Finding ways to be happy being alone can be difficult, especially when you have recently come out of a long-term relationship. You might be in a situation where you desire a relationship or are happy to be alone. There are also situations where it just makes sense to be alone. When recovering from a difficult breakup years ago, I voluntarily was single for several years because I needed time to heal and figure out what I wanted in life. Other people may choose to be single because their primary focus is on a successful career, or maybe they are relocating in the next year or so, or maybe need to focus on completing their doctorate degree. Whatever your reason, it’s still normal to feel lonely when single and not knowing how to be happy being alone. Below are some ways you can be happy with being alone.
1. You can make plans and you only need your permission. One of the best things about being single is having the ability to do whatever you want, and you don’t need to check in with someone. If you want to buy tickets last minute and go to a concert tomorrow, you can. You can book a holiday to go anywhere that you want. If you decide to be frugal and not spend any money on entertainment this month, you can do that without any objections.
2. Accept that it’s okay to feel lonely at times. Being happy with being single doesn’t mean that you are in denial and never ever want all the good things that come out of a relationship. Just like people in great relationships occasionally desire being single, people who are happily single will occasionally crave being in a relationship. There will be moments where you feel lonely and badly want a partner. There will be many days where you are happy being single and others where you contemplate if you should join a dating site. All these feelings are completely normal. Instead of believing that you should always be content being single, be realistic and accept that it’s normal to be lonely every so often.
3. You have many people who do love you. Being single can be tough at times, but that doesn’t mean you are truly alone. You have friends who you can meet up with regularly. Your family is there to support you whenever you need them. Your co-workers are always around for happy hour. Although you might be feeling lonely right now, remember that you aren’t truly alone. You do have a support network and you do have people you can share great experiences with.
4. This is a great time to focus on self-improvement. Being single gives you an opportunity to completely focus on all the things that would improve the quality of your life. Self-improvement can happen in a committed relationship, of course, but is often more difficult. You will always have to prioritize that relationship to create a healthy balance between work, hobbies and your personal life. Yet, when you are single, one of those priorities is gone. You can go back to school and be completely committed to studying and finishing your degree. You can take up a hobby that would require hours of investment per week. Dedicating most nights to the gym aren’t as tough. Use your time being alone to make a better version of yourself. You will find that time tends to move quickly when you are having fun, enjoying life and working on yourself.
5. Take yourself on dates. Who said fun dates need to stop just because you are single? There’s no reason you can’t go out and have fun just because you are single. I’ve travelled to many countries by myself and had a blast. I even travelled overseas with a close friend or a group of people. I’ve had fun going to the movies by myself. When I first moved to Sydney, I would explore different areas completely on my own or do wine tasting tours by myself. I would go on hikes with my dog. The fun didn’t end and I had a wonderful time! Some of these activities I had a friend along but most of the time I did all these things completely by myself. You can still go on dates, with yourself and have a great time.
6. Nurture your other relationships. You might crave the connection you had with your past partners. Many people can be vulnerable with their significant others and really be themselves around that person. The good news is that you can share that vulnerability and connection with other people. Yes, having that connection with friends is different but it’s just as meaningful and fulfilling. Part of the reason you might feel like you are struggling having that connection with others, is because you might find it difficult to open up around other people that you aren’t dating. Work on this by continuing to spend quality time with friends and slowly allowing them to get to know you. You will find that some of your friendships will strengthen as a result.
7. Work on loving yourself. Being alone is a great time to work on yourself and focus on your own self-love. Figure out who you are, what you want to do and work on coming to terms with anything negative that you are still dealing with. Being alone doesn’t mean you must treat life like it’s on standby. Instead, you have a great opportunity to work on yourself without outside influence.
8. Never rely on other people to make you happy. Being in a healthy and compatible relationship is a wonderful feeling, but having a partner should not be mandatory to being happy. A relationship can improve the quality of your life and your overall happiness, particularly if the relationship is healthy and happy. However, simply just expecting another person to make you happy isn’t realistic. Nobody can fill a void in your life. Only you can fill that void. In many cases, being in an unhealthy and incompatible relationship can contribute to you feeling dissatisfaction with some elements of your life. Happiness always begins with yourself. Focus on making your own life happy without someone else in it. You will notice that as you focus on investing in yourself and making yourself a happy and strong person, that you don’t need or even desire a relationship as much. Work on relying on yourself to be happy. Realize that your own happiness is in your control and you shouldn’t rely on others to feel happy.
9. Learn to be content with what is happening in the present. Part of the reason you may struggle with feeling alone is because you are focused on memories or anxiety about the future. Instead, learn to be content with what is happening right now.
Being alone is a natural part of life. There will be times when you are in a relationship and times where you will be alone. Those times, regardless of your relationship status, should be filled with happy and meaningful moments. Use this time to take care of yourself, on self-love and to continue doing the things that make you feel good about life. Who knows, you might even find love once you enjoy being alone. Just always keep in mind that you are in control and even if you suddenly find yourself single and alone, that you are always in control of your life.