What I learnt from being single: 33 important life lessons I learned while being single that helped me embrace myself, my singlehood and live my BEST single life.
Being single is often misunderstood, seen as a transitional phase or something to be escaped rather than cherished. However, through my experience, I have discovered that being single can be a transformative and empowering period of self-discovery. It provides an opportunity to delve into the depths of one’s own being, nurture personal growth, and redefine what it means to live a fulfilling life. At first, I wallowed over my status quo and felt sorry for myself. Then, I inevitably discovered that it won’t change it, and it’s only making it worse. So I had two options: either fight it or embrace it. I chose the latter, and today I’m picking the delicious fruits I wouldn’t have if I’d picked the former.
As I celebrate my 33rd birthday, I find myself reflecting on the transformative journey of being single. On the many questions I answered for myself along the way, such as: How does being single affect your life? What is the advantage of being single? How do I learn to enjoy being single? Over the years, being unattached has offered me a unique opportunity for self-discovery, personal growth, and a deeper understanding of relationships. Including the one with myself. In this special blog post, I want to share with you 33 valuable life lessons I have learned while navigating the realm of singlehood.
Relationships & Love
These lessons have shaped my understanding of what it means to build meaningful connections and navigate the complexities of love. How to take advantage of being single to foster better relationships and not completely surrender myself to love, losing myself in the process. Each lesson has guided me towards fostering healthier relationships, starting with my self-relationship. I’ve also discovered the beauty of authenticity, realising that the right people will embrace me for who I am, unfiltered and unmasked.
1. Rejection has little to nothing to do with you
While it’s hard not to, we need to learn how not to take rejection personally. Because no matter how much it seems like it does, it has nothing to do with you. Rejection doesn’t mean you’re not good enough, unlovable or lesser than someone else. It just means you’re not right for each other, and it’s not a good fit or match. And that’s okay.
2. Don’t expect people to show up if you don’t either
Do we need to learn how to put ourselves first? Of course, but that doesn’t mean we’re above anyone else, or don’t need to prioritise others sometimes. Not only shouldn’t we expect others to be there for us if we aren’t for them, but we also shouldn’t do it just so they’ll be there when we need them. Which is why fostering real, meaningful connections is so crucial. When you do so, you care more and want to help, without expecting anything in return.
3. CHASE NO ONE.
Chasing will only make them run faster away from you. Or make them take advantage of you more, because you’re clearly eager and willing. And it certainly won’t make them want you more. If anything, it will only lower your worth in their eyes and they’ll likely want you even less. It’s highly likely that they’ll even see it and you as annoying. Not to mentions, that people who truly love and care for you, will never make you chase. If they want to be with you, they’ll find the way, and they certainly won’t make you chase.
4. Never let anyone put you on the back-burner
Or make you beg and wait around for them, their love, attention and affection. Neither one of those things should be conditional or sporadic, and they certainly shouldn’t be conditional. If they come and go as they please, if and when it’s convenient for them, then they don’t really care, you’re only a convenient option, and they aren’t worthy of you. If they keep feeding you only just enough or the bare minimum, if they always have excuses why they can’t give you more or what you need right now… Then they’re never going to.
5. If it’s too much hard work, it isn’t worth it
Don’t get me wrong, relationships – of any kind, and just like everything else in life – takes effort. Mutual effort. It will likely never be easy breezy, because life is always happening and there’s always something going on. It shouldn’t, however, be a constant uphill battle. It should’t always feel like too much hard work or too difficult. A relationship will always require some kind of compromise, but it will never require constant blood, sweat and tears.
6. Games & Drama aren’t Interesting
When i was in my teens & 20’s I would thrive on the drama and get very bored without it. To the point where I would stir shit up or make something out of nothing just to get my fix. Now that I’ve tasted the heavenly peace & tranquility of being single, I’m never letting it go or giving it up for anyone. I’m bringing it with me and smearing generously on all of my relationships. When you let go of the games and drama, you discover how so much more interesting “boring” can be. You also make much more space, time and energy for better things.
7. You’ll need to compromise, but not settle
Whether it be platonic or romantic, every relationship will require some sort of compromise. You can’t (and probably shouldn’t) have it all, there’s always going to be something you’ll need to let go of in favour of something else. And that’s okay. If you refuse to compromise, you won’t actually ever get what you want. You should NEVER, however, settle for anything less than you deserve, or anything you can get. Certainly not just for the sake of having relationships or not being alone. This means, you won’t be with someone you don’t really love, or aren’t attracted to. You won’t give up on your own core values or lower your worth and standards.
8. You don’t need masks or filters with the right people
Wanting to be liked, cool and popular makes us do stupid things, like conforming and trying to be someone that we’re not. Which is a total waste of the person we are, especially since we can’t ever be anything but. Trying to always filter ourselves and wear masks will only make us miserable and feel even more alone and lonely. It will make us jaded and lose sight of who we really are. Not to mention, that it won’t make the people we’re putting a show on for like us more, at least not like we deserve. The people who deserve you and will love you like you deserve, will love you even more without masks and filters.
Lifestyle, Living & Career
Wallowing over my status proved to be even more destructive, so I decided to see what happens when I embraced it instead. Instead of crying over what I didn’t have, I started focusing on what I did. Then, I focused on what I could control and what I could fill my life up with. The greatest thing about being single is the freedom it provides to discover who you are, who you want to be and what you want to do with your life. There’s unparalleled space to create the life you want, to filter, pick and choose what is and isn’t good for you. You have the once in a lifetime opportunity to discover what life has to offer other than relationships.
9. There is no “secret strategy or formula”
There are also no cheat-sheets or shortcuts. And if someone is trying to sell it to you, run the other way. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t seek out help from professionals of any kind, because you should. Just be wary of those who try to sell you fantasy or tell yu they can fix all of your problems and make all your dreams come true. And if they truly could, they’d sold out. Also, whatever you need, is already in you, no one can sell it to you, only help you bring it out of you.
10. Don’t fill your life up just for the sake of it
Or in other words – have standards, and don’t hesitate to eliminate or block out anyone or anything that is sub-par. Whether it be a person, an object, habits or hobbies… If they don’t have a purpose, or if you don’t have any real, meaningful connection to them, then filling your life up with them would be redundant. Not everything in your life has to have added value, but the majority of it should. Don’t fill space and time just for the sake of it, because it won’t make you any happier or any less lonely.
11. Declutter as much as you can, as often as you can
Similarly, you want to make a conscious effort to remove things, activities and people from your life that hold you back or bring you down. Just like you want to fill your life up with intention, you also want to declutter it with intention. If it’s just taking up space, if it’s only making you miserable, if it serves as a bad reminder or even harming your health and wellbeing… It isn’t worthy of space and energy in your life. Not to mention, that clutter causes mess, and when you have a mess in you space, you’ll have one in your brain (and vice versa). And you’ll also be less efficient and productive.
12. Regret & stress will only make it worse
Holding onto regret and stress from past experiences only weighs us down and prevents us from moving forward. Stressing over something we can’t control will only make it worse, and will only devalue the quality of what we do. Regretting things from the past won’t change it or make it better, it will only make us more bitter about it. Our mistakes are the best life lessons, you need to learn from the past, but don’t dwell on it. Focus on what you can control, on the present moment and use it as an opportunity for growth and self-improvement.
13. Life has more to offer than just relationships
Being single has taught me that life is multifaceted and offers a myriad of opportunities for growth and fulfillment. While relationships are important, they are not the sole source of happiness, nor should they be the only thing going for you. Embrace all aspects of life, such as personal development, hobbies, career, adventures & exploring, learning new things & skills, see the world, try new things, and self-care.
14. Always ask yourself what you could’ve done differently
Self-reflection is crucial for personal growth; learning how to do and be better in the future, and take responsibility. It helps you understand what went wrong, and how you can avoid such mistakes or pain in the future. No matter who’s at fault, instead of blaming others or dwelling on the mistakes of the past, focus on what you can learn from your experiences and how you can improve yourself in the future. Taking responsibility for your actions empowers you to make better choices moving forward.
15. Take nothing personally; getting insulted is a waste of time and energy
Not everyone will understand or appreciate you, and that’s okay. Also, people will always have what to say about you and your lifestyle choices. And bored enough to voice their opinions and stick their nose in your business. Learn to detach yourself from negative comments or insults directed at you. The opinions of others do not define your worth or value as an individual. Focus on building a positive self-image and surrounding yourself with supportive people.
16. Get out of the house and walk every single day
Taking care of your physical and mental well-being is essential, whether you’re single or in a relationship. Going for a daily walk not only improves your physical health but also clears your mind, reduces stress, and boosts your mood. As well as gets you out of your house, and prevents you from being cooped up all day inside. It’s also a simple, easy way to spend some quality time with yourself.
Singlehood & Being Alone
The biggest thing I discovered in my single period is that it’s nothing like the stigmas portray it to be. Well, it can be, but it can also be the best time to thrive. You can decide either way. Sure singlehood can be lonely and miserable, but so could any other relationship status. The common ground: they are all what you make of it. It’s essential to remember that your relationship status does not define your worth, and anyone who suggests otherwise is projecting their own insecurities. Instead, focus on personal development, pursue your passions, and thrive in this remarkable period of self-discovery.
17. Stop waiting around for someone to do it with you, you may wait forever
Just because you’re single doesn’t mean you can’t do things or have to miss out on experiences. The best skill you can develop is to to be confident enough to do things on youw own. Even when you’re in a relationship. Don’t postpone experiences or activities you desire just because you don’t have a partner or someone to share them with. Embrace the freedom of being single and seize opportunities to do things on your own. Waiting for someone else might result in missed opportunities and regrets.
18. It’s only miserable if you let it be
Don’t waste your singlehood by wallowing over it. Make it a time to look back on fondly, as time well spent. Being single doesn’t automatically equate to misery or loneliness. It will only be a punishment if you make it that way and don’t do anything to change it. It’s a mindset and a choice. Instead of dwelling on the negatives, and what you don’t have… Focus on the positives of singlehood, what you do have and can control, and use this time to grow, explore your interests, and develop a strong sense of self.
19. Your status doesn’t & shouldn’t define you
Your relationship status does not define your worth or who you are as a person. Just because you’re single, doesn’t make you lesser, unlovable or problematic, nor does it mean you have to be sad and pathetic. And there’s certainly nothing wrong with you. Embrace your individuality and focus on personal growth and self-love. Your value extends far beyond whether you’re in a relationship or not, and anyone who tells you or makes you feel otherwise is the one with the issues.
20. People who feel the need to comment & stick their nose, are just bored with their own life.
Unfortunately, society often feels entitled to comment on the choices and status of others. Remember that people’s opinions and judgments reflect their own insecurities and biases. They need to justify and defend their own life choices by shaming yours, which is opposite to theirs. It makes them feel better about themselves. Or they just want company in their misery. People will always have what to say, so stay true to yourself and don’t let external opinions dictate your happiness.
21. Doing things alone will liberate & empower you
Embrace solo adventures and discover the freedom that comes with being comfortable in your own company. Engaging in activities on your own can be incredibly empowering. It allows you to cultivate independence, self-reliance, and self-confidence. You’ll feel more comfortable in your own company and skin, and give less f*ucks on what people will think or say. You’ll be stranger, more thick-skinned and won’t be dependent on anyone else. Best of all – you’ll feel liberated, because you don’t need to wait for anyone to hold your hand through it. Because you just don’t care about judgmental eyes and opinions. You’re too busy doing your thing.
22. No one notices you half as much as you think
It’s natural to be self-conscious and worry about how others perceive you. What they will think or say, especially when you do things alone. However, the truth is that people are often more focused on themselves and their own lives. We believe we have more eyes on us than we actually do, which is called the spotlight effect. Just knowing this, can help you alleviate the stress and anxiety of being seen and getting unwanted attention. Let go of self-consciousness and embrace the freedom of being less concerned about others’ opinions.
23. It’s better to be alone than in the wrong relationship
Being single is far preferable to being in a toxic or unfulfilling relationship. Even if the person you’re with is nice and kind, if they’re not right for you, you won’t be happy. You’ll always wonder what if and feel like you’re missing out. Don’t settle for a partner who doesn’t truly align with your values or bring out the best in you. Don’t lower yourself or your worth just for the sake of not being single; you’ll just end up more miserable. Embrace singlehood until you find someone who deserves to share your life.
24. It’s the perfect time to thrive
Use your time as a single person to focus on personal growth, pursue your passions, and set and achieve your goals. Take advantage of the freedom and flexibility that being single offers to become the best version of yourself. This doesn’t hold you back from finding a relationship, nor does it mean you’ll be single forever. In fact, thriving and being your best self will advance you to finding better, healthier relationships, and the right person for you. You’ll also attract better people into your life.
Self – Love/ Care/ Connection/ Relationship
Through personal experiences and reflections, we discover that developing a self-connection, that loving and caring for ourselves is crucial in attracting healthy and meaningful connections with others. We explore the immense potential for personal growth and development during singlehood, where we can focus on self-improvement and embrace the journey of self-discovery. Not only to live a better single life, but also to help us find better relationships and make better impacts on them and the world.
25. If you don’t, they won’t either
If you don’t love yourself properly, people are less likely to do so, because that’s the example they’re getting from you. You’re also more likely to just attract people who will miss-treat you because you’re willing to accept it. If you don’t take care of yourself, it won’t only be harder to care for others, but it will also be harder for them to care for you. And harder for you to accept it. If you don’t learn to connect better with yourself, it will be harder for others to connect with you and for you to connect with them. Neglecting yourself will only weaken you, and make others take advantage of your more.
26. Self-love, self-care & a self-connection form the foundation for all other relationships & loves in your life
If your self – love, care and/or connection are weak or strong, the other relationships, love and connections in your life will follow-suit. A healthy relationship with yourself sets the tone for how others will treat you, and what your other relationships in your life will be like. Prioritise self-love and self-care to cultivate a strong sense of self-worth and attract healthy, fulfilling connections into your life. Connecting with yourself isn’t just about you, it’s about building a base to build on with and for others.
27. Just because you’re single, doesn’t mean you don’t love yourself
Being single doesn’t imply a lack of self-love or self-worth. Nor does it mean you’re harder to love, or it’s harder for you to find love. If anything, it means you love yourself enough not to settle for anyone just for the sake of being in a relationship. You love yourself so much that being with yourself is better. It’s possible to be single and deeply appreciate and love yourself. Embrace your solo journey and use it as an opportunity to nurture your relationship with yourself.
28. Singlehood is the perfect time to develop
Your single period provides a unique opportunity for personal development and growth. Istead of focusing on one relationship and one person (who isn’t you), their wants and needs, you can focus on whatever you want. Use this time to explore your interests, learn new skills and abilities, and focus on being the best version of yourself. Also learn to love yourself when you’re not at your best. Invest in personal development and enjoy the journey of self-improvement.
29. If your self-love, self-care & a self-connection are strong, they’ll make you stronger
When you genuinely love and accept yourself, you become resilient and better equipped to navigate life’s challenges. Self-love empowers you to set boundaries, make healthier choices, and attract positive, supportive relationships. When you have a strong, solid bond with yourself, you’re also less likely to settle, make exceptions or put yourself down for someone. You know what you want; what is and isn’t good for you, because your intune with yourself. You’ll radiate this out to the world; people won’t easily mess with you and you will attract people into your life accordingly.
30. You’re less likely to settle if you’re more connected with yourself
When you love yourself properly and recognise your own worth, you’re less likely to settle for less than you deserve in relationships. Romantic and platonic alike. Feeling connected to yourself not only helps you know yourself better, but also feel more compassionate and be kinder to yourself. It means you want to take care of yourself better, and not let just anyone take away your single status. Embrace singlehood as an opportunity to cultivate self-worth and raise your standards for future connections.
31. No one else can love you for you – it’s not a replacement
Seeking love and validation solely from external sources will ultimately lead to disappointment. Other people’s love for you should only be in addition to your own self-love, because it can’t and won’t replace it. While it may help and encourage you, their love for you doesn’t relieve you from loving yourself. Embrace the fact that no one can love you better than you can love yourself. Self-love should never be replaced by the love of others; instead, it should complement and enhance it.
32. Taking care of yourself stretches far beyond just face-masks
Self-care encompasses more than just superficial activities like face masks, getting massages and pampering yourself. It involves prioritising your physical, mental, and emotional well-being on a deeper level. It means nourishing your body with healthy food, engaging in regular exercise, practicing mindfulness and self-reflection, setting boundaries, and engaging in activities that bring you joy and fulfillment. Self-care is a holistic practice that addresses all aspects of your being.
33. The process to develop your self – love/ care/ connection isn’t linear
Developing self-love, self-care, and deep self-connection (and connections with others) is not a linear process. It’s not something that can be achieved overnight or through a checklist of tasks. It requires ongoing effort, self-reflection, and patience. Some days, you may feel confident and full of love, while other days, you may struggle. It’s essential to be gentle with yourself and understand that self-growth is a lifelong journey with ups and downs. Embrace the process, celebrate your progress, and learn from the challenges along the way.
And one for next year…
34. Focus on what you have
Instead of fixating on what you lack or comparing yourself to others, shift your perspective to appreciate and be grateful for the abundance and blessings in your life. Cultivating an attitude of gratitude will bring forth more positivity and contentment, allowing you to fully embrace the present moment and find joy in the simple pleasures. Remember, true happiness comes from appreciating what you have rather than longing for what you don’t. And besides, focusing on what you don’t have won’t bring you any closer to having it. It will likely just keep you back and even further away from it.
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