Do you love being single? Or do you wonder what it takes to love being single?
A friend of mine once told me that after a long marriage, she is now practicing and enjoying being married to herself.
It took me some years, self-work, and spending two years on a remote island to truly understand what she meant, but now I do. I wouldn’t have had the time and energy to do that if I had been in a relationship.
Read on to find out some of the lessons I learned.
1) They really enjoy their own company
There are many good reasons to be in a relationship, but so many people end up in relationships because they don’t know how to spend time with themselves. But those committed to enjoying singledom have no trouble spending time alone. In fact, they thrive on it.
I recently discovered a wonderful Insta account of a woman living her best life while single and traveling. You can see how much she is enjoying herself without needing a partner.
Let’s find out some of the things that people who truly love being single, tend to enjoy.
2) Their cup of love is filled by nature
No one wants to be lonely. But if you’ve ever spent much time in nature (at least in most places), you’ll know that you are never alone.
Right now I’m typing this from the rooftop terrace of my jungle bungalow. And there is so much going on.
My semi-wild beach dogs are lazily lying around me, and there are trees in every direction. I can hear the sound of crickets, and, when I take a moment to glance up, I see that there is a couple of squirrels playing ‘tag’. It won’t be long before a big beautiful butterfly flutters on by and a gecko runs across my ceiling.
Later I will walk by the sea with my dogs, enjoying the sounds of the ocean and the magnificent sunset.
If you love nature, and you live near a wild place or tend to a garden, you’ll understand how loneliness is not an option.
3) They have one or more hobbies that they love to do
Relaxing with a movie or Netflix can be a lovely way to unwind. But people who really enjoy being single usually tend to enjoy more engaging hobbies as well.
Why is that?
Well, doing a hobby or activity that requires you to participate, stimulates the part of the brain that loves to be task-focused. When we are task-focused, we feel truly in the moment, and this helps us to enjoy ourselves fully.
And hobbies release dopamine and other feel-good hormones as Ciara McCabe, professor of neuroscience at Reading University explained to me, So for those of you who don’t love meditation (or do, but want more goodness), finding a new hobby is a great way to enjoy being single.
And of course, since many hobbies are group activities, it can be another way of forming connections, outside of a romantic relationship.
4) They’re sociable
A lot of people get into relationships for companionship. But those who love being single find they don’t need anyone to prop them up.
However, even for introverts, some level of social connection is vital for wellbeing. Humans are group animals after all, and it’s this, rather than say our strength or size, that many anthropologists believe is the reason for our survival as a species.
Anthropologists like Victor Turner have also been big advocates of ritual, due to the social bonding that it provides.
And while rituals can be complicated affairs such as weddings or birthdays, they can also be as simple as getting together with your friends every Wednesday, to share food, stories, and friendship.
Getting together with others is an important way that people enjoy life and singledom.
5) They’re a voracious reader
“Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.” This quote, usually attributed to Groucho Marx, reminds us of how wonderful and immersive it is to read books.
It’s like another world, where characters come to life and we reside there for a time, entranced! And even when we have finished the book we might spend time pondering the characters, and what happened next.
Single people have more time to enjoy the magical world of literature, and also to discover the knowledge contained in non-fiction books.
And to those who would scorn novels, I’ll quote Jane Austen, speaking out through her hero Henry Tilney in Northanger Abbey;
“The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.”
(For context, in Jane Austen’s time, novels were looked upon by many as ‘less than’ other kinds of writing!)
6) They’re fiercely independent!
It may come as no surprise that those who really enjoy being single are often very independent. As we have seen, this doesn’t mean that they don’t spend time with others, but rather that they love to be in control of their choices and actions.
Perhaps they want to be free to travel or spend hours immersed in their work or passions.
People who are happily single tend to have a strong sense of self and feel comfortable making decisions without needing input or approval from a partner. They know what they want out of life and don’t let other people’s expectations hold them back.
Independence also allows them the freedom to cultivate close friendships and community connections. They can choose who to spend their time with based on shared interests and values, not out of obligation.
Meaningful relationships are still important to them, just defined differently than for people in committed partnerships.
7) They see the downsides of being in a relationship
There are many great things about romantic relationships, and some studies say that those in a couple will live longer, be healthier, happier, and so on.
But newer research has also found the contrary, that as long as people have satisfying non-romantic relationships, they may be happier and better off being single. One of the reasons is that relationships tend to close off our social circle, often leaving us with fewer close friends that we can rely on in times of crisis.
And the downsides of relationships (and the benefits of being single) don’t stop there.
When you are only responsible for your happiness and wellbeing, you have more time to do what you want, or spend time altruistically helping others.
Being able to structure your daily life as you wish means you don’t have to compromise or accommodate someone else’s habits and preferences day in and day out.
Singletons can decorate their living space, plan their schedule, take trips, pursue hobbies, and more according to their unique tastes.
While a relationship requires compromise and cooperation, fiercely independent singles relish being able to make their own rules. People who truly enjoy the single life, live on their own terms, embracing the autonomy and self-determination that their choices allow.