Being single can be seen as a blessing or a curse. If you’re fresh out of a relationship and still nursing some wounds, you might spend a lot of your nights crying to sad songs and wallowing on your lonesome. However, if you sit on the “strong, independent woman/man” fence, then being single may mean an endless array of carefree Friday nights and mojitos.

We will all experience both sides of the coin at some point in our lives. But one thing’s certain: You aren’t any less of a person because you don’t have a boyfriend or girlfriend. However, whether by choice or not, being single has its pros and cons. Here are some of them.

 

Benefits:

You’re not tied down to one person
Of course, you can still meet new people even when you’re in a relationship, but the experience isn’t the same as when you’re single. You get to mingle to your heart’s content without worrying about crossing any personal lines. There is also no commitment, so if you start talking to someone and decide you don’t click, you don’t have to stick around.

 

Your life is completely yours
Whether it’s ditching your workout for a date or holding off your master’s degree in a far-off university because you don’t want to move away from your partner, personal goals are easily put on the back burner. A previous post on Berkeley International suggests even more ways you can live life to the fullest as a single person, like solo trips to the movies, treating yourself to a nice dinner out, or even grocery shopping. True enough, even Cornell sociologist Erin Cornwell found that single people “are more likely to spend time with friends, volunteer, attend art classes and do other social activities.”

 

No trust issues
Relationships columnist Wendy Rose Gould defines relationship anxiety as something that “stems from lack of trust, fear of abandonment, questioning your compatibility or worrying about non-reciprocated feelings.” It rears its ugly head through constant feelings of unease and even self-sabotage. Single people don’t have to worry about this stress getting in the way of their daily life.

 

You learn how to be independent
You also need to be a certain type of independent before you enter into a serious relationship—the kind that can say “I don’t need you. I want you, but if I lost you tomorrow, I could stand on my own two feet.” If you’re not there yet, you can take your singlehood as an opportunity to do just that and work on your self-care and confidence.

 

Drawbacks:

It can get lonely
One of the biggest perks of relationships is knowing you have a partner to talk to midday when you hear a dumb joke or see a cute dog down the street and you must tell someone about it. Sure, you have your friends, but they’ve got their own lives too. It’s usually those moments when the loneliness of singleness hits you—that and attending events without a plus one.

 

No one to share your life with
Thanks to pop culture, people now have new standards for dating, which includes high-octane intimacy and endless excitement. Dating-themed reality shows like The Bachelor and Love Island have its viewers yearning for partners of their own. These shows have also influenced viewers’ perception on what it means to be single—which is often what happens to the “losers” on screen. Many of The Bachelor‘s contestants have stayed together even after the series, like Sean and Catherine Lowe from The Bachelor 2013 who are now proud parents of two children. Reality shows like Love Island sensationalize relationships even further. For instance, contestants Jack Fincham and Dani Dyer, whose infectious chemistry and natural bond is something most couples strive for. Jack is even quoted in another interview as saying, “like my mum said to me so many times, ‘When you know about someone, you just know.’ Now I know what she’s talking about.” And that’s a comforting thought that’s nice to live with on the best and worst of days.

 

Article by Carolina Rose

 

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