To be or not to be single, that is the question…but is singlehood really a choice? Due to the common stigmas surrounding loneliness or being labeled as “unwanted goods”, the idea of being single can still be widely unaccepted in our society. Even now, culture will often still tell you what the suitable age for marriage is or when you should start having children; otherwise, something must be wrong with you. When did others gain the right to tell you how to live your life though?

Contrary to what others believe, many people make an intentional choice to remain single because they value peace and stand on the fact that anything or anyone that threatens it will have to go. As we develop a better self of ourselves, we understand the negative effects of settling and getting married to appease society’s standards. Nowadays, it simply is not enough.

As Sylvia Smith puts it, “It is better to be single than be with someone who does not make you happy because of peer, family, or social pressures.” Once we decide how to govern our own lives, many other outside factors become irrelevant contributors to our happiness. “And then you can choose to date someone that you like when they come your way.”

For Better or Worse: Why People Choose Singleness

Now, more than ever, variables like infidelity, communication issues, and incompatibility often make people run away from the idea of long-term commitment or marriage. As of 2021, at around 2.7 divorces per 1,000 population, the United States had one of the highest crude global divorce rates (Graziano & Flynn, 2023). According to the U.S. Census Bureau, research also shows that many couples’ unions tend to end within the first seven years of their relationship.

While marriage can be a wonderful thing, it brings out the various parts of us that we don’t like to acknowledge, but that is necessary for our growth. To be the healthiest versions of ourselves in marriage though, taking time to practice self-work during singleness makes the journey easier. As we change our perspective of what it means to be single, we open ourselves up to do the vital work that makes us better people.

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So What are the Benefits of Being Single?

As we approach Singles Awareness Day this February 15th, let’s dive into the truth about singleness and how you can still find happiness in it. Research shows that if you’re single, you can redefine the concept for yourself: You don’t have to be lonely, and you’re not a failure. According to Hebrew University professor Dr. Elyakim Kislev, being single can be an advantage instead of a source of agony.

After coming to understand these five benefits of solitude, hopefully you can embrace this relationship status with more confidence and find the motivation to continue bettering yourself until you meet that special someone.

Less Stress and a Positive Mood– Unfortunately, being with someone can oftentimes cloud our intentions for self-exploration as we prioritize our partner’s needs over our own to avoid conflict. As our needs then become suppressed, this can cause tremendous stress and mood dysregulation. As a single individual; however, you can still find connections outside of romantic relationships with like-minded people who share your similar desires.

Ultimately, we do not want to attach ourselves to people who are not serving us or remain in situations longer than we need to be. Keeping this in mind helps to maintain healthy stress levels and cultivate a more pleasant mood.

Flexibility– When you are in a period of self-discovery and understanding, being single enables you to be flexible with your time without necessarily having to consider someone else. Maintaining empathy for others is still important, but you learn how to set boundaries in your everyday life. As you maintain your limits, you practice self-care that enables you to better handle every relationship in your life because you effectively manage your time as a single adult.

 Newfound Hobbies and Independence– If and when you decide to get into a relationship, you already have a sense of what makes you happy as an individual. Even in our romantic relationships, we have to learn how to maintain our individuality. In this way, we do not rely solely on our partners to bring us joy and while they can add to what we already experience, it is not their responsibility to be our “all in all”.

 Have a Better Sex Life– Realizing the type of sex life that you desire and enjoy is paramount to having a successful relationship. In singleness, through safe habits and honest communication, you can learn your body and explore pleasures that can translate into fun sex to later be enjoyed with someone special. Whether you discover that you want to learn a few new tricks or just feel like exploring a particular side of yourself before settling down, being single gives you the chance to figure that out.

Explore More Professional Opportunities- As you embark on further your career, you want to continuously build confidence in your skills. However, some opportunities may require you to do things that may not be suitable to maintain a relationship. If you have to move out of state, take assignments that cause you to become distant from social circles, or take a pay cut to explore a new path altogether, this may most effectively be done in singleness.

Building your career this way allows you to take a chance without certain barriers or potentially altering another person’s life who may not be ready for such a drastic change. While we all desire stability, being able to remain consistent enough now to reach particular goals puts us in a comfortable place to intentionally focus on romantic pursuits when the time is right.

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Conclusion

Despite what the world may have you believe, being single is not equivalent to a death sentence. When you learn how to maximize this season of your life by maintaining boundaries, enjoying engaging hobbies, discovering what pleasure looks like for you, and conquering new career paths; you cultivate personal growth and find fulfillment outside of romantic love. Ultimately, understanding the benefits of being single now can assist you in certain areas of your life that will give you a better chance at finding and keeping healthy romantic relationships because you have learned how to thrive in independence.

As we recognize this Singles Awareness Day at Kiss & Tell, we encourage you all to embrace your solo season and still find ways to enjoy the day ahead as you surround yourself with the friends you love. We appreciate your continued support of the publication and cannot wait to hear how you chose to celebrate in the comments section below.

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