10 Incredible Things That Happen When You Learn To Love Being Alone

Being on your own can be intimidating at first. You worry about being lonely, about missing out on things and people in life, and ending up some weird old spinster that never leaves the house. Obviously, these concerns are valid, but they’re not true. In fact, when you learn to love being alone, some pretty amazing things start to happen.

1. You trust yourself a whole lot more.

androgynous woman with short hair outdoors in winter

The more time you spend with yourself, the more you realize, “You know what? I’m actually pretty sound.” You’ll never be able to rely on anyone the way you can on yourself — you’re the one who’s there for you when all the chips are down and you need some backup. The more you embrace that, the stronger the trust you have in yourself grows. All the self-doubt you carried with you for way too long starts to fade away and it feels amazing.

2. You become comfortable in your own skin.

smiling black woman walking with headphones and coffee

Learning to love being alone is a process, and it can be a tough one for a lot of people, especially if you’re used to being around people 24/7. However, once you start to settle into your own company a bit more, you start feeling a lot more comfortable with yourself. All the “flawed” bits of yourself you previously tried to hide or pretend didn’t exist suddenly aren’t so bad, and you begin to embrace your truest self as-is. It’s incredibly freeing, and it ends up carrying over to the relationships you have with other people too.

3. You realize you can do whatever you want, whenever you want.

handsome millennial man with hands crossed

Isn’t this kinda the best thing ever? When you’re in a relationship, you (necessarily) have to consider your partner in the plans you make. You can’t just assume you run the show and they’ll go along with whatever you want to do. You also can’t totally ignore them and continue to live your life as a single person. However, when you’re rolling solo, it’s all about you. There are no limitations — you’re your own boss and the only person you have to please. This is, without a doubt, one of the best things to come out of learning to love being alone.

4. You learn what you want in life (and what you don’t).

plus-sized woman with phone outside

Everyone’s life is filled with so much noise and activity these days to the point that you rarely get a chance to hear yourself think,so to speak. However, when you start spending more quality time with yourself (and without distractions), you have a lot of time for self-reflection. This sounds boring but it’s actually pretty useful because it gives you clarity about how you want to live your life (and how you definitely don’t). Knowing what you want and don’t want in your day-to-day provides a bit of a blueprint for how you should move forward, and it’s incredibly reassuring. (If you don’t really know what you want in your love life, you might want to check out our sister company, Sweetn. They’ve got some great tricks and tips for how to figure it out. Click here to read them.)

5. You feel much more independent and self-sufficient.

woman with hands in pocket in front of foliage

Obviously, there’s nothing wrong with relying on your support circle to a certain extent. As human beings, we need companionship, support, affection, etc. That being said, there’s something special that happens when you learn to love being alone. You suddenly realize that you can self-soothe and provide most things you want or need in life. You’re strong and capable and you can take care of yourself, which can be mind-blowing for some people to discover.

6. You become way more productive.

serious woman with short hair at work

It goes without saying that you’re going to get more done when you have fewer distractions. When it’s just you, you can focus your energy on a project you’ve been meaning to finish, a creative endeavor you’ve wanted to try more of, or pretty much anything else. It’s amazing how much more quickly you can accomplish goals when you’re not being interrupted every five seconds by other people’s drama and BS. That report you’ve been working on for two weeks? Done in two days. Been planning to paint the living room for the past three months? Finished last weekend. See what I mean?

7. You feel less overwhelmed and have more energy.

woman chiling on couch on phone

As great as the connections we have with people are, they can also be really exhausting. Being surrounded by people nonstop is draining, especially when some of those people are dramatic, self-centered, high-maintenance, or any other not-so-flattering verb that sucks the energy from a room. Introverts already know this secret: time alone to recharge your drained social batteries is a must. When you get some QT with yourself, you suddenly feel a lot lighter mentally, emotionally, etc. You can’t pour from an empty cup, so topping up your energy reserves needs to be a priority.

8. You value your close relationships so much more.

millennial guy with backpack in city

Just because you’re alone doesn’t mean you’re lonely, but there are times when you start to feel a bit isolated and in need of company. This is the amazing thing about spending time with yourself — it makes you appreciate the time you get to spend with the people you’re closest to. Because you’ve had the space to look after yourself and make sure you’re in a good place, you’re able to give more in your relationships and enjoy those bonds more. No doubt your friends and family will notice the change, too.

9. You stop needing external validation.

woman sippiing tea on couch

Everyone likes to be praised now and then, but there’s a difference between loving a compliment to relying on them to bolster your sense of self-worth. Amazingly enough, when you learn to love being alone, this need for external validation slowly but surely begins to fade. You realize that you’re perfectly capable of validating yourself and that your opinion is the only one that matters. If you’re happy with how you’re living your life, who cares if other people aren’t? If you’re not hurting anyone, you’re good.

10. You no longer feel scared of being on your own.

woman with attitude walking city street

The prospect of spending an extended amount of time on your own can be intimidating at first (it sounds very attractive after a while, just FYI). However, once you realize how great you are and how nice it is to be able to do your own thing and not answer to anyone, you realize it’s not so scary after all. In fact, it’s actually pretty great. You end up wondering why you didn’t try and get used to this earlier. Hey, at least you got there in the end!

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Jennifer Still is a writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience. The managing editor of Bolde, she has bylines in Vanity Fair, Business Insider, The New York Times, Glamour, Bon Appetit, and many more. You can follow her on Twitter @jenniferlstill