Being Single and Happy

Welcome fellow single! Are you just exploring your new-found freedom? Are you worried that your life will be bad, now that you don’t have a significant other to share it with? Well, worry not. Here are some of the “mantras” I like to live by, as a happy single.

What do you have to realise to be happy and single?

Nobody is trying to steal your time

Every single second of the day is yours and yours alone. Come to realise this. You can do whatever you want, whenever you want, without anyone demanding your time.

That means that your spare time can finally be devoted to that hobby you always wanted to try out. Perhaps you want to binge something on Netflix? Just do it, because you can.

The difference between being in a good and a bad relationship is usually found in how you perceive your me-time. In a bad relationship, time is consumed by someone you perhaps don’t want to invest it in. In a good relationship, you will enjoy sharing time together, but it’s still not just for you. If you’re reading this, you didn’t have a good relationship and you’re trying to reclaim your life.

So have a seat and think of something you really want to do. Got an idea? Good. Now just think of when you would like to do it. Without anyone forcing your hand (apart from work and other uncontrollable events), you can pretty much choose whenever.

Now the important thing here: it’s not because you have all the time, that you should waste it. In fact, nobody should ever do that. You only have one life and you should spend it doing what you love, as much as you can. Being single just makes it easier to manage that time. So get going.

You are able to focus on what is important to you

Now that you know that you have all the time you need, let’s use it to focus on what matters. Perhaps your financial situation is not great and you really want to improve it, but your ex was holding you back because of insecurity. Well, now you can go for it.

Figure out what it is you want to achieve on a short-term basis. Let’s say even by the end of this week. Is there something important that you really want to get out of the way? Then write it down, schedule some time for it and tick it off when it’s done. The feeling of accomplishing a goal that has been set aside for quite some time is simply amazing.

You are the master of your life, goals and expectations now. Be ambitious, look towards a bright future and set some rewarding goals. It really helps to realise that this is your time to shine. There will be nobody in your immediate surroundings to block your dreams, so there is no reason to not pursue them right now. Just keep it organized and clean.

These goals can vary greatly: improve your physical health, get a new car, finally buy that motorcycle, try to get better at cooking, travel to heart’s content, … there are so many things you now can do. And if you think “I’m limited because I’m single, I need someone to do this with”, then you are still stuck in your old relationship.

You are a strong person, you can achieve anything as long as you put your mind to it. If someone wants to come along, it’s just because they believe in you and think your idea is great. It’s their privilege to join you on this epic journey, not the other way around.

It’s a great time to learn new things, gain extra skills, explore unknown worlds and meet new people. Whatever is important to you, you should just go for it and never look back.

There are always people who love you

Most people who just became single put the blame on themselves. They think they are unlovable or they are unpleasant to be around. A bad relationship tends to bring out the worst in people and you may not recognize yourself anymore.

But there are always people out there that will love you unconditionally (just don’t go burning their houses or something). Think of all the friends you have, your parents, siblings, other family, … and you will come up with a couple of names immediately.

If your relationship came to a point where your friends were unwelcome, or you neglected them a bit too much, don’t be afraid to just reach out. They will most likely be welcoming you back with open arms. If they are reluctant, try to explain why the things that happened, happened. If they love you, they will understand and your bond will be stronger even.

So never believe, not even for a split second, that you are alone. You can be alone at any time you want, whenever you feel like it, but there are so many that you can go to for advice, fun or just the utter randomness that friends do.

Sometimes people come out of a relationship not only in emotional distress, but they may have lost valuables or money along the way. Remember that no one wants to see you suffer. Talk about your issues and don’t be afraid to ask for help or guidance where you need it. These people love you, they will help you in any way they can. Just don’t expect the impossible, they are human beings after all.

Now that you have the luxury to meet anyone of those loved ones, whenever your schedules meet, just go ahead and do it. These are some of life’s most precious moments. These are the people that will be there when you’re in a relationship (or they should be – don’t let anyone ever block them our), and when you’re single. They only want you to be happy and for them to have a good time with you.

There is always an option for love – in time

Some of us choose to be single for life. What our reasons are, is not important. But even then, there is the faintest chance that we do fall in love. It’s nature, it’s chemicals, call it whatever you want. It’s possible.

The most important thing right now is to focus on what you have and what your immediate goals are. Use this time to improve your life and yourself in any way you see fit. It will increase your confidence greatly and boost your overall happiness.

This newfound happiness and confidence will also lead to a better relationship in the future, if it ever happens. You will be able to express yourself better because you know how -and what- to achieve. Your communication will be top-notch because you took the time as a happy single to reacquaint with yourself. There will be no more hiding small things or covering up flaws because you now realise your full potential and you know how to use it.

So don’t try to rush into a new relationship. It will end badly. Really badly. Remember what I said: this is your time now, don’t let it immediately be taken away just because you think being in a relationship is the “normal” way of life. That’s what peer pressure is doing to people, but we’re here to stop that.

Some tips to enjoy the single life more

Go explore! You don’t have to go far

Explore Athens near Monastiraki
My first day in Athens, just walking around without any kind of map and I came across this old church, right in the middle of a shopping area. Cool find.

Sometimes you can live in a city and not have seen 1/10 of it. You’re always busy with something else, or catering to someone’s wishes. It’s time to grab a map or Google some interesting things and just go broaden your horizon. You’d be amazed at the beauty that was right under your nose but hidden under a thick layer of stolen time.

Perhaps you’ve always dreamt of going on a long trip to a faraway country? There are plenty of options for the single traveller to visit any desired destination. The most obvious one is going at it alone and use that freedom to meet new people or just do whatever you want.

Another way to travel is to book a singles trip with a reputable tour operator. It’s a bit of a weird idea, travelling in a group full of singles, but it’s surprisingly fun. I’ve done this on my trip to South Africa and it was absolutely amazing. There were no issues between couples for one, which can ruin the day for an entire group in mere minutes. Everybody has their own agenda and as you get to know each other, you find shared interests. Frequent bar visits are a part of travelling in these single’s groups.

Don’t forget that travelling as a single may seem more expensive because hotels will often ask for a supplement, but you’re still saving on a whole other person. So it’s cheaper… a lot cheaper.

Go do some sports

I’m speaking from personal experience here. When I went into my relationship I was a muscular, lean young guy. When I came out, I was overweight and let myself go. I have no idea when it happened, or why, but it just did.

So I started to exercise a bit. First at home with some basic equipment and after a couple of months, I hit the streets for a nice jog. I know everybody will say this, but it really does make you feel better. My motivation and happiness probably wouldn’t be this high without getting fitter.

I do realize this is not for everybody out there, but I do feel you should give it a chance. Try doing some exercises 2 or 3 times a week on a not too crazy intensity. Keep that up for a month or 2 and tell me in the comments below if it helped or not.

You can also sign up for group activities. You have every bit of time anyway and it’s a great place to meet new people. There are a plethora of options out there and it’s up to you to find something that suits the way you want to live.

Pick up a new hobby or revive an old one

Used to be really good at something that you loved, but never found the time? Well, that’s what we call a forgotten hobby. In relationships we often tend to put the things we enjoy in the background, to find a common thing we don’t actually enjoy that much but keeps us from bickering.

So pick up that paintbrush, get some yarn, put new strings on that guitar and let your creativity flow free. Don’t spend your time wasted in front of the tv every day, it will numb your mind to a point where you fall into the sloppy single’s life. We’re talking about enjoying it more here.

Perhaps you used to have a common hobby with your friends? Well, time to pick that up again if they agree.

New ideas are out there on the internet. Just search for something you think you could like and give it a try. There is no one to judge your spendings except yourself. Want to buy a $500 cheese making set? Well, if that’s what you want, just do it. You’re the master of your financial situation and if you can afford it, it’s yours.

Go out – alone or with friends

After a couple of months, I got to know most of the people are the local bar here. We often hang out and go play some billiards. As I said, be open to new conversations, even if you don’t speak the language.

Going out with friends is obvious. Everybody does it and singles most of all because we have the time.

Going out alone can be a bit daunting at first. It’s you walking into a bar and getting into a conversation, for example. But don’t be afraid, most people out there are nice and a lot of them are actually doing the same thing as you are.

If you’re going out alone, don’t go sit in a dark corner with a book. Go sit at the counter, order a drink and observe. In no time will you be able to pick up a conversation that you could actually add to. Now conquer all your fears and say something. If people don’t want anyone to intervene, they will probably just say so. But most of us who sit at the counter in a bar are looking for something interesting.

There are some things to keep in mind though. Bad people do exist and prowl on the insecure single man or woman. Once you feel that things are going even the slightest bit awry, pay your drink and walk out or start a conversation with someone else. If more people get involved, you will be more protected.

In most cases going out on your own and being open to new people is an amazing experience. You can meet new friends or just have one of the funniest nights of your life.

Why not get a side-income online?

It’s the age of the internet, everybody knows how it works. There are literally millions of people out there who are using their creativity and writing skills to build an extra income through blogging.

You have the time to write about your passion or your area of expertise when you’re single, so you might aswell consider it. It takes almost no technical skills to get started and will probably cost less than most other hobbies.

I have a ton of articles on how to start blogging, you may want to read some of those to get you going, but in the end it’s all about you. What do you want to teach the world? How can you help people online? That’s the number one motivation to start doing all this online stuff. If it brings in money, it will be a hobby turned to profit.

Redecorate to YOUR taste

Living together is a feast of compromises. Couples always go around saying “we love what we did to the place”, but I guarantee somewhere they are also thinking “but…”. No more buts for you! Time to turn your living space into your personal haven.

Go online, visit stores, get inspired and just turn the joint into something that makes your jaw drop every time you enter your front door. This may sound like a very expensive thing to do, but in the end, you are creating something that will bring you happiness for a very long time.

When I first moved to Greece, I was reluctant to turn my rental apartment into something that was catered to my taste. So for a long time it never really felt like coming home. I was walking into a pretty barren place that didn’t feel like…me. When I finally started to buy and decorate with the stuff that I love, it was a great feeling.

You can also get great bargains on things that seem too expensive in your mind, if you look for them.

Eat well – cook your own meals

It’s pretty amazing how a combination of rice (or pasta in my case), spinach, garlic, feta cheese and some chicken can be. Nice and easy, healthy dish for the single, will post a recipe later.

This is probably my favourite thing to do. It combines so many things that I love: walking around the supermarket, learning new recipes, practising techniques and eating -mostly- healthy, yummy dishes.

The internet is full of great recipes, just because this is such an amazing pass-time that is both fun and useful. You also have the advantage that you’re cooking this for yourself, so if you fail miserably you won’t be giving anyone else a bad taste – or worse.

You can also use your newfound cooking skills and recipes to throw a great dinner party for your friends in your newly refurbished home. Talk about enjoying the single life!

Footnote

I hope these tips have inspired you to make the most of your time and that they will help you to enjoy your life as a single.

I put quite a bit of effort into writing this article, so if you liked it I would really appreciate a share.

I wish you all the best!

Until the next time.

Yannick

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