My longest relationship lasted a total of six years—so, it’s safe to say that I know what it’s like to feel attached to another. He was love, he was support, he was home. Key word: was. That relationship ended after every conversation became an argument, every look tainted with resentment, and every day spoiled with frustration. It was a relief to finally go separate ways, but it was also scary—because all I’d known for the past six years of my life was how to be a part of a whole. Fortunately, I soon learned to embrace the single life and feel happy alone again. And guess what? So can you! You might be newly single, or you might be all too familiar with the single life—either way, Singles Awareness Day is a day to celebrate, not a day to loathe.
This holiday, which is celebrated every year on February 15th (conveniently the day after Valentine’s Day), is designed to destroy the stigma behind being single. Instead of frowning down upon those that are single and despising the single life, this movement challenges you to recognize the fact that there’s nothing wrong with being single. Make your fellow single ladies and men proud by embracing your single status. Just follow these 6 tips:
1) Focus on your needs.
When you’re in a relationship, your job is to cater to your independent needs, your partner’s needs, and the demands of the relationship itself. But when you’re single, you’re responsible solely for your needs. So, take this amazing opportunity to focus on yourself. Could your diet use a healthy intervention? Have you been meaning to get back to yoga? Might you benefit from some family time? Prioritize making these changes—nothing should stop you! Nothing’s standing in your way.
2) Treat yourself!
There are needs and then there are wants… oftentimes, the latter gets put on the backburner because we’re too busy making sure everything else is fulfilled and running smoothly. But since you’re single, you have a whole lot less to worry about. So, once you’ve met your needs, you can pay a little mind to what you want! Treat yourself by splurging on that top at the mall or a fancy meal out. It’s smart to be frugal, but it’s also important that you treat yourself to something nice every once and awhile.
3) Discover the power of independence.
Once you’ve dated someone for a significant length of time, you forget what it’s like to be independent. You’re used to having another by your side, a hand in yours, that other half. And now you’re alone—but alone doesn’t have to mean lonely. Discover (or rediscover) the power of independence, and find that strength within. Go to the grocery store alone; put together the new coffee table all by yourself; decide on a paint color without first consulting another. The point is that you can go about day-to-day life and make everyday decisions without someone by your side. And you can do it happily, once you realize the importance and power of independence.
4) Find self-fulfillment.
Self-fulfillment is a tier or two above independence—not only are you comfortable going it alone, but you’re completely fulfilled by your independent abilities, actions, and accomplishments. We often look to others (specifically our partners) for this fulfillment: we seek their affirmation and find solace in their approval. But being single allows you to achieve that self-actualization by yourself. It gives you the opportunity to look within and truly understand what makes you happy.
5) Set goals.
We should all constantly be setting goals and working towards those goals, as a sense of accomplishment is vital to our well-being; in fact, it falls under our esteem needs in the fourth tier of Maslow’s hierarchical pyramid. Sometimes, however, we settle simply with what we have, which can be fueled or reinforced by relationships. That being said, we’re oftentimes most motivated to set and reach new goals when we’re single! Maybe it’s that newfound independence and search for self-fulfillment we were talking about. Whatever the cause, act on that motivation and start working towards those goals now. It will certainly help you reach that self-fulfillment, and you’ll feel better about yourself than ever before.
6) Learn to lean on yourself.
If you just got out of a relationship, you’re probably used to leaning on your significant other for support—that’s what they’re there for right? Sure. But now that you’re single, what are you to do? It’s simple: you learn to lean on yourself. We all need a shoulder to cry on from time-to-time, and that’s okay, but it’s important that we can also offer ourselves support through the difficult times. Learn to take your own advice; tell yourself it’s going to be okay; coach yourself through the hardships. Not only will this build on that foundation of independence, but it will drastically improve your sense of self and make you an overall stronger individual.