A little background – I had my first (and only) boyfriend when I was 23, and the relationship lasted two years. He was a great guy, and will be for someone out there. I also still want the house with two kids and a husband. I’ve been single for almost a year, and I really enjoy it! Being single gives you the ultimate freedom and flexibility to do what you want when you want. I’m not going to dole out relationship advice, frankly because I don’t have enough experience in that area. I am, however, going to dole out how to rock being single, because it’s pretty awesome if you do it right!
1. Dating yourself
Yes, this sounds silly and dumb, but it’s actually pretty amazing! Take yourself out on dates. Want to see that movie for ages and have no one to go with? Go by yourself! Want to try that restaurant near you? Go sit at a table for one and enjoy all the people watching. I’ve been going to restaurants, bars and coffee shops by myself for years, and love people watching. I went to a concert by myself for the first time last year – Journey, The Doobie Brothers and Dave Mason. I sat on the grass in pouring rain. But, when the music started playing? I stood up and danced to my heart’s content, and didn’t care what anyone thought. It was freeing! If you’re worried about looking out of place or like a “loner”, don’t be, I’ve met many people doing the same exact thing.
2. Take a class (or three)
When I was with my ex, there were so many different classes and activities I wanted to try – cooking class, photography class, language classes. It was tough to fit these into my busy schedule, and even tougher when I had another person to consider as well. I also enjoy meeting people, and classes are a great way to meet people with similar interests. Now that I’ve been single for almost a year, I haven’t had a chance to take many classes (mainly due to budgeting and cost) but it’s so much easier to pop on over to a Museum for a new exhibit or wander around a new neighborhood. I also get to start talking to whoever I come in contact with, and don’t have to worry about the implications.
3. Girl’s Night Out
Yes, I definitely had girls’ night outs when I was with my ex, and they were fun. I would still go to bars with them and drink and dance, but I also felt as if I had to watch how much I drank or who I talked with. Many people mistake my friendly personality with flirting, so I always had to make sure I stayed on the right side of that fine line. Now that I’m single and I go out with girlfriends, I have no worries talking (and flirting) to multiple guys in one night. I also love being able to dance to my heart’s content and make an absolute fool of myself. I get to be me, and not worry about consequences or what my significant other might hear the next day.
4. Traveling Solo
Granted, I know many people in relationships who travel solo, but are also limited as to what they do and who they meet and converse. When I traveled alone to Hong Kong, I was meeting new people almost every night. I had the chance to talk and flirt with people all over the world. The most liberating part about traveling solo – having no one to answer to and no timetables to abide but your own. When traveling with a significant other, compromises are made. Traveling solo not only gets rid of these compromises, but also lets you have a more carefree schedule. I had plans which I changed multiple times when traveling solo, simply because I could! Traveling also allows you to connect with people on a more personal and intimate level.
5. Casual Dating
Before my ex and I got together, I had only been on less than a handful of dates – most of which were complete disasters. After we ended things last summer, I joined Tinder and left two weeks later. Whenever I went on a date, I had expectations, and was disappointed. Since then, I’ve met some guys through mutual friends and through Tinder, and have had some fun dates and flings. I’ve even gained some friendships out of dating. The key to casual dating – NO EXPECTATIONS. I’m simply going on dates to meet people, maybe gain a friendship out of it, and to just have fun. Having no pressure and being able to go on a date Wednesday evening after class or Sunday morning is liberating.
6. Learning and Growing You
One of the most-eye opening things I’ve experienced since being single is how much I have grown and learned about myself. There are numerous articles on the web about how you have to love yourself first before being in a serious relationship. To an extent, I agree. I certainly was confident and happy on my own before getting into a relationship. But, I think I stopped growing as much once I was in a relationship. Now that I’m single, I am learning so much more about myself: my likes, dislikes, what I want out of life and don’t want out of life. I am growing in ways I didn’t realize were possible. I’m pushing myself out of my comfort zone, becoming more confident in my abilities and am amazed by how much I am doing.
I’m not going to be all rosy-glasses here and say being single rocks 100% of the time, because that’s a lie. I definitely have those moments laying in bed or out at a restaurant wishing I had someone to hold hands with or keep me warm at night. I also sometimes wish I had someone to share certain responsibilities with and awesome adventures to reminisce with. But at the same time I am doing and learning so much during my time being single. And if you really think about it, once I do meet that special someone this is my last time being single for a really long time! So, if you’re single and feeling down, don’t! Go enjoy your single time and absolute freedom.