16 habits to ditch for a happier single life

Living a happy and fulfilled single life can be hard sometimes. 

Between the judgments from society, family and friends, along with your own feelings that being single is holding you back, you can start feeling pretty low. 

Is there something wrong with you? Are you just a late bloomer or somebody who spends more time single than many others around you?

The truth is that everybody’s journey is different, and rarely being single or often being single are both valid parts of people’s unique paths. 

When you find you are living a single life most of the time, the following habits are good to ditch. 

1) Working around the clock

Working too hard is a tempting option when your love life isn’t really happening. 

So why not just fill up as many hours of the day with work as possible?

The problem with being a workaholic is that it becomes a kind of addiction and often leads to self-isolation and less opportunities to make new friends or romantic connections. 

As self-development writer Chris Butler puts it:

“A workaholic is someone who doesn’t know how to rest. At the crux of this disorder is someone who has something to prove to themselves or is running from something.”

2) Slacking off and procrastinating

At the same time as overworking is a bad idea for the single man or woman, so is procrastination.

When we’re single for a short or long time, there may be a tendency to sit back a little. Take a break and learn to practice self-care, absolutely. 

But avoid procrastination or slipping into an overly passive mode. It tends to create a vicious cycle. 

3) Waiting to be truly appreciated

This ties into the previous point, because even if you have a busy social life, being single can make some people feel like they aren’t being fully appreciated. 

That feeling of FOMO (fear of missing out) and of being overlooked in a way is very painful and can lead to feeling quite discouraged. 

But waiting to be appreciated before making big moves and commitments in your own career and life leads to disempowerment. Remember to center your own well being inside yourself not in the views or support of other people. 

4) Being an overly ‘nice’ people-pleaser

The next bad habit that single people should drop is being overly nice and trying to please everyone. 

This isn’t even about trying to meet someone, it’s about being happier with yourself. 

Whether you’re single or not, the person you spend the most time with is yourself. 

If your priority is being nice and pleasant, while reaching out and trying to please other people, you end up undervaluing yourself.

5) Feeling the need to impress others 

Getting into the habit of trying to impress others goes hand-in-hand with people-pleasing.

It may manifest as trying to be a “rebel,” or dressing or acting a certain way that gets respect or makes a splash.

This habit is best to leave aside, because it also centers your well being outside yourself in how others perceive and feel about you.

6) Fearing change and transition

When you’re single it’s easy to get into an overly comfortable groove:

You start becoming so accustomed to being on your own schedule and putting your own priorities first that you start to fear change. 

Even positive and exciting change is something you’d rather avoid and may fear. 

Do your best to cultivate a mindset that embraces change and sees it as your friend. It’s coming either way, so you may as well embrace it proactively. 

7) Clinging to past nostalgia or regret

The past is in the past, and even though it still matters, you should do your best not to dwell on it too much. 

Whether it’s pleasant nostalgia and memories or past regret and pain, these should be in the rearview mirror rather than foremost in your heart and mind. 

This is a way to stay present and not allow the past to dominate. 

8) Worrying a lot about being single

Being single is what it is, and nobody should demand that you “get over it” or don’t care about it. 

You may find being single long term to be upsetting or depressing, and that’s a valid response. 

But limit how much you buy into your worries about being single. This can quickly become a bad habit that takes over your life. 

If you feel bad about your single status that’s an emotion you can channel into other areas of your life, but you have to also make a choice not to buy into the disruptive thoughts that may intrude as worries about being single.

9) Idealizing the lives of others 

if youre single in your 30s youll be able to relate to these life 16 habits to ditch for a happier single life

To say that everybody has an equally fulfilling or difficult life would be a bald-faced lie. Clearly some people have happy relationships and some people are suffering deeply by being single for too long. 

On the other hand, some people are living their best life being single while others have soul-crushing misery in relationships they don’t even want to be in but feel unable to leave. 

There is no formula, and it’s not better to be single or involved. Both can be enjoyable and meaningful or awful and empty depending on the situation. 

It’s important not to idealize the lives of others if you’re living the single life. 

10) Playing the comparison game

There’s no way to avoid comparing yourself to others at times, especially if you’re noticing a lot of couples and you’re still single. 

But it’s best not to get into a habit of caring too much about this or buying into it too much. 

Notice that you rarely compare yourself to the many others who are doing much worse than you in life?

There’s no upside to comparison with those you feel confident are probably doing much better than you or in happy relationships. Focus on pursuing your own self-actualization and well being instead of the position of others.

11) Focusing too much on the external

Outer accomplishments and relationships do matter, certainly. 

But they can never make up for inner happiness and fulfillment. 

The habit of focusing on external benchmarks leads down a dark path of jumping through hoops and trying to get all the awards and recognition. 

But the empty or full feeling inside doesn’t come from outside accomplishments; at most they’re just an accompaniment to that inner sense. 

12) Holding on to self-limiting beliefs

There’s nothing wrong with being single.

Holding onto self-limiting beliefs is a bad habit that some single people get into which can really hold them back and disempower them. 

Focus on your talents and admirable qualities. Listen to those who see your potential and spend time with friends who get you. 

Self-limiting beliefs have a nasty way of becoming self-fulfilling prophecies. 

13) Having unrealistic expectations

Wanting to meet someone and be happy is completely healthy and realistic. 

But watching a film about an idealized love story and thinking that this will be your life can leave you disappointed when it doesn’t seem to be happening. 

Unrealistic expectations are a bad habit to get into and something to avoid when they start to occur to you. 

14) Repressing and guarding resentment

Being single isn’t always a walk in the park, and there may be some bad things which went down in the past that are hard to get over:

Breakups, cheating, times when you’ve felt lonely and alienated from society. 

These painful emotions should be faced and accepted, rather than pushed down and repressed. They are valid and can be channeled in powerful ways, rather than being delegitimized or left to fester below the surface.

15) Trying to follow trends and be popular

Trends can be exciting and it’s easy to get caught up in them. 

But if you want to lead a better life as a single person it’s important to define what’s important for you and learn not to follow along too closely with outer trends. 

Deciding for sure what matters most to you is an empowering move and leads to a more authentic life as a single individual. 

16) Categorizing who you want to be with too strictly

There’s a habit that I used to fall into where I was overly strict about what kind of person I wanted to be with. 

I would have so many categories and ideas of who I wanted to meet that even if I actually met someone and felt a connection I often didn’t realize because they weren’t the “type” I was looking for. 

Keeping your mind open about who you might meet and form a connection with is a good habit to get into in order to live a happier single life.

Paul Brian

Paul Brian

Paul R. Brian is a freelance journalist and writer who has reported from around the world, focusing on religion, culture and geopolitics. Follow him on www.twitter.com/paulrbrian and visit his website at www.paulrbrian.com

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