Being Single Has Advantages

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Being Single Has Advantages

By Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD

Photo: Stocksnap/Pixabay


Whether you are single by choice or by chance, there are many benefits to not being in a committed, intimate relationship. Those who recognize it as an opportunity to connect deeply with themselves and others often find much meaning and fulfillment in their lives.

Single people (as well as those in committed relationships) are happiest when they appreciate what they have and engage meaningfully in their lives. They do best when they focus on:

Developing and maintaining close relationships: Most people find that having deep, meaningful relationships is fulfilling, but having a partner is not the only way to achieve this. As a single person, you can devote your resources to nurturing your connections with family and friends. Regularly chat with friends; visit or talk with siblings, parents, or grandparents; and reach out to nieces or nephews. (Shout out to my nieces and nephews: Max, Jake, Kyle, Cali, and Casey!)

Pursuing self-development: While healthy intimate relationships can be wonderfully fulfilling, they also require a significant investment of time. When you are single, you can use that time for your personal growth. You can invest effort into exploring, developing, and living your values and interests. These efforts are worthy by themselves and can help you develop a stronger sense of yourself. If you are interested in a committed relationship, having a stronger sense of self will enhance your ability to collaborate with someone else in developing a shared life together — one that can create a sense of well-being for both of you that is more than either of you can do alone.

Following your passions: As a single person, you do not have to worry about attending to the needs of a partner. You are free to pour all of yourself into any pursuit that you feel passionate about.

Finding ways to give: You may find it fulfilling to use your free time to give to others. You might volunteer as a literacy teacher or at a local food bank. Or, you may decide to set up a charity based on personal experiences, as Nancy Brinker did when she began the Susan G. Komen organization in honor of her sister.

Becoming self-reliant: Many people in relationships pass off to their partner what they are uncomfortable doing. By contrast, when you are single, you may find that you grow more by learning to do more for yourself.

Being single affords opportunities that you may not choose to — or be able to — pursue if you were part of a couple. When you use your time and personal resources to create the life you want, singleness can be a wonderful path.


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Important:  This article is part of the WebMD Relationships blog. The articles in the WebMD Relationships blog are for general education purposes only. They should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional diagnosis, treatment, or advice. Do not delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider because of something you have read in this article.