I know many couples who are together more out of fear of being alone than genuine love.
It’s sad to see, and I thank God I’m not in that situation.
But I have to admit that being single for a long time also has its dark moments, times when I wonder when it will be “my time.”
I often console myself that all these years alone have made me a more selective person, with higher integrity.
But here’s the thing…
Is it actually true?
Is staying single going to make me a better man?
Here are my thoughts on this question.
1) It can be a maturing and strengthening experience
Staying single can be empowering and maturing.
Unlike those who are in relationships often or are rarely single, staying alone for a longer time gives you the space to discover more about who you are and what you want out of life.
I know that while I’ve often looked enviously at happy couples, they look back at me envious of my time to travel, develop my career and pursue my interests.
There’s no doubt that staying single has its benefits and can be enriching in various ways.
At the same time, committing to staying single as a life plan is a different matter, which I will get to later.
2) It can be a reality check
Staying single can be a good reality check.
In relationships, we often get our hopes up and get lost in another person, resulting in horrible heartbreak and disappointment if it doesn’t work out.
Staying single gives us the chance to take life as it comes and only build connections slowly and trust them if they are dependable.
At the same time, being overly resistant to pairing up can deprive us of opportunities that come our way and lead us to rejecting new experiences and people life brings to our life.
As Justin Brown says, “it’s important to live life with a lot of flow,” and not to get hard set about the idea of staying single or finding a partner.
Both are valuable!
3) Being single can help you avoid the danger of codependency
Staying single instead of jumping into relationships is a good idea.
One of the biggest reasons is codependency.
Being in a relationship can be great, but when we cling to the idea that we’re split in half and incomplete, we often project this “lack” and neediness onto the people we end up with and self-sabotage.
When you’re dealing with deciding whether or not you want to stay single it’s easy to become frustrated and even feel helpless.
You may even be tempted to throw in the towel and give up on love, especially if it hasn’t worked out in the past.
I want to suggest doing something different.
It’s something I learned from the world-renowned shaman Rudá Iandê. He taught me that the way to find love and intimacy is not what we have been culturally conditioned to believe.
In fact, many of us self-sabotage and trick ourselves for years, getting in the way of meeting a partner who can truly fulfill us.
As Rudá explains in this mind blowing free video, many of us chase love in a toxic way that ends up stabbing us in the back.
We get stuck in awful relationships or empty encounters, never really finding what we’re looking for and continuing to feel stuck between staying single or settling for an awful relationship.
Rudá’s teachings showed me a whole new perspective and approach.
While watching, I felt like someone understood my struggles to find and nurture love for the first time – and finally offered an actual, practical solution to the disappointments of relationships.
If you’re done with unsatisfying dating, empty hookups, frustrating relationships and having your hopes dashed over and over, then this is a message you need to hear.
I guarantee you will not be disappointed.
4) Solitude vs. loneliness
There’s a big difference between solitude and loneliness.
We all feel lonely from time to time, even in a relationship.
Being single, it’s even more common to be hit with strong feelings of loneliness or maybe alienation.
It’s healthy and beneficial to want to address that feeling, in my view, just don’t try to force yourself to be someone you’re not.
Many people lie to themselves about what they are really looking for in a partner and end up trapped and miserable in relationships they absolutely detest.
If you can use these periods of positive solitude and being alone to truly understand what you’re looking for in life, and in a partner, you can begin to use this time alone proactively in a romantic sense.
What I mean is that you can start to move towards the kind of life in which you’d want to be with a partner.
In other words, if you want to hit home runs, start by warming up and playing catch near the baseball diamond.
If you want to have a big family and live near nature, start orienting towards a community where people live like this.
If you crave a more corporate, urban lifestyle and an intellectual partner, move to a neighborhood like this and begin a career in this direction.
5) Being single long-term and feeling rejected
Choosing to be single is one thing. Feeling or being rejected is another.
It hurts, and I’ve been there many times.
The thing about rejection is that it’s rarely just individual. It’s also a broader social signal: you don’t belong here.
Peer validation and belonging or a shared social code and belief structure are crucial to forming friendships and romantic relationships.
If you’re finding that you’re consistently single or being rejected, this can often be a chance to double down on who you really are.
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This can be your chance to start fresh…
To stop buying into the system you’re in at the moment and find new circles to swim in…
To completely reinvent yourself…
Will it make you a “better” man? That all depends on who you decide to become.
6) What part of you do you want to make better?
The other crucial aspect here is what is meant by the word better.
Staying single has the potential to make you more empathetic, compassionate, patient, loving and strong.
But it also has the potential to make you less understanding, more bitter, more impatient and more needy.
It’s really all about what you do with that raw material of being single.
You can use it for good or for ill.
If you have no choice but to remain single: use this time to its full advantage and begin maximizing your life satisfaction and outcomes!
If you have a choice to date and settle or stay single, I advise to stay single: if you betray what you really want you will be unhappy and stifled.
If you have a choice to be in a relationship where you feel a real connection: give it a try and use the progress you have made while being single to navigate the hard and lonely parts of being in a relationship.
7) It’s mainly what you make of it
Staying single can make you a better man if you decide to use your time outside a relationship to get stronger, wiser and more established in your career and life.
Like everything in life, being single is mainly what you make of it.
While this article explores the main advantages and disadvantages of choosing to stay single, it can be helpful to speak to a relationship coach about your situation.
With a professional relationship coach, you can get advice specific to your life and your experiences…
Relationship Hero is a site where highly trained relationship coaches help people through complicated and difficult love situations, like whether to be with someone or stay on your own.
They’re a very popular resource for people facing this sort of challenge.
How do I know?
I spoke to an advisor from there about six months ago on this very issue and she was immensely helpful in her insights about the experiences and ups and downs of being single.
I was blown away by how kind, empathetic, and genuinely helpful my coach was.
In just a few minutes you can connect with a certified relationship coach and get tailor-made advice for your situation.
8) It can be painful and alienating
Being single can be painful and alienating, but there’s a secret element to this.
Diamonds are literally formed between a rock and a hard place.
It’s the same for humans.
What doesn’t crush and destroy you can turn you into a diamond.
When you find that core inside yourself that’s truly happy alone and self-sufficient, you have so much more to bring to a relationship.
Staying single for as long as it takes to form that kind of person is often the necessary ingredient.
It’s easy to see those who jump into relationships out of neediness before they’re ready: the relationships blow up and become drama-filled nightmares.
None of us are perfect, and this isn’t about judging. But it is showing some of the advantages of staying single until you’ve figured out which direction you’re going.
9) Weighing it up
While staying single has many benefits, my analysis is that you should choose to stay single unless and until you feel a strong connection and chance of a meaningful partnership.
If and when that happens, it can be very beneficial and enjoyable to enter into a relationship.
If that does not happen (for now), use this time and its pluses and minuses to work on yourself.
Even if you’ve been single for a long time, this period alone can be a very empowering time when you decide for sure what you want and make enormous progress on yourself, your career and all parts of your life.
The kind of relationships that we all look at in awe didn’t happen by accident.
They happened when two people who were ready and right for each other came together.
Many times they were single for long periods before that and the period alone is what gave them the inner clarity and strength to know when to act and when to stay alone.
10) Here’s a hypothetical
If I told you that you will meet a partner you love and want to be with long-term in one year, what would you do with that year?
Staying single is an excellent opportunity to work on yourself and what you want your life to be. The ideal situation is not just to find someone where you feel a strong spark and connection.
It’s to find someone where you feel that but you also don’t feel a lack of it in yourself. It’s a situation where two whole beings share a life together, rather than two halves.
Terms like “better half” sound romantic, but they’re actually quite codependent in a certain way.
As you experience this time alone, use it to improve yourself and work on what you want to do with your life and future.
You don’t have to make dramatic changes, but with steady progress you can go a long way. Even just 1% of improvement per day can go a long way in preparing you for the kind of future you’ll want to be around to see.
The final verdict
Staying single can make you a better man if you use that time to pursue your goals and become a more authentic person.
However, if you stay single as a result of consciously resisting and rejecting the chance of love, it is likely to do the opposite.
A long time alone could turn you into someone who is cold-hearted and lets opportunities for a relationship pass you by.
The final verdict is this: stay single if you’d like and certainly don’t settle, but remain open to the chance of love and partnership if at all possible.