Single By Choice: The Perks And The Challenges Of Staying Single

Being single can make you feel independent, confident, powerful, free, and in control.

However, it could also make you feel lonely and depressed.

It’s not always easy being single for a long time. Yes, there are days when you feel free as a bird and enjoy your independence. However, there are nights when the bed feels too big for one person.

Everything in life has its good sides and bad sides, nothing in this world is black and white – including singledom.

If you were in a relationship, you would miss out on a lot of benefits of being single. However, you also wouldn’t have to deal with the challenges that come with being alone.

Let’s look at some perks and challenges of staying single for a prolonged period of time.

Note: being single by choice comes in a variety of flavors. For some, it means spending several months to a few years outside of a relationship before looking for someone. For others, it means spending their entire lives without a romantic partner. Some of the points made in this article may not apply to all those who are choosing the single lifestyle. It’s worth pointing that out before anyone reads this and thinks it misses the mark for their particular situation and thoughts on the matter.

8 Benefits Of Being Single By Choice

When you’re single, no one can tell you what you can and can’t do. You’re your own boss, and you decide how you want to live your life. You make your own decisions and get to spend your time the way you like.

Here are more benefits of being single for a prolonged period of time:

1. You have more freedom.

Freedom means doing whatever you want whenever you want.

As long as you’re not hurting anyone or breaking the law, no one can tell you what you can and can’t do. You can make decisions on your own and spend your time the way you please.

If you were in a relationship, your partner would have a say in what you do with your life. You’d have to make compromises and consider their needs and wants, not just your own. For some things, you would even have to ask for their permission or at least their opinion.

Even though your partner shouldn’t control you, they would limit your freedom compared to being single.

Enjoy the freedom that comes with not having a partner. While you can have freedom in a relationship too, it’s definitely not the same level of freedom that you have now that you’re single.

2. You have more time for your friends.

The truth is, basically everyone neglects their friends when they get into a relationship.

In addition, your partner might not approve of your choice of friends and find it hard to get along with them. They might try to limit the time you spend with them.

Even if they don’t do these things, you’ll have less time for your friends because you’ll need more time for your partner. Instead of going out on a Friday night with your buddies, you’d be watching Netflix in bed with your partner.

You might think that you’d prefer to stay in, but people always miss what they don’t have. When you get into a relationship, you’ll probably miss going out with your friends once the honeymoon phase passes.

You might even lose some friends. Spending time with your partner forces you to make sacrifices. Often, people sacrifice the time they used to spend with their friends and this weakens those friendships – eventually to the point of no return.

3. You have more time for yourself.

Alone time, self-care, work, friends, passions, dreams, and goals all require a lot of your time.

When you’re in a relationship, you probably won’t have the time for all these things. In addition, instead of pushing you forward, your partner might hold you back. They might not understand your passions or your need for alone time.

When you’re single by choice, you can advance in your career and improve yourself. You can practice self-care, dedicate enough time to your hobbies, and chase after your dreams. One of the biggest benefits that comes from being single is the free time that you get to spend however you please.

It’s not just about time though. When you don’t have to focus on your partner, you can be entirely focused on yourself and achieving your goals. You can dedicate a lot of time to starting a business or figuring out the kind of person you want to be. Even if your partner is supportive, this is a lot harder to do when you have to think about them and their needs.

4. You don’t have the worries that come with being in a relationship.

Single people often forget how much stress comes with being in a romantic relationship.

If you had a partner, you’d have to worry about what they’re thinking/feeling and what’s going to happen with your relationship. You’d undoubtedly have relationship problems (all couples do!), and you’d need to think about your partner’s problems as well.

Right now, you only need to think about your own issues. If you were in a relationship, there would be fights and unnecessary drama. Your partner might betray you, hurt you, or break up with you at some point. These things carry a lot of stress that you don’t have to deal with when you’re single.

You may think that being in a relationship is worth the trouble, but you might be forgetting what kind of trouble it really is. Relationships are never all smooth sailing, even the healthy ones. There are bound to be problems that you don’t have to worry about when you’re single.

Relationships can be exhausting and single people often forget that. Remind yourself of the reality of having a partner.

5. You can be more adventurous and spontaneous.

Your life is more likely to be adventurous and spontaneous if you’re single. You’re more open to trying new things and adding novelty into your life. You can also be more flexible which allows you to turn your life into an exciting journey.

When you’re with a partner, it’s not like this. They might not be up for everything that you’d like to do and try. In addition, you’ll have less time and freedom for being adventurous.

So enjoy these benefits that come with being single. Travel, meet new people, and be up for anything because you can. No one’s stopping you from doing whatever sounds fun to you.

Sure, try not to hurt yourself or anyone else, but as long as that’s not happening, there are no limits to what you can do with all this free time.

Just think: you don’t have to check in with anyone before deciding to pack up your things and go on a short trip when you wake up bored one day.

6. You can save money.

Being in a relationship can cost you more than your time – it can literally cost more money too.

You’ll want to go on dates, buy them presents, and surprise them with things that cost money.

It can also be more expensive to live together than apart. This is especially true if you currently share a house or apartment with multiple other people or even live at home with your parents. When it’s just the two of you, the cost per person jumps up versus when there are three or more housemates living together.

7. You’re not stuck in an unhappy relationship.

When you’re single by choice, you’re focused on finding the right person for you – if you even want to settle down at some point, which you might not.

But relationships don’t always work out. Eventually, the relationship might start making you miserable instead of happy. You can’t stay with your partner because of this, but breaking up with them is not easy either. So, you end up stuck in a relationship that no longer makes you happy.

Let’s not forget that many relationships eventually end, even those that start off blissfully happy. And, just remember the pain of the breakup. Whether they’re breaking up with you or you’re the one who’s ending things, it’s tough.

In addition, the breakup doesn’t happen out of thin air. Before it comes to this, you’ll be unhappy with your partner for a while. You might even want to stay in an unhappy relationship because you care about them too much to end things.

It’s far better to be alone than with someone who doesn’t make you happy.

8. You are more independent.

Single people must learn to be independent and self-sufficient. So, even if this doesn’t come naturally to you, you will be forced to adapt by learning to be more independent.

When there’s no one else who can solve your problems, you have to deal with them on your own. This might sound more like a challenge, but it’s actually a good thing. Learning to be more independent pays off in the long run.

In addition, you’ll be more likely to forge a healthy relationship one day if you don’t depend on your partner for your own happiness.

Take care of yourself on your own, and you’ll truly be an adult. What’s more, you’ll frequently be proud of yourself for handling things all on your own. And you should be. Find your happiness on your own and be the master of your destiny.

10 Challenges Of Being Single By Choice

Being single can get difficult sometimes – even when it’s by choice. You may not want a relationship right now, or ever, but that’s not to say that you can’t see the benefits you might be missing out on by not being in a relationship.

That’s not to mention the specific challenges of being single for a long time:

1. You feel lonely.

One of the biggest problems that comes with being single is the feeling of loneliness. When you’re keeping yourself busy or spending time with your loved ones, you don’t think about it so much. But, when you’re alone with nothing to do and no one to talk to, it can get lonely.

Some people actually enjoy being alone, so this is something that you can learn. You don’t have to be lonely; you can enjoy and even prefer your own company.

Make being alone a choice that you’re making, not something you’re forced to take. After all, it is that way.

You could always get into a relationship with a random person just for the sake of being in a relationship. But you’re not going to do that because you don’t want to settle. You should be proud of yourself because of that.

2. You feel pressured.

The social pressure can be intolerable. Your family might expect you to get married and have kids at a certain age. Your parents might care so much about getting grandkids that they don’t care who you pair off with. They just want you to get married as soon as possible.

This is bad even if you don’t want to get married, but if you do, it just adds to the pressure you might have already experienced.

You could get tired of being asked whether you’re seeing anyone serious and explaining that you’re single. Your family and friends might constantly try to hook you up with someone. They could make you feel like your time is running out.

Try explaining to them that you’re single by choice and you have plenty of time to find the right person. Even if they don’t understand, try not to let it get to you.

3. Your friends get into relationships.

No one has to directly pressure you for you to feel pressured. If your friends are all getting married and having kids, you might feel pressured to do the same.

In addition, you might lose them as friends because you’re leading very different lives. While all they talk about are their partners and kids, you just want to relax and drink with them like you used to.

Being single comes with many challenges, and this might be one of the hardest to take.

You don’t want to lose your friends, but they’re not on the same page as you anymore. They might not have enough time for you which only contributes to your loneliness.

However, don’t forget that you can always find new friends who make the best out of being single just like you do. Go out there and meet new people even if you still get along with your old friends. One of those single people might even turn out to be more than a friend.

4. You want kids.

You need a long-term relationship in order to have kids. While this is not entirely true since there are other options, having two parents is better for the child and easier for you.

So, if you want to have kids soon, it’s another pressure that you need to cope with while being single.

It’s not just about finding a partner; you need to know that they’ll be there in the long run. So, you need to spend a lot of time with someone who might not turn out to be the best fit for you in the end. This can be devastating when you’re looking to become a parent.

Don’t forget that there are other options. You can be a single parent in a few different ways, it’s just harder than if you had a partner.

5. You feel like something is missing from your life.

Maybe you lead a fulfilling life, but you feel that there’s something missing. There’s an empty spot in your love life, and you don’t have someone to fill it.

This can be difficult to handle especially if all your friends are in relationships. However, keep in mind that your love life won’t always have that empty space. Unless, of course, you wish to be single by choice for your entire life – which is absolutely okay too.

But if you are just temporarily single by choice, you’ll eventually find the right person for you. You just have to be patient and do the best you can with the time that you’ll spend searching for them and enjoying your freedom.

Don’t forget that you’re allowed to date and flirt with whoever you want. So, your love life might actually be more fulfilling than that of the people who are in committed relationships. Don’t settle, but feel free to explore your options and see what’s out there.

6. You don’t have the intimacy that comes with a romantic relationship.

This can be a difficult challenge to handle. Single people lack the intimacy that comes from being in a romantic relationship. Yes, they can have casual sex if that’s what they want. But, it’s not the same level of intimacy that you can have with someone with whom you have a deep connection.

After all, intimacy is not just about sex. Kisses, hugs, and gentle touches are just as important when it comes to physical intimacy. There’s also emotional intimacy, which single people tend to miss a lot.

If you want to have these things one day, you can. And you can always have something more casual while you’re single if that works for you and satisfies your needs for now.

People in relationships often miss sleeping with more than one person just as much as you miss the intimacy that they have.

7. You don’t have someone special to share things with.

Sometimes, you just need a shoulder to cry on and a person you can confide in. Other times, you need someone who can celebrate your accomplishments with you.

You want to have someone that you can share things with – the good and the bad. You want the emotional support that you can’t get from your friends and family. Most of all, you want a partner so that you could share your experiences with them.

You want them to ask you about your day and listen to the ups and downs of your everyday life. This can be a big challenge when you’re single. However, try to find what you need in your friends and family for now and be patient.

Eventually, you’ll share your life with someone – if you so choose. And, if it goes according to plan, you’ll share your life with them for as long as you live. So, enjoy this alone time that you have now.

8. You feel socially isolated.

Not all singles go out and party every weekend. Some prefer to stay in most of the time. They prefer their alone time, but it can make them feel socially isolated.

If you feel this way, try going out instead. You don’t have to drink and party. Simply being around other people will be good for you. Try out some new hobbies too – you’ll learn something new and meet new people, and that’s always a good thing.

Whatever you do, make sure that you’re surrounded by people every now and then. If you don’t, you might start feeling socially isolated which can be hard to cope with.

But you are not alone just because you’re single, there’s plenty of people around wherever you look. You just need to interact with them.

9. You think life would be easier if you had a partner.

Life can be easier when there’s someone there to share it with. But, don’t forget that it needs to be the right person. You need someone with whom you can work as a team.

It’s true that a good partner can make your life easier in some ways (though be under no illusions that relationships are all rainbows and sunshine because they are hard in their own way).

It’s also true that the wrong person will make your life far harder and more stressful.

And it takes a lot of time and effort to find the right person. So, try to be patient and don’t settle for someone who’ll end up making things harder for you instead of easier.

10. You deal with the stress of being single.

Relationships can be stressful, but so can being single. You have a lot to deal with, and you deal with it all on your own.

You don’t have to deal with it on your own though. There are people you can talk to who won’t pressure or judge you. They’ve been trained to help people who are struggling with the kind of challenges that are listed in this article.

Talk to a therapist when you find it hard to deal with the stress of being single. They’ll understand you and help you be patient enough to find the right person for you – if that’s ever something you think you want.

Stay single until you do. Remind yourself of all the perks that come with not being in a relationship at the moment.

And if you want to stay single for life, embrace the perks, find ways to cope with the challenges, and remind yourself that your choice is yours alone and you don’t need to explain it to anyone.

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About Author

Ana Vakos enjoys writing about love and all the problems that come with it. Everyone has experiences with love, and everyone needs dating advice, so giving these topics more attention and spreading the word means a lot to her.