Being single is awesome. It gets a lot of rubbish in the media and it doesn’t deserve it. Single people take up less space in airport security lines, use less resources and occupy less seats in movie theatres. There are some wacky things to be grateful for when you’re single. Whether you’re newly single or living a single lifestyle, here are my favorite offbeat rewards to being single:
1: No one to negotiate with.
Personally, regardless of my relationship status, I LOATHE the inevitable, “So, where you do you want to go to dinner?” question. We never agree, it’s always a back and forth and one of us ends up having to eat a cuisine that she’s less than enthusiastic about and the other one feels like she always has to make the decisions. It’s exhausting.
Being single means never having to negotiate dinner with another person. You can eat what you want, when you want and how you want. You don’t even have to go out dinner, if you don’t want to. You could sit at home and eat all your canned foods and see how long it takes you to survive before you’re forced to go to the grocery store. I’ll bet it takes you longer than you think to eat all those cans of baked beans and chicken noodle soup….
2: Listening to your new favorite song on repeat for as long as you want to.
I once left a song on repeat for 20 miles just because I could. And you know what? I loved it! I sang at the top of my lungs, I bebopped in my driver’s seat and I arrived at my destination with a smile on my face and the happiness of an 8 year old.
Being single means never having to adjust your perspective for another person. Undoubtedly, even those of us with saint-like patience could endure 20 miles of one song on repeat. But that’s the beauty: It’s you, only you and no one else “enduring” it. Listen to all the songs you love and never apologize.
3. You can hog the bed as much as you like.
Now that you’re single, spread out, use all the pillows, pull up all the covers and use up as much space as your body will take up. It’s the best thing ever. You don’t have anyone complaining about how you’re too hot and should move over, or you don’t have to fight for square footage from her dog and most certainly don’t have to give her the “good pillows.”
Being single is about taking up space in your own space.
Go out and buy some fancy sheets. 300+ thread count. While you’re at it, buy a fancy pillow—one of those round or long and oval ones. Decorate your bed the way you want to. Use up all the space on the bed side tables and read as many books at bedtime as you’d like. It’s about reclaiming bedtime and making it your own.
4. You can learn to be okay alone.
This one can be hard for many people. Loneliness can be painful. Not having a significant other to share your day with, share stories with and/or be present with can be truly daunting and can trigger feelings of abandonment and isolation. So right here, right now I’m going to tell you a secret: we are all alone. Regardless of our relationship situation, our family and our friends: We are all alone. We make our own choices, we live our own path.
Being single is about really, really, really being okay with being alone.
Learn to feel the loneliness, allow it to be inside you and know that it is just a feeling. It isn’t a fact. Decide to get to know yourself. Do you like golf? Do you hate golf? Are you a hiker? Or do you despise hiking? Take yourself out for a spin and really gain a new appreciation and acceptance of who YOU are. If you love running outside at sunset, do it everyday and be okay with that. If you hate running, join a yoga class or crossfit and find people that have things in common with you.
What you’ll find, is that, after being alone and loving yourself (by yourself), you will come to new friendships and relationships with a dose more confidence than you had before. You will have done something you considered impossible (being alone) and will have come out the other side of it-victorious. Try yourself on for size—I think you might just like you.
5. Being Single is great for Your Health
Studies show that single people are more fit. Whether it’s the new amount of free time (after a break up) or the sense of freedom, being single is good for the waistline. A study of nearly 7,000 young adults published in the journal Obesity revealed that cohabiting increases the odds of becoming obese by 63% for women and 30% for men, while marriage doubles the risk of obesity for both genders.
Being single is about taking care of yourself.
Take this time to get into a regular workout schedule. For example, I know a friend who wanted to change her whole routine after she went through a really bad break up, so she joined a women’s boot camp that started at 5:30 in the morning. She wasn’t excited about waking at 4:30am, but she knew she needed something drastic. What she discovered, was that after 4 weeks, she felt stronger, less angry and the accountability of the other women having to get up early too, really kept her on schedule.
Do something similar: start cooking those dishes your mom always made that you always wanted to replicate, join a vegan cooking class, or search out your local farmer’s market and befriend a farmer.