Not everyone needs a partner to thrive. Between dating apps, singles bars and stalking our friends on social media, it’s easy to forget that being alone isn’t actually a curse and it’s certainly not the end of the world. In fact, it’s liberating, empowering and beautiful — here’s why:
- Enjoying your own company is a positive, not a negative. People can be negative about “loners.” They’re described as aloof, isolated and socially inactive — but that’s not you at all. Being alone is completely different. You get to enjoy your own company, do the things you love, pursue your interests, passions and career with as much effort and time as you want, while socializing, partying and connecting with people whenever you feel like it. Being alone brings you closer to people.
- Being alone means being the boss. When you’re partnered up with someone, you’re living on a combined time schedule. Sharing responsibilities, meeting at parties, getting to dinner, picking movie times… your life is no longer just your own. When you’re alone, you’re a free bird — you can pick what to do and when and where to do it without having to okay it with somebody else. Of course a relationship doesn’t mean that you have to get permission from your partner, but you’ll usually check in and see what works for both of you. When you’re alone, all of that is out the window. You’re the boss — you set the hours.
- You get to choose your obligations. Being alone means never having to hang out with your partner’s best friend, who you just can’t stand. It means no more visiting their family on weekends or hosting distant relatives at your place. You get to choose the obligations you want to sign up for, and which obligations you want to drop.
- People in relationships get lonely, too. The idea that being alone makes you a loner, or lonely in any way, is irrelevant. The fact is, even the couple that seems perfect and like they’ve got it all together has its problems. People in relationships feel isolated and lonely all the time. Loneliness is not monopolised by single people, and single people can feel just as happy and fulfilled as our coupled-up counterparts.
- Change your plans at the drop of a hat. Don’t want to go to the movies anymore? Don’t go! Want to go to that house party tonight instead? Do it! There’s no one else that you have to convince (or at least make some effort to convince) to go with you or check in with to see if they’re up for it. There’s nobody else there to influence your decision. You’re alone. Life is perfect.
- You can spend your money however you want, guilt-free. In a couple, you’re usually planning ahead for big spends or things that you want to do that will hit your wallets hard. When you’re alone, you can go shopping, go on an excruciatingly expensive night out or drop a big one on a last minute vacation and there’s no one to explain yourself to. You earned your money and you can do whatever you want with it. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be smart about your finances, just that if that $200 pair of boots you’ve been eyeing for 6 months is finally on sale for $175, you’re not going to have to hide the receipts afterwards.
- Not knowing who you might meet is pretty exciting. Sure, it’s exciting to plan your life with a partner, but there’s something special about that amazing time when you’re still single and haven’t met anyone yet. The world is full of possibilities and you never know who might come your way. It’s an adrenaline rush because you know there are seven billion people in the world and there’s (at least) one out there who’d be great for you. You just have to find them!
- If you do meet someone, you’ll know who you truly are. Ultimately, being alone teaches you who you are and what you really value. It gives you experience, independence and lets you figure out what you want and need from life. So if you do meet someone who convinces you to give up the good life, you already know what you want out of a life with them, and that will go so far in helping your relationship thrive and go the distance.