Being single doesn't mean you're missing out

Three friends laughing on a beach

Some people may think that if you’re not in a relationship, you’re missing out. But being single can be just as fun, exciting and enjoyable as being in a relationship. You’ll have a bunch of opportunities to meet new people, have new experiences and discover more about yourself along the way.

Here are some ways to shift your mindset and realise why being single isn’t such a big deal (and can actually be pretty amazing).

Embrace the single life 

Your relationship status doesn’t define who you are. Whether you’re single, dating or loved up, we’re all our own people. 

Unfortunately, we live in a society that associates romantic partnerships with the idea of happily-ever-after, so if you’re single it can be tough to block out the feeling that you’re the odd one out. 

But why not think of yourself as the unique one in? Just remember, having a partner doesn’t always make someone a happier person, and not having a partner doesn’t take away from your worth.

Being single gives you the time and space to focus on yourself. And there are all kinds of fun ways to embrace the experience. Here are some things you can try out to make the most of it.

Appreciate your mates

Being single doesn’t mean being lonely. You’re young, thriving and independent, with so much ahead of you. Plus, you’ve got mates who care about you, who like you for exactly who you are, and who want to make great memories with you.

When you’re not feeling your best, good friends will be there to listen to you, make you laugh, and support you no matter what. You can also give it back by investing more time and effort into growing these relationships.

Even if you’re on the shy side, or tend to feel a bit awkward in social situations, being single gives you more opportunities to put yourself out there and forge meaningful new friendships, too. 

Be true to yourself

Being in a relationship can seem like a cool idea, and when the right person comes along it can be amazing. But not all relationships are created equal. 

Never change who you are, or what you want (whatever that may be), just so that you can tell your mates you’re dating someone. It’s way better not to be in a relationship than to be in a bad one. 

If being single right now feels good to you and you’re loving it, then there’s no need to change that. 

Explore safe sex and intimacy 

Whether you’ve previously been in a relationship or you’ve been happily single for a while, it’s hard not to think about sex and physical intimacy. It’s totally natural to crave intimacy, and exploring that in a healthy way can be an exciting part of being single. 

Chances are you’ll have more space to reflect on what you’re looking for, whether it’s casual or not, and what kind of experiences you’re interested in. You might find it’s a great time to get to know more about your body, your preferences, and what feels good for you when it comes to things like sex and masturbation.

You can also use this time for a sexual health check, brush up on how to communicate about sexual health and your sexual history, and learn more about the importance of consent.

Before you take any steps with someone new, it’s worth checking in with yourself, as it can also be easy to confuse sex and emotions.  

Be confidently un-coupled 

At some point, a bunch of your mates may all have found partners and it may feel like you’re the last single person on Earth. People in couples sometimes tend to take pity on their ‘sad single friends’, but that’s just them projecting their own insecurities. 

If you’ve got friends who always make you feel like you’re missing out or who constantly try to set you up with their cousin’s second-best friend, the best response is just to say, ‘I like being single’ and then change the topic of conversation.

Instead of viewing being single as ‘not being in a relationship’, try to switch your mindset and build self-confidence about your solo status. Plus, think of all the unique perks of being single that couples mightn't have: spontaneous solo adventures, a more flexible social calendar, uninterrupted alone time, and total freedom in decision making (just to name a few things).

Rethink classic date nights

If Valentine’s Day and other classic date nights are tough ones for you, why not plan ahead and do something a little different? Here are some ideas:

  • Get moving: Walk laps of your local park, head to the pool, or go for a run and let the fresh air and endorphins boost your mood.

  • Takeaway and movie night: Invite your closest pals over, order your favourite takeaway foods and watch a movie. A relaxing night like this reminds us that friendships are just as special as romantic relationships.

  • It’s game time: Whether you go old school with a board game, or set up camp on the couch and fire up the PlayStation or Xbox, a games night can be great for keeping your mind off all the date night vibes. If you’re an online gamer, socialising online can be just as meaningful as seeing those friends in person.

Show up with self-belief 

When it comes to hangouts and parties, you might find yourself surrounded by people in relationships. Sometimes, it all comes down to your attitude. Here’s what you can do to make the most of the situation.

First, wear something that makes you feel comfortable and good about yourself. Then, stay positive and open. Don’t feel like you have to impress anyone other than yourself.

Take the opportunity to meet new people, catch up with friends, have some fun and work on your socialising skills in new environments. Remember, hanging out in a group is supposed to be a good time for everyone, not just couples.

A lot of people find it hard to enjoy spending time alone. But if you can change your perspective on being single, you’ll find there’s so much more out there waiting to be enjoyed.

What can I do now?