Single and Hating It? Embrace Your Independence!
It’s Friday night and you had a long day at work. You feel like having a good time. You call up a couple of your friends to find out who’s available and no one’s free. One friend’s husband is having a birthday, the other one’s kids are sick, one friend is on a romantic vacation with her latest boyfriend in Nice…and then there’s you sitting there feeling like the only animal not on Noah’s Ark.
If you’re single and wondering where your soul mate is hiding, you are not alone. All of your friends are either married, in long-term relationships, have kids, divorced or working on their second marriage and you feel like there is something wrong with you. On Dr. Phil.com under marriage and divorce statistics, the average age of a woman getting married in the United States is 27. So what, you’re 29. You know what I say? Carpe Diem!
Being single isn’t the worst thing on the planet. In fact, single is a state mind. There are about 6.5 billion people on this Earth, so how could you possibly be alone? The point is if you’re “single and hating it,” here are a few ways you can embrace your oneness.
There is no time like the present. Traveling not only exposes you to different places, it exposes you to different cultures. To understand one’s self is to understand one’s place in relation to the world.
Lucky single you, who will not have to wait until someone’s two week vacation comes up or until the children are big enough, can take off at any moment to explore the world. When you’re on that plane feeling lonely and sullen, look down and see the unknown coming closer to you.
Treasure the opportunity you have and take advantage of these moments. Once you are in a relationship or married with children not only will it be harder to travel (unless you do it for a living), but it is more expensive to buy four tickets than one.
Another option is to live and work in a different state or country for a couple of years. Who knows, maybe your soul mate is a tall, dark and handsome man who works in the Louvre and you’re destined to bump into him one day while exploring the beauty of Paris!
Go Back to School
If you are one of the people who couldn’t wait to graduate and start working then this might not be the best option for you. However, if you are someone who enjoys learning in a class setting and the campus atmosphere, going back to school to obtain an additional degree is a great achievement.
Yes, school is also a good way to meet people, but as a single and hating it person –getting a master’s degree or Ph.D. will not only occupy your time for a couple of years, but also bump up your salary a couple of zeroes once completed.
Let’s face it, it never hurts to work on yourself. The more things you learn about and the more interests you have, the more opportunities you have to meet people and share experiences with them.
This might sound cheesy but hobbies are a great way to make use of one’s time. If knitting and baking pies isn’t your niche, so go skydiving on the weekends, play sports, learn a musical instrument, become a clown – there are so many activities to chose from.
What I enjoy about hobbies is that a lot of entrepreneurs spawned their businesses from something they enjoyed doing in their free time. Sell your classic stamp collection on eBay for some extra cash or create your own web-series on You Tube.
Maybe you can take up flying like Brangelina or John Travolta and then fly all of your coupled friends to a Caribbean island for the holidays.
So what if at Christmas or Thanksgiving you always show up with a different date? Dating around if you’re “single and hating it” is a great way to exercise your autonomy.
It’s like being a kid in an ice cream shop; you are trying as many flavors as possible until you truly know what you want. If you have a certain type of guy you are into, try breaking the mold and dating outside your normal requirements.
Maybe you realize that dating a male exotic dancer is just NOT working for you, but at least you’ve figured out that you want someone who works during the day and doesn’t come home smelling like hot oil and dollar bills.
Join a Gym and Be Healthier
It’s funny how when we’re single we tend to be in the best shape and then when we get into a relationship, the “honeymoon period” kicks in and the weight starts creeping on. As a single person, delving into your workout and better eating is not only good for you physically, but good mentally.
One of my favorite parts of the book Eat, Pray, Love is when the main character goes to India to practice meditation, face her fears, and confront her past. After work when everyone’s heading home to make dinner for their kids, head to the gym or yoga class to work on yourself, get centered and by the time you get home, you’ll be too tired to think about feeling lonely.
Start Your Own Business
Oprah! Need I see more? Oprah Winfrey, although she is in a relationship, is the epitome of a strong, successful ,unmarried woman who embraced her independence and created an empire out of her talent for helping people.
If you’re single and hating it, starting your own business just might be the right thing for you. The other plus about being your own boss is that if you do end up getting married and having kids, you’ve achieved something many women aspire to, having a flexible career that allows us the time to focus on our family. Maternity leave, doctor’s visits, vacations — you are in control of your own schedule and there’s no more perfect time to plant the seeds than when you are on your own.
Be There For Your Family and Friends
I always dreaded Valentine’s Day — which happens to be my birthday – because I felt like there was so much pressure on people to have a special someone to share it with. It wasn’t until one birthday when I was stood up by a date and my friends came over to celebrate with me that I realized how special friendship is.
Being a shoulder to lean on, babysitting your friend’s kids so she can have a date night with her husband, going to the movies as the third, fifth or seventh wheel are ways you can utilize your freedom.
Being there for your family and friends will not only help them have someone to talk to if things are rough, but it also exposes you to the different types of relationships and things couples go through. Again, using the ice cream analogy, there is no better way to understand what you do or don’t want in a relationship then by being exposed to many different ones. It’s also a great feeling knowing that your presence makes the people you care about feel better and vice versa.
These suggestions not only apply to people who are single and hating it, but rather apply to everyone. If you feel like the concepts of “me” and “I” have become too much “we” and “us,” take a moment for introspection. Traveling the world, going back to school, starting a hobby, working out and being healthier, becoming an entrepreneur or being there for the people you love are all great ways to discover and rediscover your independence. Carpe Diem!