What I Learned After Being Single For An Entire Year

What I Learned After Being Single For An Entire Year ©iStock/LeoPatrizi

I used to be the girl who always had a boyfriend and wanted nothing more than to settle down into a comfortable long-term relationship. It wasn’t necessarily because I couldn’t be without my own — I really just loved being in love. That changed not long ago, and now I’ve been single for a full year. Here’s what the experience has taught me:

  1. I don’t need a guy to make me happy. Being single for a long time didn’t make me lonely or wish I had someone. It showed me how awesome it is to enjoy your own company. I didn’t feel bad, regret or hope I’d meet someone because I was totally happy being single and knew I didn’t need a guy to complete me.
  2. I finally know exactly what I want in a guy. Random guys have tried to get my attention over the past year, but I want something a little more specific. Spending time on my own has made me realize exactly what I want from a guy and I’m not going to settle until I get it. End of.
  3. I have greater potential than I ever gave myself credit for. Single life showed me the power I have within me that I didn’t even know was there. I gained more confidence, felt free, was open and spontaneous and didn’t regret a single decision I made. “Anything goes” was my favorite phrase. It didn’t matter what I did, as long as I was happy with who I was and that was more than enough for me.
  4. There’s more to life than love. The ultimate life goal for most people is to find someone to settle down with for the rest of their lives, but that’s really not everything. Love isn’t the only thing worth living for — and it certainly doesn’t have to come from a romantic partner.
  5. I’m a total catch. Not only did I realize that guys were more interested in me when I was single, I realized I was truly a catch. I didn’t need a boyfriend to be happy and that apparently made me instantly more attractive. I was kind, flirty and happy to converse with guys as long as that’s where it stayed.
  6. It feels good calling my own shots. Truth is, the guy I’m with usually has so much influence in our relationship and in my life in general. I enjoyed making all my own decisions for once, sticking up for myself and having my own back. I knew I could handle anything and anyone and it felt good to feel on top of the world.
  7. I really enjoy the occasional wild night out. Yes, please. Single life is associated with plenty of alcohol and that’s not because we’re “crazy” or “depressed,” it’s because we’re celebrating ourselves and the fact that no one can turn down a shot or two. I like having a reason to celebrate, even if that’s no reason at all.
  8. I have a purpose. Reaching my goals and setting my priorities to get there became my main focus. I became more organized, smarter and fulfilled from creating dreams I knew I could work toward. I saw the light at the end of the tunnel and was patting myself on the back on the way there. The life I want has never felt so within reach.
  9. Good friends are hard to come by. I started spending most of my time with my friends and it revealed the friends worth keeping around and the friends worth getting rid of. I don’t need 15 mediocre friends, I only need a few real ones — ones who have my back and love me for who I am.
  10. Confidence is key. Single, loud and proud — I walked with my head high, talked with as many people as I could and wanted the very best experience from anywhere I went. I knew who I was and where I was going and wanted to learn more about others too. It really taught me the value of feeling good about myself.
  11. Never settle. This is so important. After being in so many relationships and finally having time to myself, I promised myself I would never settle. I wouldn’t allow someone to undermine my expectations or criticize what I want in a relationship. Like I said, I want forever, not temporary. And I plan on going forward until I find it.
  12. I am high on life. I love the life I have and I owed it to myself to take that year to give myself the opportunity to look at my life and evaluate all that surrounded it. I’m a better person than I was and will be an even better wife to my future husband, wherever he may be. Do yourself a favor and invest in yourself. Learn about yourself, trust yourself and most of all, love yourself.
Bolde has been a source of dating and relationship advice for single women around the world since 2014. We combine scientific data, experiential wisdom, and personal anecdotes to provide help and encouragement to those frustrated by the journey to find love. Follow us on Instagram @bolde_media or on Facebook @BoldeMedia