How to thrive while you’re single: 11 habits for personal growth

I used to see being single for a long time as a defect in my own life. 

But now I truly see it a new way:

An opportunity and a challenge to become a more capable, self-confident and thriving person. 

Being single when you sometimes don’t want to be or have been disappointed in the past can hurt like hell and be depressing.

We’ve all been there, and there’s no point in pretending it’s always fine or no big deal. 

At the same time: 

The whole time you’re single (whether a lot or a little) gives you the chance to practice some powerful habits that will supercharge your personal growth, and make any relationship you do have in the future 100 times better. 

Let’s get started on healthy habits to engage in while you’re single. 

1) Develop your body and brain

Take this time to develop your body and brain. 

On the body level, work to get your sleep schedule in sync, eat healthy and exercise. 

Do activities and hobbies that get your blood pumping and leave you feeling refreshed. 

Train your brain by reading, listening to podcasts or watching documentaries that stimulate your mind

Follow your arrow! 

On a related note… 

2) Learn new skills that you love

Learning specific new skills that you love to do is an opportunity when you’re single. 

When you’re not single you might not have the opportunity to do this. 

Examples of new things to try?

  • Collecting rare coins and money from around the world;
  • Learning to cook and try out new recipes;
  • Going kayaking and trying out canoeing;
  • Learning a new language; 
  • Trying a new craft like knitting or clothing alterations.

This is your time, use it! 

This leads to the next point… 

3) Maximize your time while single! 

You’ll never have as much time to do what you want as you will while single. 

Even if you have a busy job and many competing demands, you have the chance now to try out new pursuits, make new friends and do what matters to you. 

As Jonathan Pokluda writes

“You’ll never have more free time than you do right now, as a single person. If you’re tired of hearing that over and over from married people, it’s because it’s true.”

Not only is this an opportunity to do what you want, it’s also a time to shape yourself into who you want to be and explore what’s important to you. 

What do you believe? Why? 

Where do you want to live? Why?

What career or life path is meaningful to you? Are there big changes you want to make in what you’re doing or what you see yourself doing down the road? 

On a related note… 

4) Make the life changes you want now

Now is the time to make the changes in your life that will be much harder to make if you’re not single or meet someone special. 

If you have the possibility to do so: 

  • Move where you want to live…
  • Switch careers to what you want to do…
  • Study what’s meaningful and interesting to you…
  • Explore and discover identities that are meaningful to who you are…

This is the time to become who you are, do what’s meaningful to you and make the kind of life changes that are very hard to do when balancing with the plans of somebody else. 

5) Discover the path to true love and intimacy

The biggest change you can make at the internal level while single is to reframe how you see dating, relationships, sex and love. 

The best resource I’ve found that opened my eyes is this free masterclass by the legendary shaman Rudá Iandê.

He shows how many people are lost in codependency and searching for love and intimacy in a way that’s full of self-sabotage…

This is like cleaning your window when it’s full of grime and dirt:

Suddenly you can see so clearly and it’s inspiring! 

Check out the free video from Rudá here

6) Be open and proud about who you are 

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When you’re single, this is your time to become who you are and stop apologizing for it

Religious identity, who you are as a person and what you believe:

This is the time to fully own it. 

Stop feeling shy or looking for the approval of others. 

You don’t need it, and to meet somebody who’s worth your while you need to become fully OK with being disliked. 

There are people who just won’t like you, all sorts of people. 

Some you may find attractive and they still won’t like you or will find something you said stupid or offensive:

So be it! 

Become you, own you, speak your mind. 

“Instead of ‘going with the flow’ or deferring action to others, take it upon yourself to cultivate some strong opinions,” notes Kali Rogers.

“Get a sense of what you like and how you like it. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.”

7) Stop focusing on being single 

If you’re single but would like to meet someone, this can become a focus of your life. 

Some dating coaches will claim this creates a “scarcity mindset” and drives people away. 

There’s some truth to that in the sense that nobody likes somebody needy, but it’s mostly BS. 

The truth is actually that focusing on trying to meet somebody has three main problems: 

  • The way we meet people nowadays in apps tends to be shallow and disappointing, based more on loneliness or desire for sex than real connection;
  • It can create the idea that there’s something wrong with you if you aren’t meeting someone, when in reality you really may just not be hitting it off with those you’re meeting (sometimes it really isn’t you that’s at fault…!)
  • It can get you in a very self-focused mindset that actually leads to more misery than if you were to take a break for a bit on trying to achieve the ideal life you imagine for yourself with a partner.

This leads into the next point… 

8) Find ways to serve others 

Just when you want most to know when it’s your turn is a chance to start serving others. 

It’s completely counterintuitive and sounds totally wrong, but it’s true. 

When you begin to focus on the needs of others, two big things happen:

  • Your own needs fade a bit and start to seem a bit less dramatic and world-shattering. You begin attracting what and who is meant to be in your life naturally;
  • You start to gain enormous well-being inside yourself, especially when you’re not helping for any desire of reward, recognition or “good karma” or anything else, but simply because you can. 

This is the key: helping because you can, because it’s in your power to do so, because why not? 

Whatever time or resources you have, find some small ways to serve others

9) Cultivate a tight circle of close friends 

Your time being single doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot of hours alone. 

This is a great time to make close friends who share your interests:

They can be online or offline…

The point is to forge connections and real links with people who you relate to and who relate to you. 

Whether these connections eventually lead to a relationship or not is besides the point. 

You form these friendships because it’s a valuable and enjoyable thing to do and because you can meet people who you really enjoy being around and talking to. 

This is an amazing thing, single or not! 

10) Learn to have self-discipline with your sexual desire

Here’s the ideal:

You fall in love with somebody and physically desire them just as much as you love them. 

Here’s the reality:

Love and physical desire rarely exist together in equal balance. 

It’s very common to be turned on by someone more than you care for them and vice versa. 

This is part of why it’s a good idea to have self-discipline with your sex drive when you’re single. 

If you do whatever you want too much you’re likely to continue seeking sex separately or in addition to love even once you’re with someone or married. 

Learning to be able not to always act on desire on the spur of the moment is part of a maturity that’s necessary in a relationship. 

11) Channel the frustration!

Being single for a long time can be frustrating, especially if it’s due to rejection by somebody you liked a lot or not your first choice. 

There’s no need to pretend to always be fine with being single. 

You don’t need to be fine with it or repress feelings of resentment and anger or sadness about it. 

But try to use those feelings by channeling them into productive endeavors. 

Become your best self because you can. 

Become ever more sure of yourself, pursue your purpose and keep working on carving out a place for yourself in this world and contributing to those around you. 

Seeing being single in a new way 

if you want to grow as a person say goodbye to these behaviors How to thrive while you’re single: 11 habits for personal growth

Is being single good or bad?

I have a new take on it:

It’s neither. 

Being single is what you make of it. 

It has its own unique set of challenges and miserable moments, just as relationships do. 

It’s not inherently positive or negative:

It’s the unvarnished experience of being you without having yet joined your life to another person. 

Here’s the thing:

None of the healthy habits you practice while being single should be about improving yourself in order to meet or appeal to someone better. 

This only feeds a cycle of disempowerment and approval-seeking. 

You already deserve to meet someone great, and they deserve to meet you, too. 

You don’t need to be anything “better” than you are now in order to merit a relationship. 

You are good enough, more than good enough. 

The reason to improve is because you can. The reason to get better is because it’s an internal process of growth that’s worth it for it’s own sake. 

Single or in a relationship, these habits I’ve mentioned above are worth their weight in gold! 

The harsh truth

Being single is very much about context. 

Why are you single? 

The same exact question can be asked of those in a relationship: 

Why are you in a relationship?

The true answer to these questions tells us volumes about the value of that being single or relationship and what can be done next to lead to a more authentic and valuable experience of life

Anybody who tells you that you should stay single or should be in a relationship is only offering their view. 

It’s you living your life, and don’t forget that 10 up and down relationships that don’t work out may be worth nothing compared to one relationship that does work out…

A healthy dose of realism

I agree that idealization and seeking the “perfect” person can block real love and opportunities. 

It is important to be realistic and open about who we meet and not hinge too many expectations on a person.

We’re all human and flawed, and there may be more people compatible with you than you realize at first. 

You might not get the one person you have had feelings for for years, but there could be somebody else waiting to meet you who will end up creating a life with you that’s more meaningful and fulfilling. 

Realism is necessary, absolutely.

At the same time… 

Never settle! 

Whatever you do, don’t settle. 

Settling is what you do with debts, not with dating and relationships. 

The habits that can help you when you’re single are like emotional weight training: 

They show you that you’re more than capable of being self-sufficient and happy on your own, and that you deserve a person who you truly connect with if and when you get seriously involved. 

Join Rudá Iandê, the legendary shaman, as he guides you to the path of empowerment in your relationships

I strongly encourage you to check out Rudá Iandê’s course on finding love and intimacy as well. 

Like I mentioned earlier, it’s a really eye-opening look at how to find love in a healthy way and give (and get) all you can from relationships.

Watch the free video here.

Picture of 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 and visit his website at

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