‘Tis the season that Cupid is busy at work, preparing to shoot his special bow and arrow as Valentine’s Day approaches. Yet while half of the world is out on Valentine’s Day celebrating the fact that they have a relationship, the other half of the world should be celebrating the fact that they’re single! There are so many reasons why being single can be a great experience – at least for a period of time. I always tell my clients to appreciate the time when they’re single because the day will come when things change. Take a look at the most important benefits of being single, and you’ll be instantly reminded that flying solo comes with bona fide perks.
1. No Nagging!
Before we get into it, can I get an amen? We have all been on the receiving end of annoying nagging and know how it can kill those loving feelings. The last thing anyone wants to do after being nagged is hop in the sack and profess, “I love you so much!” Nagging is actually one of the main factors that lead to relationships ending because people can only survive in a non-supportive emotional environment for so long. Lucky you, if you’re single: You don’t have to take it.
I know how tempting it is to romanticize relationships when you’re single and don’t have one. I hear from my single clients that they can’t wait to meet someone so they can finally take all the romantic vacations they’ve been fantasizing about for so long, but the reality is that having a boyfriend or girlfriend can often throw a wrench in your travel plans. Perhaps your boyfriend just took a new job and can’t get away, or your girlfriend turns out to be a workhorse who can’t pull herself away from the office. Bottom line: It is never easier to be spontaneous and travel than when you’re single. Make plans this Valentine’s Day to start preparing for a solo trip with a singles tour company, or reach out to other single friends and plan something truly over the top.
3. Social Time with Friends
You know that friend you love to meet for dinner or drinks? Yeah, you won’t be seeing much of him or her once you meet someone. Perhaps I’m being a bit facetious, but the truth is that couples – even the most social ones – have a habit of nesting. The reason couples have a tendency to stop reaching out as much to friends is because a person has certain social needs – what therapists refer to as dependency needs – and most of those needs end up getting met by the new romantic partner. What’s more, as couples age into their 30s and 40s, they often reach out to friends even less. The benefit of being single in this arena is that you can keep up with a bunch of friends who suit the various parts of your personality, as opposed to keeping up with only two or three close friends because you’re too tired and unmotivated to keep up with more!
This one is bittersweet, folks. There are undoubtedly many benefits of having a good relationship, but one frequent casualty long-term couples report is the loss of lust – you know, feeling sparks with a new love interest in that take-me-now way. Anthropologists and psychologists have long debated why lust seems to dissipate over time, but it inevitably ebbs and flows over time, requiring long-term couples to actually work at keeping the excitement alive. Let me repeat part of that: “work at keeping excitement alive.” Now, for the singles of the world, they have the chance of feeling that kind of excitement every time they go out.
My single friends, try your hardest to cherish this time in your life. If I look into my crystal ball, I see that a time will most likely come when you find your own relationship. When that time comes, you’ll be held far more responsible and accountable than you are now in your life, so let your hair down – or put it up and hit the town – and enjoy this period of your life!
Dr. Seth Meyers has had extensive training in conducting couples therapy and is the author of Dr. Seth’s Love Prescription: Overcome Relationship Repetition Syndrome and Find the Love You Deserve.