Luckily there is no longer social pressure to be part of a couple. Today, many people of all ages learned to be alone and live very fulfilling and happy lives.
For some, it is a personal choice to go it alone, but as the adage goes, ‘Different strokes for different folks,’ and this applies to whether you want a civil partnership, a marriage, a companion, or to live blissfully alone, dancing to the rhythmic beat of your own drum, so to speak!
The choices are yours and yours alone to make.
Media, films, and television have sold us the idea for decades that the only way to live a complete and happy life is to find a romantic partner. If you couldn’t, you were pretty much a social pariah. Can you imagine the psychological pressure and self-criticism accompanying such an idea? With a renewed focus on mental health and wellness these days, negative social constructs like that deserve to be dissected and later tossed in the trash.
It is always pertinent to remember that society changes, values change, ideas are dynamic, and society often has its own agenda. Good partnerships benefit an individual’s health, offer psychological support, and build a better community, but let’s not forget that people who go it alone by choice also reap the same benefits if they have great support networks and follow some essential self-development rules. Not all relationships are supportive, either.
It is important to note that being alone and lonely are two different concepts. Many people in marriages and partnerships feel lonely and are afraid to be alone; in contrast, some people who are alone never experience loneliness. The reasons people are alone are also varied, some by choice, as discussed, and some have other motives. A relationship can end for various reasons, people can walk away from a partner because of abuse issues, or partners can suddenly leave.
The reasons for being alone are many and varied and personal to each individual:
- You might have just left an abusive relationship and are discovering more about yourself and what you want out of life.
- You love being alone and find that you function better as a single person.
- You might be focused on other things like your career, your pets, your friends, or traveling.
- Perhaps you are just not into the sexual side of relationships and are pretty content with platonic relationships.
What if you didn’t choose to be alone?
On the other side of the coin, some people find themselves alone and struggle with the idea. It could be anxiety that causes this fear or having spent many years, even decades, with another person and then finding themselves alone, which can be very jarring to the psyche. If you are one of these people, these rules for single happiness can help shift you out of the anxiety or fear mindset and get you to where you want to be, which is single and happy.
Here are some simple common sense rules to follow to move away from anxiety into feeling peace and contentment. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will your life be, but starting a little at a time will get you to your goals. Making goals requires action on your part.
Learn more about: What is the Most Important Step in Prioritizing Goals? Here’s the Answer
Rule 1 – Get Your Finances in Order.
Financial worries might make a single person balk at being alone. Perhaps you rely on other people too much to make critical financial decisions and you need to learn how to become financially independent? You can plan your economic life successfully if you have clear goals and ideas of how you want your life to look both in the short and long term.
While this is a very understandable fear, the best course of action to reduce stress is to start planning your finances as soon as possible. You might be pretty good at this but if you are not, here are some pointers to get you started:
- Instant Access Saving
Start saving an emergency fund; simply take a percentage out of your monthly earnings and place it into a financial vehicle that allows you to draw from it in emergencies. Having savings can mean a sense of security and a better night’s sleep, and who doesn’t want a better night’s sleep!
- Start Reducing Debts
Some debts are necessary, like a car or home, but others are not, and those should be reduced as soon as possible.
- Divide your life into ‘life stages’ and plan accordingly
Benjamin Franklin coined the phrase, “Nothing is certain except death and taxes,” so make sure you have planned for both. If you are unsure how to complete a tax form, many internet apps and portals can guide you on how to do this. If you still find this too tricky, hire someone to do it for you. Submitting tax returns can reap benefits instead of more stress if done correctly.
Plan your life stages effectively, buying your first home, starting retirement, or even planning for a child. Remember, some people choose to go it alone and have children these days. These events all need finance, so plan some realistic goals now. Make sure you have the relevant insurances you need, which can sometimes include a home cover and disability cover should anything happen later in life, and you need finances to keep you going if your income stops.
- Plan a sustainable budget and stick to it
Planning a budget is easy enough. Simply download a ready-made budget planner, put down the things you intend to pay each month, and include your savings and other expenses. It need not be perfect, but at least knowing what you have to outlay each month and being able to do so can bring about a great sense of security and trust in yourself.
Rule 2 – Get a Support System in Place.
People underestimate the value of intimacy with friends, we are not talking about that kind of intimacy. Friendship can bring about a feeling of belonging and security, as well as fun and good times. If you like your friends, you might consider showing them the real you over time.
Accepting who we are certainly increases our feelings of security and belonging. This is the type of feel-good feeling we seek in a relationship, and often it happens, but often it doesn’t, but that doesn’t mean it does not exist.
Go On Pet Dates
Pets can also increase feelings of support; some people even take their pets with them on ‘dates.’ That is to say that they might venture out more if they have the security of their favorite furry friend with them. Our relationships with our pets are complex and rewarding and should never be underestimated.
A dog can be an excellent ice-breaker for meeting new people; if you love dogs, you will automatically meet like-minded new friends. You can plan dog birthday parties with your current friends. This is a code word for getting together under any excuse and having fun!
Pets can bring comfort, help keep us healthy, and make us feel needed. It is a very reciprocal relationship.
Family members, whether siblings, aunts, uncles, and cousins, can also become part of our social network for various reasons and can enrich our lives endlessly. Friends can fill those spaces if you don’t have family members.
The vital thing to note is that we ought to treasure our relationships. Nurture them and become a little more involved. It is our natural human instinct to feel like a part of something outside of ourselves from time to time.
Rule 3 – Help Others
It’s not a new idea, but it is a proven one. Helping others can enrich your life and lead to new adventures.
You can offer to volunteer and share a current skill or new skill you are learning with other people. Developing your social skills and education can enrich your life in many ways. There are many opportunities for growth and community when you share your time with other people or charities.
Find areas to help in enriching and improving your life.
The principal payoff is that not only are you helping them, but you are also helping yourself. For the best results, only seek organizations that interest you or resonate with your deepest core. If you are learning a new skill, mention it to the organization you approach, this way, you can get essential hands-on training and learn to practice your new skill.
Helping others improves people’s quality of life, and this is a proven statistic. Even if it is just a couple of hours a week.
Rule 4 – Become Your Own Best Partner
Have you ever been in a relationship where you wished for more of this or less of that? Did you ever feel that your partner didn’t really treat you as you wanted to be treated?
The good news is that when you are alone, you can treat yourself as an ideal partner and date yourself! That could be traveling, getting great massages, watching Netflix, learning to build airplane models, or catching butterflies in the local forest. You can give yourself whatever you need with no guilt or explanations.
Give yourself what you really need and learn to be alone and happy.
You can wear that fruit bowl hat to church, party with no time limits, dress up to the nines to go to the park, or wear slouchy pants and a sweater all weekend if you feel like it.
You can read those books for hours on end, binge-watch your favorite series, and do woodwork at 2 am (as long as you are not disturbing the neighbors) because your life is your own to do with as you please!
A wonderful sense of freedom can swell inside of your soul.
These are the things that single people love about being single. Singles can chat with who they want, wear what they like, and behave in any way they feel without recriminations.
Rule 5 – Stake Out the Joint
A lot of people suffer some kind of social anxiety. This can be about visiting places alone. If you feel a little anxious about starting to go out alone, chart the territory. Honestly, you will not be the first person to have done this.
Start Making That List of Places You Want To Go To
Make a list of places you’d like to visit and then decide which ones feel more comfortable at first. You are your own partner, so making yourself feel safe is vital to you.
Create something along the lines of a bucket list of places and start scoring them off. You get a sense of achievement when you see the numbers dwindling.
Get The Virtual Tour
Many places offer virtual apps that you can download beforehand. This is helpful if you want to know where to go when you get there. It also gives you a sneak preview of what to expect when you get there and more confidence.
Museums, parks, and art galleries are some ideas, but special classes like cooking your favorite cuisine and sweet making are fun. Make sure to book your outings on your calendar so that you do it. You will find it easier and easier as you practice doing things independently. Soon you might be traveling to foreign countries alone and enjoying every minute.
Travel is entirely geared toward solo adventurers. Some hotels offer specialty services like women or men-only hotels. Concierges are trained to help lost solo travelers feel more comfortable. They may prove invaluable to you at various times, and will give you some added confidence in traveling alone.
These rules will enable you to work through any anxieties about being single or alone if you have them. If you don’t, then just enjoy it. Being single and alone is one of the most exciting adventures ever, and society is increasingly geared to solo people and their needs.
Once you learn to be alone and start putting action into your life, you will notice the loneliness fade away and be able to open the door to pure joy!