Is being single that bad, or could it actually offer some specific benefits?
Let’s face it: As a society, we’re all about “the one.” Romantic movies, love songs, celebrity couples–all these things suggest to us that we should be striving for a relationship.
But what if we told you there were actual benefits of being single, and all you have to do is change the way you think about being “alone”?
Let go of the fear of being alone
First, before we get into the benefits of being single, it’s important to examine how you feel about being without a romantic partner.
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If you’re genuinely afraid of being single, you may be setting yourself up for a preoccupation with loneliness, and research tells us that’s a slippery slope.
In 2013, data from The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology revealed the fear of being alone is fairly common, but it often leads people to unhappy relationships when they do couple up.
People who are afraid to be alone are more likely to stay in bad relationships, or to settle for partners they are less than happy with.
Why being single might actually be good for you
How do you get rid of that fear of being single? Check out these 7 reasons why you should embrace the single life:
Stay in shape easier
Top on the list of benefits of being single? Staying in shape. According to research from The American Journal of Preventative Medicine, levels of physical activity tend to be better when someone is single.
Marriage, children, and even starting a career can set someone back in physical activity levels. The reason? It could be that being in a relationship requires more of your time to be dedicated to a partner. If you wanted to hit a gym class after work, you might change your mind if you need to get home to make dinner, or go out on a date.
As great as cuddling can be with our significant other, let’s be honest: Sometimes having someone else in the bed isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
In fact, according to a 2005 survey on sleep habits, being with a disruptive partner could cost you close to an hour of rest at night. That might not sound like a big deal, but sleep deprivation is not a joke, and can cause a number of health issues, including an increased risk for dementia and high blood pressure.
Boost personal growth
What do you do when you’re alone? You worry about you, of course! That self-thinking is not a bad thing, according to a paper from the American Psychological Association.
Being single can promote a heightened sense of self-determination, make people more self-sufficient, and can promote continued growth and development as a person.
Your finances improve
Okay, it seems like a no-brainer that spending money on one person versus two means more cash in-hand, but research shows being single not only gives us access to more of our hard-earned funds, it correlates with less debt.
You maintain a healthy social life
Another of the benefits of being single? You keep a healthy social life, which, according to the National Institutes on Aging, is important to keep both mental and physical health ailments at bay.
Being single means you have more time to dedicate to friends and the building of relationships outside of romance. Believe it or not, there’s actually an unhealthy condition known as Dyadic withdrawal, where couples isolate themselves, losing touch with outside relationships.
Be more creative
Being alone gives you plenty of solitude, and it’s up to you to decide what to do with that. Alone time gives you the chance to freely explore new hobbies and passions.
Research suggests people with plenty of alone time have enhanced spirituality, feelings of freedom, and more active imaginations.
You don’t pick up others’ bad habits
We have enough trouble staying away from certain things (candy, soda, chips, anyone?) without having another person around to influence us. Last on the list of benefits of being single is this: It keeps bad influences away.
If you’ve ever heard the phrase “you’re defined by the company you keep,” you understand how being around someone all the time can influence your habits–for good or bad. Being single means you won’t be picking up someone else’s routines. Any bad habits are yours and yours alone!