10 Things You Learn About Yourself When You’ve Been Single Forever

Being single for what feels like forever definitely has its downsides, but one of the perks is that you learn a ton about yourself in the time you spend flyin’ solo. If it’s been a while since you’ve been in a relationship, you’ve probably started figuring out these things about yourself.

How much you can handle on your own Even if you’re independent and function well as a single woman, most people rely on their partner at least a little bit when they’re in a relationship. Whether it’s having someone to pick up ginger ale and soup when you’re sick in bed or just knowing that you have a supportive shoulder to cry on when you have a bad day, having that extra help when you’re dating someone is a big plus. But when you’ve been single for an eon, you begin to realize how much you’re capable of even when you don’t think you can feel any worse.

What you really want in bed There’s something about being super single that brings out the kinkiest side of us. You may have been content with the same old boring sex when you were in a relationship, but when you’re on your own and have had only yourself to please for months on end, you start to realize that, yeah, maybe you want to be on the receiving end of oral a bit more than you were the last time you had a partner.

How committed you are to your goals Yes, even the most motivated of us can get complacent when we have a partner who’s constantly reassuring us that we’re the best thing ever to grace the Earth. Getting better at a hobby, exercising more, or eating healthier can fall by the wayside when you’re in a relationship, so it’s easy to dismiss any lack of progress as a byproduct of being lazy and in love. But when you’re perpetually single, that excuse goes out the window, and any slacking you do can’t be blamed on your partner’s habit of keeping your favorite potato chips in the house.

How gross you are Your true disgusting nature tends to lie dormant when you’re trying reasonably hard to impress a partner, but it comes out in full force when you’re the only one who cares if you leave a dozen dirty coffee mugs in your bedroom. Even if you’re normally pretty clean and tidy, you’ll still see the dirtiest side of yourself once you’ve spent a year or two as a single lady.

What your type actually is It’s pretty common to suddenly have a thing for blond hair and brown eyes when your partner coincidentally has blond hair and brown eyes. When you’re super single, though, you’ll end up figuring out your real “type” when you start realizing that all of the actors and musicians you fantasize about marrying all have the same physical qualities.

What your bucket list looks like They call it “settling down” for a reason — once you start dating someone long-term, it’s easy to forget about that dream you once had about traveling through South America or how badly you wanted to go skydiving in Australia. After all, you’re not just living for yourself — you’re also adjusting your life to fit someone else’s dreams that may or may not align perfectly with yours. Once you’ve been on your own for a while, you get back into the habit of planning your life out the way you want it to happen, with zero input from anyone else.

How tolerant of bugs you are The stereotype of the housewife screaming from atop a chair while a spider scuttles beneath her may be a bit outdated, but if you’re afraid of bugs and have a partner who’s willing to dispose of bugs for you, chances are you’re going to take advantage of their presence. When you’re forced to deal with your creepy crawler problem on your own for months and months, you start to learn whether it’s really worth getting close enough to that bedroom spider to kill it with your shoe or if it’s just easier to sleep on the couch for a couple nights until you’re sure it’s not going to crawl onto your pillow.

Whether or not you want kids Some people are drawn together specifically because neither of them wants to have children, but there are other cases where people who were formerly anti-offspring changed their tune after meeting someone who made their hormones go haywire. You might have had the phrase “I want to have his babies” stuck in your head during your last relationship, but when you’ve been single for a while, it becomes clearer whether you really want to have children or your primitive instincts just kicked in when your brain thought you’d found a compatible mate.

How low your BS threshold is Oh, the things we put up with for love. When you’re newly single or have been in a relationship for a while, it’s easy to maintain lower standards because, hey, you’re used to dealing with less-than-desirable behavior. But as time moves on and being on your own becomes the norm, it becomes much clearer that there’s no way you should’ve tolerated as much as you used to. No matter how lonely you get, you’ll watch your standards get higher the more time you spend single.

How strong you really are Your relationships may help you grow, but nothing helps you build a rock-solid foundation for yourself than spending time solo. Even if you’re happily single, you may still find yourself occasionally wishing you were dating someone, but once you’ve been on your own, you’ll know that the tough times will pass and you’ll soon be back to being your happy, confident self. Being single longterm teaches you that there’s nothing you can’t make it through and that you’re good enough to make it through it all on your own.

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