When we get into our later 20s and early 30s, something strangely surreal starts to happen. Our best friends and the biggest party animals we ever knew are suddenly settling down, getting married and having kids. We’re happy for them, of course, and we use all our vacation time and a lot of our money on travel, bridesmaid dresses, bachelorette parties, and baby showers. For many of us, it’s exactly what we want, as well, but we just haven’t met the right one to take those steps with yet.
As happy as we are for our friends, we can’t help but think about where that leaves us. For so many years, our friends have been closer than family but now they’re starting actual families and that changes our lives as well, even though we might not be quite ready for the change at hand. Well, stop worrying because change isn’t always a bad thing and your single life can still be exciting if you make it so. Here are some ways to make the best of your single life, even if you’re the only one left in your friend group who’s still flying solo.
- Pursue new hobbies and professional interests. If you’ve always spent your weekends at karaoke getting wasted with your girls, you’ve probably been neglecting some other interests that you could be pursuing. Once your girls are too busy cleaning Cheerios out of their minivans, you’ll have more alone time on your hands and your creativity will be unleashed. You may have been harboring a lifelong passion for photography, cooking, art, or writing, and now is the time to jump into that passion head-first. Whether you do it just for the joy it brings to your soul or you find a way to make a little side money from your creative juices, it will be worth it to invest time in something you really love doing.
- Make strides and take rewarding risks in your career. When you’re fresh out of college and just starting your career, you tend to focus more on the number on your paycheck than what career truly makes you happy and gives you advancement opportunities. As you get older and watch everyone around you achieving their dreams, it makes you seek real fulfillment as well. Whether you’ve been dreaming about a promotion, a graduate degree, or an entirely new field altogether, there’s no time like the present to make it happen! It will be so much harder to take professional risks after you have a family, so do it now while the worst possible outcome is having to borrow the rent money occasionally or eating a lot of ramen noodles.
- Upgrade your bachelorette pad décor. You’re a real adult now, so you’re free to get rid of anything that looks like it belongs in a dorm room (if you want to). Find a nice modern place you love and shop for some furniture that actually matches. Pick out some art from a local gallery and add some fresh flowers to your table. Life is so much better when you love your place and coming home every day is a treat. Plus, it’s a nice affirmation of your progress in life when new friends or dates compliment you on your nice apartment.
- Make some new friends. When we have trusty long-time friends around to hang out with, sometimes we aren’t as motivated to add new people to our social circle. Once your regular clique starts having less time to hang out, it’s a great time to expand your reach. Talk to coworkers who seem cool, neighbors, or the cool barista who already knows your order when you walk into your favorite Starbucks. You might not end up meeting any new besties, but having fun new acquaintances to talk to will help fill the void.
- Go out by yourself. It sounds weird, but you can end up having a great time going out by yourself. Have a glass of wine and some dinner, see a movie, or just walk around downtown observing people and culture. Once you acclimate yourself to the feeling of being alone in a public place, it won’t seem so weird. Also, there’s a good chance you’ll end up talking to some interesting strangers and making a new friend or maybe meeting a cute guy.
- Change up your style. It might sound trivial, but changing your appearance can help you feel reborn and usher in a new era. Changing your haircut, color or style, exploring new makeup options, and playing with different types of clothing is really fun, and it will help you distinguish your adult self from your college self. It’s amazing how empowering it can be when you catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror rocking a power suit with your hair and makeup on point. Own your awesomeness and hold your head up high.
- Host a party! Once you have your nice adult bachelorette pad decorated, your new look on fleek, and you’re killing it at work, why not celebrate your terrific life? Invite your besties including their hubbies and kids (unless they prefer to get a sitter), your new work friends, and anyone else you may think of. It’s fun to plan a menu and drink selection, cook delicious food for more than just yourself, and plan music/games for everyone to enjoy. This is the most freedom you’ll ever have in your life, so make it count.