7 reasons why I prefer being single to being in a relationship

I’ve been single for a considerable period of my adult life, punctuated by a few relationships that didn’t last.

Choosing to be single isn’t always understood by others. The pressure is constant and it comes from all corners.

From dates who can’t seem to comprehend why I am not in pursuit of a ‘better half’. From my parents, who are eager to see me settled down as it is the norm. From friends who are already living the coupled life and wonder if I ever wish to join them.

In the face of such pressure, I find myself contemplating:

Why should I justify my choice of being single?

Why is being in a relationship or marriage considered a hallmark of success?

Isn’t it time we viewed the desire for singleness with the same lens as we view the desire for companionship?

In this article, I want to delve into this topic and share why I believe societal pressure on individuals to be in relationships is unwarranted and often leads to unhappy partnerships based on unrealistic expectations.

By the time you reach the end of this article, I hope to convince you that whether one chooses to remain single or be in a relationship should stem from personal choice and not societal expectations or fear.

So, let’s dive right into my 7 reasons why I prefer being single to being in a relationship.

1) Freedom and independence

Being single comes with a sense of freedom that is unmatched. You can make decisions without having to consult or compromise with another person.

Whether it’s deciding what to have for dinner or making significant life choices like relocating for a job, you have the autonomy to shape your life in the way you want.

This sense of independence isn’t just about making decisions; it’s also about personal growth. Being single gives you the time and space to focus on yourself, your interests, and your goals.

You can take up new hobbies, travel alone, pursue further studies, or start that business you’ve always dreamt of.

It’s essential to embrace this freedom and use it to explore and understand yourself better. The self-discovery that comes from being single often leads to a deeper sense of self-confidence and self-worth.

2) Solitude is not loneliness

Many people equate being single with being lonely, but that’s far from the truth.

This insight came to me after experiencing bouts of loneliness even in relationships. It dawned on me that loneliness isn’t about not having someone by your side.

It’s about not feeling understood and connected, which can happen even when you’re in a relationship.

Being single, in contrast, offers an opportunity to embrace solitude—a state of being alone without feeling lonely. It is a time for self-reflection, for understanding oneself better, and for cultivating a relationship with oneself.

In the quiet moments of solitude, I’ve discovered more about my likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses, passions and fears than ever before. I’ve learned to enjoy my own company, to entertain myself, to find peace in silence.

And in this process of self-discovery and self-acceptance, I’ve realized that I can feel whole and content on my own.

Embracing solitude doesn’t mean cutting ties with the world. It means learning to find joy within yourself and then extending that joy outward.

3) Relationships aren’t the only source of happiness

This is another aspect that took me a while to grasp.

The idea that ‘happiness equals being in a relationship’ is something most of us grow up believing. It’s a narrative we see in movies, hear in songs, and read in books.

But what if happiness isn’t about finding ‘the one’ but about finding oneself?

Let me clarify.

Remember the last time you achieved something you were proud of or the last time you did something you truly enjoy? That feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction, that’s happiness too.

You see, happiness comes from within, from doing things you love, from spending time with people who matter to you…

…And most importantly, from liking who you are as a person.

Being single has allowed me to discover that happiness doesn’t have to come from being in a relationship. It can come from various aspects of life – career achievements, friendships, hobbies, the pursuit of knowledge, volunteering, travel, and so much more.

Understanding this has been liberating. I’ve realized that I don’t need to be in a relationship to experience joy and fulfillment.

If you can let go of the belief that relationships are the only source of happiness, you will open up a world of possibilities for yourself. You will start finding happiness in unexpected places and in small everyday moments.

You will realize that you are the creator of your own happiness.

4) Being single allows for deeper friendships

no real friends 7 reasons why I prefer being single to being in a relationship

This might not be the first thing that comes to mind when considering the benefits of singlehood, but it’s a significant one.

When I was in relationships, I noticed a pattern. I tended to invest most of my time and emotional energy into my partner, often at the expense of my friendships. My friends became secondary, people I’d catch up with only if I had some spare time.

Being single, however, has turned this on its head.

With more time and emotional bandwidth at my disposal, I’ve been able to cultivate deeper and more meaningful friendships.

I’ve had long conversations with friends without constantly checking my phone. I’ve been there for them during their highs and lows, just as they have been there for me.

The beauty of these friendships is that they are based on mutual respect and shared experiences, not romantic love or societal expectations. They are relationships where I can be my authentic self without fear of judgment or rejection.

What’s more, these friendships have taught me valuable lessons about loyalty, understanding, and compassion—lessons that are invaluable in any kind of relationship.

I’m not saying that people in relationships can’t have deep friendships. But being single has given me the opportunity to prioritize my friends in a way that I never did before.

And for this reason, among many others, I prefer being single to being in a relationship.

5) Singlehood fosters self-reliance

I’ve always been a believer in the idea that every experience in life teaches us something valuable.

I remember when I got my first apartment as a single adult. It was a small, one-bedroom place, but it was mine. I was responsible for everything – from paying bills to fixing anything that broke.

One day, the faucet in my bathroom started leaking. My first instinct was to call someone for help. But then I decided to try and fix it myself. I watched tutorials online, bought the necessary tools, and after a few hours of struggle, I managed to stop the leak.

That might seem like a small thing, but it was a huge confidence booster for me. I realized that I was capable of taking care of myself. And that realization was empowering.

Being single has given me numerous such opportunities to become more self-reliant and independent. Whether it’s managing finances, dealing with a crisis, or simply killing a spider in the bathtub, being single has taught me to rely on myself.

This sense of self-reliance has not only made me stronger but also more confident in my abilities. It’s an invaluable life skill that I wouldn’t trade for anything else.

6) Singlehood and mental health

The societal narrative often paints being single as a lonely and unhappy experience. However, recent studies suggest quite the opposite.

Research has found that single individuals are more likely to experience personal growth than married individuals. Singles have been found to show higher levels of self-determination, and they are more likely to experience ongoing personal growth and development.

Being single also allows for more time for self-care. Without the responsibilities that come with being in a relationship, single individuals often have more time to focus on their health, hobbies, and other interests.

Moreover, single people tend to have larger social networks. They maintain closer ties to their friends, siblings, parents, and neighbors. These social connections can act as a buffer against mental health problems and contribute to overall well-being.

This isn’t to say that being in a relationship is detrimental to mental health. Rather, it challenges the common notion that being single is somehow inferior or less fulfilling.

The fact is, being single can be good for your mental health, and that’s one of the reasons why I prefer it over being in a relationship.

7) Being single prepares you for better relationships

Yes, you read that right. As paradoxical as it may sound, being single has the potential to prepare you for better, more fulfilling relationships in the future.

When you’re single, you learn about yourself. You understand your needs, desires, strengths, and weaknesses better. You learn to be comfortable with yourself, to enjoy your own company, and to find happiness within.

This self-awareness and self-love form a strong foundation for any future relationship.

When you know your worth, you’re less likely to settle for relationships that don’t respect or value you.

When you’re happy within yourself, you don’t look for someone else to complete you or make you happy.

Moreover, being single gives you the time and space to reflect on your past relationships. It allows you to understand what went wrong, what worked, what didn’t, and what you want from a relationship in the future.

This introspection can help you make better choices in your future relationships. It can help you build healthier, happier relationships based on mutual respect and understanding.

So while I’m enjoying being single right now, I also know that this phase of my life is preparing me for better relationships in the future. And that’s one of the most important reasons why I prefer being single to being in a relationship.

In conclusion: It’s about choice and self-discovery

The reasons for choosing to be single are as varied and unique as we are as individuals.

The thing is that people who stay single develop more confidence in their own opinions and undergo more personal growth and development compared to married individuals.

Personally, being single has helped me define my own path, shape my life on my own terms, and find happiness within me, not within someone else.

Whether you choose to be single or in a relationship, the most important thing is that your decision should be guided by what feels right for you, not by societal pressures or expectations.

So if you’re single and loving it, know that you’re in good company. And if you’re single and searching for your ‘one’, remember that it’s okay to take your time. Enjoy the journey of self-discovery and growth.

After all, as the saying goes, “You can’t pour from an empty cup.” Knowing and loving yourself is the first step towards building a healthy and fulfilling relationship with others.

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Justin Brown

I'm Justin Brown, the founder of Ideapod. I've overseen the evolution of Ideapod from a social network for ideas into a publishing and education platform with millions of monthly readers and multiple products helping people to think critically, see issues clearly and engage with the world responsibly.

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