A wise woman once said, “Being single is one of life’s oft neglected joys.” Which wise woman, you may ask? Me. And how might I have chanced upon this invaluable golden nugget, you may further ask? Because I have been single a long time and am as happy as a woman can be. Don’t get me wrong. I am not one of those who are allergic to romance or despise couples walking with gazing eyes and interlocked hands in Lodhi Gardens, oblivious to the world. If anything, I find it endearing. I love the idea of love. But what I love far more is the idea of being single.
Often I find that women, in this era of speed dating where journeying through life without a partner beside you at all times seems reckless almost, scramble to search for that ‘special someone’. And sometimes, in their haste to secure that partnership, end up making the wrong choices that cause distress and end in heartbreak. The prospect of having someone – your someone – with whom you can vent, laugh, cry, speak, and enjoy is fairytale-like. While these fairytales do come true, there’s no telling when you will chance upon them. So until you do, why not embrace your singlehood with joy?
We bring you reasons for motivation towards that goal. Try them out?
1. You Will Be Your Own Priority
Being single is the greatest life lesson in learning to make yourself the driver of your life. When in a relationship, it’s common for women to lose track of their own ambitions in the sway of love. There is increased pressure of taking the likes and dislikes of your partner into account before embarking upon things you wish to do – whether it’s a quick trip someplace or a job change. Since you’re sharing your life with a partner, you might feel obliged to take their advice on things that don’t essentially need their advice.
For instance, if you dream of moving to, say, France to pursue an art course, your partner might feel entitled to weigh in on your decision since their life is linked to yours. When you’re single, you get to be the master of your own decisions, without having to worry about someone else’s opinions. It is an especially powerful experience – knowing your strengths, weaknesses, goals, dreams – and steering forward in life with that knowledge.
2. All Your Time Is Yours
I understand it’s not compulsory for couples to spend all their time cuddling in each others’ arms or texting back and forth with minute-by-minute updates of their lives. But when in a relationship, people enjoy doing that. It feels nice to have someone listen to you all day. However, there is a possibility this habit may turn sour. The impending pressure of chatting with your partner every passing minute every single day can become suffocating. Don’t we all have days we want to spend alone in silence with our thoughts? Or a box of paints? Or a movie and some ice-cream?
You can’t call your time truly your own when you have a partner in life. Some women may prefer it that way, some may not. But the availability of that option is what’s important, right? You can be as impulsive, as impromptu, as changeable as you want when single. Because you’re doing it on your own watch.
3. Solo Dates Are A Lot Of Fun
When was the last time you took yourself out for a nice lunch and coffee? It might seem like a strange idea, pitiful even, to sit alone in a cafe corner and eat a meal looking lonely. But being single helps you differentiate between loneliness and solitude. Loneliness is the yearning for some company when you don’t have it. Solitude, on the other hand, is restful peace of mind – where you’re so comfortable with your own company that you don’t need anyone else’s.
Which is why solo dates can be so empowering. Like on dates with a second person, where you get to know them better – their hobbies, interests, past, present, future – solo dates give you space to do all that and more, but with yourself. And if not that, then you always have the option of poring into a book or listening to some music. Solo dates are transformative; they sync you with your deepest self. Go on one, and I promise, you’ll go on more.
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4. Know The Value Of Self-Love
When you’re single, you have the time and space to focus all your energies on no one but yourself. In those moments alone when you’re introspecting, you discover wonderful opportunities of falling in love with yourself. Keeping yourself first becomes second nature to you, and that can be a great thing for ensuring good mental health. Without instructions from another person telling you how lovely they think you are, you’ll find the confidence to say that to yourself. And isn’t that the first step towards empowering yourself?
As women, we often lie in wait of a Prince Charming to tell us of our worth, of our value in the world. But why wait around? Why not say it to yourself before someone comes around to say it to you? Self-pampering shouldn’t be a guilty pleasure. Make it necessary.
5. No Pressure Of Commitment Or Marriage
Singlehood can be an assertion of your desire to remain a lone wolf for as long as you want. It gives out a subliminal message that you’re willfully in-charge of your sexuality, body, emotions, and life decisions. In relationships that don’t course the roads of the future beforehand, there is often the chance that one of the two partners may be misled into false commitment. Alternatively, for a woman wanting to be in a casual relationship, a partner’s sudden proposal of marriage may be unsettling. When single, these problems don’t arise and you can drift without permanent attachment.
However, it may so happen that your well-meaning family might see your singlehood as an opportunity to get you hitched. In this case, explain to them the value of your single status as best you can. Tell them that commitment to marriage isn’t a compulsion in life. Isn’t your happiness more important? Well, if you’re happy single, then no one can tell you otherwise.
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6. Explore Your Body Before Someone Else Does
When you’re single, your body is in all senses, at all times, in your own possession. In relationships, you may allow it to go into the hands of your partner. Agency remains with you, but physicality with them. And while that may seem pleasurable, what women forget sometimes is to explore their bodies before giving them over, sexually, to another. Singlehood can be an opportunity for you to do that.
Take this time to figure out what you may like or dislike in bed, what emotional and physical boundaries to set, where your erogenous zones are, and everything else you want to. Your own fingers need to know the length and breadth of your body well so when the time comes, you can feel confident trusting a partner with it. And it goes without saying how sexually empowering it all is.
7. Flirt To Your Heart’s Content
Usually in committed relationships, flirting with other persons is considered off-limits. Some couples may reach an understanding and allow it as long as they’re being faithful to each other, but it can be hard to find that fine line between flirting and cheating. How much or how little is allowed? Which level is appropriate? What are the terms and conditions? Seems too complex, no?
Here’s where being single comes in handy. With no attachments, no commitments, no T&Cs, you’re free to explore the market at your own, ambling pace. Stop, flirt, walk, flirt, retract, flirt, walk, stop, flirt. And it can go on, and on, and on. Flirting can be enjoyable as a single woman, with someone always out there waiting to talk to you. It’s a great way to just have some light fun and use your days of youth to advantage.
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8. More Time With Your Girlfriends
Any time spent with your circle of girlfriends never seems to be enough. Especially when in a relationship. They become your go-to respite, your safe zone, your in-house therapists when the going gets tough with your partner. No topic is off-limits; they scold you when you’re being too submissive in a relationship and enjoy with glee when you narrate your latest sexual adventure. When you’re dating, your sisterhood is a cushion you can fall back on anytime. But they’re so even when you’re single.
It often happens that women in relationships can’t find time for their friends, as a result of which friends may feel neglected and there may arise some distances. You have to remember that romantic partners may come and go, but the girls bound to you by a sisterhood will never leave your side. Cherish them always.
Views expressed are the author’s own.