some good points in this post, and I do feel that the concept of love is being twisted and played around with just so it can be sold to us, be it in literature, film and even music.

    I have told a friend of mine that before he goes for another girl, he should get over the previous one and be able to stand (metaphorically) on his own, not only does this indicate moving on but its also good to help people mature and be independent.

  148. And also, about your number one point…

    “The reason that people are unhappy is because they think that happens is external to them, that it is something to gain. They look at happy people and say ‘I want that too’ as if it is something to find. The more they look the less happy they are because all along, that happiness has been inside of them”.

  149. Thank you for this post – it summarizes smart and simple that being single is not a failure – but a given fact in everybody’s life for some time. And it’s an oldie but goodie, the line of Carrie Bradshaw in the very last episode of S&TC. A line she tells the audience even though she just got hold of her “prince”:
    Later that day I got to thinking about relationships. There are those that open you up to something new and exotic, those that are old and familiar, those that bring up lots of questions, those that bring you somewhere unexpected, those that bring you far from where you started, and those that bring you back. *But the most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself*. And if you can find someone to love the you you love, well, that’s just fabulous.

    • Why did Sex and the City have to end? *sigh* But she’s definitely right, and so are you! (and yes, I realize that Carrie isn’t actually a person…) Thanks for sharing! πŸ™‚

  150. Hi there! I really enjoyed reading this and it only reaffirmed everything I believe in. I’ve been a single girl for some years and through traveling and being ‘selfish’ in that sense, meaning doing everything for me without obligation to a boyfriend, I have really been able to take advantage of everything I’ve always wanted to do without being held back. And it has been an incredible journey. I used to be someone who wouldn’t dare walk into the cinema or a cafe or library alone, but over the past 2 years or so, being on my own in new countries, I have become so comfortable with myself that I feel I can do anything. What an incredible feeling, right? Your post was a breath of fresh air and I completely agree that the most important thing is to first love and be comfortable with yourself, before you can truly love someone else. Thanks for this! πŸ™‚

    • That’s absolutely incredible, Danielle! Your story is so interesting, I checked out your blog and the photos are really beautiful, I’m a new follower! Thanks for sharing! πŸ™‚

  151. Great read!
    I myself is in a relationship and do I not know how valuable freedom can be! But doing things alone is really tough. So important is making friends. Finding good friends itself is a problem but once you get a good friend, it feels like invincible.

  152. Wow! I enjoyed reading this post!! I’ve been single for the past 19 years (yes since I was born) and I admit I’ve had those lonely times..but then again, being single was my choice. I like the point where you talked about spreading the love. That’s what I’ve been doing since I was about 16. Honestly it’s a great feeling! I’m sure this post would be helpful to many out there. “Go singles!!” =)

    • If you’ve been spreading love for three years, you know, you’ve probably been spreading more love than some people will in their whole lives! Loving sometimes takes work – lord knows sometimes it would be easier to be angry or resentful or sad, but keep it up, nireshk, the world needs more people like you!! πŸ™‚ Thanks for commenting!

  153. “Being single is meant to feel like freedom, not a prison…”

    Wise words, indeed! And, a great post. I’ve been single for 60 years and, although I’ve loved often and deeply, I’ve learned long ago to appreciate my freedom and understand that it’s relationships that are a prison.

  154. Pingback: A long long journey·

  155. You said it well. And I can relate to what others really think about a single person. Sometimes, when you said that you are single, they often have the look which almost tell you that you are pitiful! But these people are really the shallow ones. Some of my friends cannot stand if they became single; hey immediately look for someone to be their mate just for the sake of the status. I may sound bitter but I am not. I am very happy that I am single, and I think, you could appreciate the little things more and maximize your appreciation when you could see those with you and yourself alone. πŸ˜€

    • Stay strong, MindInLoops! Live by example. Perhaps if your friends see you finding your happiness as a single, they’ll be inspired to find theirs! Thanks for sharing! πŸ™‚

  156. I am in a relationship and have happily been that way for a year now. Until that point, though, I felt just the way that you do. And it wasn’t until I started practicing some of the things that you’ve mentioned (doing things to be happy with myself, doing things on my own, hanging with friends, and caring about my family) that I was actually opened up enough to really let anyone in. I found that in loving myself, being interested in things, and being unafraid to go meet people really freed me up to the idea of letting someone else love me too. Now I have an incredible balance of both and I have never been happier… I figured my comment would be relevant because I practiced some of the things that you talked about- and I think that they’re important and paramount to being happy whether your single or in a relationship. Great post!

    Ricky
    http://www.cardinalplaylists.com
    http://www.thewandererfl.com

    • Ricky! I’m so glad you’ve conquered singlehood successfully! πŸ™‚ I love that you found that taking positive steps as a single allowed you to accept the possibility of “letting someone else love you!” And deservedly so! πŸ™‚ Thank you for sharing! (Also, love your blogs – are you in a band? I’ll be following – I’m always looking for new bands!)

  157. i like this word..
    ‘ love is fundamental to your happiness, but this doesn’t have to be romantic love’

  158. Simple common-sense! Good stuff! Although, it is a little different for someone like myself, single-mom with 3 kids, everything is spot on. I hope some of your single friends will read and take note!

  159. I love, love, love that you wrote this and how you articulated it. Many years ago I read a book which I think was called “Party of One.” The book validated being single in all the ways you mention plus more. (I gave the book to a friend who has kept it like a Bible…which is why I don’t have the author/title handy.) This post alone is enough to compell me to follow you.

    Congrats on being Freshly Pressed.

  160. I can see why this is showcased on the main WordPress homepage. Congrats! I really enjoyed reading this. Being single isn’t easy when most of your friends are all currently in relationships and you somehow become the few token single friends they have.

    I know I have my reasons for being single and I hope to find someone special someday. In the meantime, it’s good to have a reminder why being single isn’t as bad as everyone thinks it is. The ones in relationships tend to forget what being single is like. Everyone has to do things at their own pace and love/relationships can’t be rushed. Thank you for writing this for all the single people out there. πŸ™‚

    • Thank you so much for saying that – I’m so honoured that my blog was chosen! You’re right that being single isn’t easy but neither are relationships – life isn’t easy, but it can be so rewarding! You have a great perspective, take your time! Thanks for sharing! πŸ™‚

  161. Glad I saw this post on FP! It’s so great to read that others out there are giving the same advice I give to my friends who aren’t used to being single. I think most people ideally want someone to share their experiences with them, but keeping yourself from experiencing life just because you are single is a dead end street. I’ve been single most of my life, and when I finally decided that not having someone to see a movie with was not worth missing the movie on the big screen, it was the most liberating feeling in the world :). Honestly, even if someone doesn’t know how to be happy with themselves yet, starting with steps 2 – 6 of your blog can easily lead a person to understanding what makes them happy. Sometimes, it really is as easy as taking that first step to get involved in a new activity or seeing that movie by yourself that you want to see, but no one else you know seems to want to see it. When one decides that being single is not a death sentence, it definitely opens them up to all the really great people surrounding them. Thanks again for the read! It is fun to see some of my own thoughts through the words of others! ~Loni~

  162. Just for the sake of balance, your first point is the hardest one to do and you do kind of gloss over it.

    Depression is one of the most insidious conditions and just to say “be happy with yourself” is a little simplistic. Yes I am not single, but I was single for a long time. I didn’t do any of the things that you pointed out as I already had lots of friends and hobbies. Even when I went to live and work abroad, I still had a profound connection to my real friends back in the UK.

    Even now I cannot “be happy with myself” as there is so much about myself that I don’t like, no amount of self help scenarios is going to change that.

    Maybe some people are just ugly, or they are arseholes who don’t have any friends, or they stink, or they genuinely have depression that they have been hiding for years.

    More importantly and perhaps a more succint blokes view would be that I think we have to come to a realisation that the whores can never be the father of your kids and the father of your kids can never be your whore. Also simplistic but one I think should ring true for every male reading this, you CAN’T have everything in a woman, you have to decide what is important to you. If your life is all about emptying your sack, then don’t get married/have a long term relationship. If you want one, you have to sacrifice your natural urge to spread the seed.

    It’s easy to do the second one, just consult your good friend mr Porn from time to time, just don’t ever let that become a substitute for the real thing……

    • I don’t really understand what you mean by the whore-father thing, and I think perhaps writing people off as “ugly” or “arseholes” and such is a little narrow – but I actually completely agree with your first point. Loving yourself is difficult. It’s a process, a daily battle, not something you achieve one day and then you never have to worry about it. But I’m not qualified to advise others on how to get there – everyone’s journey is different. Being quite the perfectionist myself, it took a while to figure out that the drive for self-improvement isn’t synonymous with self-loathing. I really believe that you can achieve happiness with yourself, but my opinion on the matter won’t really change your self-perception, now will it? πŸ™‚ This is just ‘A single’s guide to happiness’ – not ‘The single’s guide to happiness’, these are just my own experiences. I hope they help in some way! πŸ™‚

      • I see my error above, “whores as mothers” is what I meant, maybe time to stop writing whilst on the train!

        I don’t think that writing people off in the way that I did is narrow at all, sometimes you just have to look at someone or hear them talk and instantly the comment rings true “I wonder why you’re single?”.

        No-one can honestly say that they truly don’t judge people in this way, it is human nature. The best advice I can give to these people is to find someone who is equally as ugly/fat/sweaty/idiotic as you. The best place to find these people is on the internet. Lower your expectations and everything will be fine. πŸ˜‰

      • Haha, well if you didn’t I suppose you wouldn’t be the “CommuterRant” anymore. I personally think finding someone my exact “equal” in terms of beauty/weight/(perspiration… really?)/intelligence, etc. would be rather boring. And, as cliche as it may be, attraction is not a clear science, everyone finds different people attractive. If you don’t believe me, have a chat with your friends about who they’re attracted to, I’m sure it will be hugely different for each of you. I love when I see couples where I personally find one partner more physically attractive than the other, it reminds me that beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder – he/she may look at their significant other like they are the most perfect being on the planet, which is kind of awesome actually. But, I wish you the best of luck, CommuterRant in finding your “equal”!

      • For the record I have bought a house with my long-term partner and we move in next week so it’s not a bitter points scoring exercise here.

        I am just posting a different viewpoint having seen many blokes lament their singledom. Some go on the internet for a date, some go on the internet for a bride, some people are just sad and lonely anyway and think that Kelly Brook should be round the corner ready to suck them off.

        My advice is to “be realistic” and “be confident” and everything else is cream-cheese.

  163. Greetings from Kenya. Great post! Congratulations on being ‘freshly pressed’. I’m just curious about the photo accompanying your story… it looks like the lush, green tea plantations we have in the western part of Kenya. In which country was the picture taken?

    • Thanks Taz – I’m still glowing about it! I actually took the photo while I was living in Malawi. It’s at the Satemwa tea estate. Unfortunately, I’ve only been to the Nairobi airport, but I definitely plan on exploring Kenya in the future! (your country is beautiful!) Thanks for commenting! πŸ™‚

  164. There is a great song by Alanis Morisette called “Moratorium” from the album ‘Flavors of Entanglement’. chorus: ‘ I declare a moratorium all things relationship, I declare a respite from the toils of liason, I do need a breather from the flavors of entanglement, I declare a full time out from all things commitment. ” It’s basically about taking a break from serial monogamy and getting back to oneself.

  165. Appreciated your thoughts, esp “keep busy.” That’s the key! When we’re busy, we don’t have time to worry or to feel sorry for ourselves. I write a blog about a single dad raising a son with autism. Check it out if you’re interested. Keep expressing yourself like you’re doing.

  166. Pingback: Single for Christmas – A Rant | thetwentysomethingblog·

  167. Being in a relationship is like exercise. You’ve got to put in the effort everyday, and so does the other person. Otherwise, steering clear of pairing up is a more fulfilling road to contentment. I am thankful everyday and every year for my beautiful Winona.

  168. This is a great read… I’ve been single for 6 months and find your advice to be absolutely great, particularly in the first 3 months finding my-self in the couch watching TV – Now, I barely have time to watch TV with a life full of great “to-do’s”

  169. I wish there were more single men taking your advice. It’s been my experience that they are sitting on the couch or moving from relationship to relationship. You have to find out what makes you happy before you can share it with others.

  170. This is such a great post. I think I learned all of these lessons the long, hard way. It’s nice to see someone write it out. There is not enough positive media about being single and happy!

  171. When it comes to the pursuit of happiness I like this quote, which I think applies regardless of single-hood or not:
    “If you observe a really happy man you will find him building a boat, writing a symphony, educating his son, growing double Dahlias in his garden. He will not be searching for happiness as if it were a collar gold button that has rolled under the cupboard in his bed room. He will have become aware that he is happy in the course of living 24 crowded hours of the day.” -W Beran Wolfe

    I do like your point in the last couple sentences of this post.

  172. What a great read this was. Happiness, (as cliche as it sounds)…comes from within FIRST, and that is what many people seem to not get.

    -Also dear, I am an aspiring writer, and would LOVE it if you could give me the honor of visiting my blog. I would appreciate it sooo much! Thanks In Advance!

    esotericelle.wordpress.com

    • I stopped by your blog, EsotericElle, but I didn’t have time to read through everything. I’m a follower now and I’ll be sure to visit again soon! Thanks for commenting! (Also, beautiful picture!)

  173. So many people in the world just think that the only way they can be happy is to have a significant other. It’s just not true, learning to be really happy with yourself is – as cliche as it sounds – the only way anyone can be truly happy in life.

    I really enjoyed reading this πŸ™‚

  174. Love your tips. Love yourself where you are now. Someday you may fall in love again – what’s the rush? Enjoy yourself and attract what you exude!! hehehe…thanks for the post. Sorry to be so dramatic.

  175. Lovely post! I must say though, in regard to the Mr. Darcy quote, for the sake of anyone who is considering saying it to his or her significant other. If your significant other is a Pride & Prejudice fan, I promise this will not come off as creepy. You might even win their love completely, simply based on saying this at just the right time (like when you are proposing). Kind of like saying, “As you wish,” to a Princess Bride fan. πŸ™‚
    Juuust my opinion… If I’m wrong about any Pride & Prejudice fan alive not being totally wooed by being told that line, or any other line from P&P, (oh, wait… except for Elizabeth’s line, “I am convinced you are the last man I could ever marry.” Probably not a good idea to toss that one out to the man of your dreams…) then I will be hugely surprised.

  176. Turning up on the couch is definitely not the way forward, but this is one of the few blogs that actually hits the right points for once.

    Thanks so much for the read, it was great πŸ™‚

  177. I will be 60 years old this month, and I’ve been single all those years except for 7 months of a disastrous marriage. I love being single!!! There are many ways to love, and friendship is one of the most lasting.

  178. Fabulous post and most definitely worthy of being Freshly Pressed. I’m at that age where most of my friends are either getting engaged, married or in long-term relationships. And, bless their heart, but they all feel that as their “single friend” it is their duty to try and set me up. Right now, being single is the best thing for me and am so happy to hear someone talk about the positives rather than people who rant about the absolute horrors of single life. There are many joys to being single, such as the selfish thing ;), and I think far too many people jump from relationship from relationship without giving themselves the opportunity to be single and really see who they are as an individual. So, thanks, love it. πŸ™‚

  179. Tell it! I just had a conversation with a fellow solo-female-traveler about this last night… I am single – she is almost, but seemed so down about the prospect – like it’s the worst thing that could ever happen to a woman similar to us (mid to late 30s professionals)… I explained to her how I have embraced my singledom, which has led me to travel around the world this year… If I were in a relationship, all of the tastes, smells, sights, feelings that I’ve experienced throughout this amazing journey – I wouldn’t have. It doesn’t mean that I don’t want to settle down at some point – it’s just about appreciating me time, while I have it…

    Being in love with me, I’ve found, is the best relationship I’ve ever had!

  180. Iam not a single. But I definitely enjoyed reading your post and truly appreciate your points on finding happiness being single. I just released my post today ‘ Does Marriage Affect You?. So feels good to read …

  181. Thank you for writing this. I’m twenty years old, currently single, and I’ve never had a boyfriend. I feel a bit left out of the whole scene, but that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy being single. I need to enjoy life as it is…Everyday πŸ™‚

  182. I found this very interesting because I am a happy single and I would like to approve your points/ideas of “how to be happy when you are single” on the basis of my personal experience πŸ™‚

    cheese!!!

  183. Pingback: Singleness guide to Happiness « DAIRYCREAM·

  184. You have made many important points within your list… I myself, have not been a single person for, well, almost forever, but what I do know is first and foremost, you do have to be comfortable with yourself before committing in a relationship with another person. Great list and a lot of insight expressed within this post! Thanks so much & Congratulations on being FP’d!

  185. Pingback: A Day in the Life of a Single Girl « Mere Ponderizations·

  186. I agree. You can be single and be happy. In fact, I find it easier to be single–I’m selfish πŸ™‚ But that doesn’t mean I won’t bend a little when I feel a guy is worth the effort…

  187. Thanks for the super-nice comment, but save my blog for another day. You must be feeling elated on the one hand, and overwhelmed and drained on the other! Look forward to reading more of your stuff in the future!

  188. Knowing and liking yourself first is certainly step one in happiness whether alone or with others. As a fairly recent widow with a lengthy great marriage under my belt, the idea of never being a couple again with someone doesn’t bother me at all. I had it so good for so long that the memories can sustain me and I can spare some poor soul the inevitable comparisons. Terrific blog.

  189. Thanks for the post! Am going through a hard time with my gf and feel like i would give it all up and run-away travelling if she left me not to bear the pain. I really need her in my life. I guess I am not so glad to be on my own. Reading your post was helpful though. πŸ™‚

  190. No 1 is the most important one of all. Where ever you go…there you are…no matter whether you are in a relationship or not and I am having a mad passionate love affair with myself at the moment…and books…you did mention books…you are never alone when you have a book and you can take it everywhere with you…even to bed! Congratulations on being FP!

  191. That was very refreshing. Although i’m recently married, I wish I read this back when I was single. It was a very tough time for me. I will definitely pass this on to my single friends. You can follow my blog at ladyjonquille.wordpress.com
    Lady Jonquille

  192. I completely agree with all of your points and it is quite eerie to read someone else who has the same ideas since being on a lonely road less traveled you rarely jog past one who is there by choice. I usually get lapped a few times by the same people sprinting to get off my lonely road. I also enjoyed your organized thoughts and reference to wide varieties of people. It is hard to say that there is a person out there whose eyes this passes in front of would not stop to read completely. My blog also speaks on the numerous ways to find oneness and happiness. If you have time give it a read and let me know what you think. I haven’t put much time into it but I definitely plan on doing more.

  193. I’m married, but I’ve known singles who’s only goal is to be attached again. That always seemed strange to me. This is a great guide, and a better reminder of things to do to keep yourself happy and ready for the right relationship – romantic or otherwise.

  194. I’m middle-aged and single again. Many of your suggestions are the same as I give my counseling clients. Your happiness is very apparent. Way to go!

  195. Wow you have a lot of comments! Just goes to show this was a great post! Totally agree with you! Thanks for making us all think.