Being single and being happy are not mutually exclusive. However, most people see being blissfully single as a challenge in a world where everything is paired up – earrings, shoes, peanut butter and jam, day and night, DNA… But it is not hard to be single and happy. The truth is that you need the time alone to get to know yourself better. As cliche as it may sound, being single is the perfect time to work towards being the person you want to be.

When we’re single, we can focus on ourselves.

We can zero in on all the details that make us the way we are. Our preferences get honed. Our quirks get analysed. Our traits get examined when we apply some introspection. And what better time to do this than when we’re single. Self awareness isn’t only for Bots and Artificial Intelligence. Self awareness is what each of us must have in order to figure out what we want from life. If you don’t know where to start, you can enlist the help of a friend or a trusted adviser. You can even seek the help of a therapist and get some private counselling if you don’t know where to start. But ultimately, use the time to figure out what you want. It could be something as petty as how you like your eggs done or if you like pineapple on your pizza. Or it could be about something bigger like your hopes, dreams, frustrations, and personality quirks. Explore those quirks and figure out if you want to ditch them for something more endearing or bring them along for other people to learn to love as well.

We can cultivate other relationships.

Your family and your bestest besties will be there through all of it. You probably figured out by now that these are very low maintenance relationships – they’re there when you need them but they don’t demand attention when you need space. Maybe it’s time you gave them attention. Schedule a spa day with mum or take your brothers out to laser tag. Have your hair and nails done with your sisters. Take your friends out to try that korean grill with delicious, unlimited sides. Give them your undivided attention and let them know you appreciate them being there for you.

We learn that loneliness and being alone are two very different things.

We get it! Weekends can be rough especially when all your friends are all coupled up and you have no one to go out to dinner with on a perfectly good Saturday night. Those weeknights can feel a little lonely, too. But, chin up! It doesn’t have to be lonely. You can go out and try things alone. Yes! That is a thing. Yes you can… go out to try that Persian grill alone (can’t go wrong if you order pita and hummus). Yes you can…go to the movies by yourself (laugh out loud or ugly cry – it doesn’t matter). Yes you can…check out the art exhibit (pretend you’re an art critic and say absurd things like “ the sublime beauty of the sexy fish contextualizes the remarkable handling of light”). It’ll be fun, we promise! Oh, and don’t forget to take lots of pictures. It doesn’t have to be for posting on social media but something to look back on while you were getting to know yourself better.

Photo by Haley Phelps on Unsplash