January 24, 2022
The Benefits of Being Single
Jess was recently interviewed – about the benefits of being single and why more people are opting to forgo relationships. Check out the notes below.
Based on your experience, how common is it that people in their late 20s/ early-to-mid 30s have never been in a relationship?
It’s common for folks in their 20s and becomes less common into their 30s. However, it’s important to note that folks of all ages may opt-out of relationships. I know some 60-somethings who are perfectly happy living on their own or with a friend. Not everyone desires romance (or sex), and that’s perfectly fine.
It’s also worth noting that many folks who get divorced or lose a partner also prefer to stay single. They have multiple sources of social interaction, support, and intimacy without a romantic partner. We tend to assume that romantic relationships are the most fulfilling, but this isn’t necessarily the case. You can have intimate relationships with friends, neighbors, siblings, cousins, and other family members.
Are you seeing more single millennials?
I see more Millenials embracing a wider range of relationship options without apology; some opt to stay single and, others opt for consensual non-monogamy — and of course, everything in between.
There is less pressure to conform to one specific standard and more openness to embracing the lifestyle and relationship status that works for you.
For folks who have not been in a serious, long-term partnership, what are some of the reasons why? Do they have a hard time dating, are too focused on careers, etc.?
Some folks stay single because they find dating exhausting and others are single because they’re busy with work and social obligations, but in most cases, this is a choice. They choose to focus on their career in their twenties or they decide to put off dating until after they travel the world. A client in her mid-thirties who runs an international brand travels weekly and has an active social life with supportive friends decided to freeze her eggs a few years ago. She was open to being in a relationship, but hadn’t found the right partner at the time; she recently met someone and, they just got engaged. She’s now 41 and is happy that she waited.
What are some possible repercussions of never being in a relationship as an adult? Does it make it harder to date/settle down?
I don’t foresee any significant repercussions of remaining single into adulthood, as you likely have close relationships with non-romantic friends and family. You’ve likely lived with roommates or family members and learned to communicate boundaries and expectations in close quarters. You’ve likely practiced conflict resolution in the workplace and with friends. You can develop relationship skills in different types of relationships and you’ve likely learned to balance multiple relationships simultaneously.
It’s possible that you might become more set in your ways if you live alone for a long time, but you can always adjust your behavior and open your mind to alternative perspectives.
What advice do you have for people who feel like they are “missing out” because they’ve never had a partner?
It’s up to you to decide whether or not you’re missing out. Some people are happier when they’re single and, others are happier living with a partner. There is no right way to live, so you have to figure out what works for you.
If you feel you’re missing out, get out there and date. Let your friends know that you’re in the market. Enlist a friend to help you set up an online dating profile.
Rest assured that being single does not mean you’re unhappy. If you’re happy when you’re single, you’re more likely to be happy if/when you decide to partner up. One person is not going to positively overhaul your constitution or overall mood — you have to take responsibility for your feelings and how you live your life.
Being happily single might involve being open to new intimate relationships or it might involve a preference to remain single for a given period of time (or forever); how you define “happily single” is ultimately up to you.
What are the benefits of being single?
Know that the latest research is falling on your side in terms of happiness: some research suggests that singles report higher levels of fulfilment, self-determination, and personal growth.
You can still hang out with couples! When you do, you get the best of both worlds — social support as well as the freedom to grow. You can travel, eat and explore with your coupled friends, but leave as you please when you need space. Self-expansion has been shown to be vital to healthy relationships and, it’s one area in which many couples struggle.
You’re more likely to cultivate meaningful and intimate relationships with friends; when you partner up, your friend circle shrinks because you tend to invest more time into your romantic relationship. Because love and social support come in many forms, it’s important to maintain social ties with friends and family whether; you’re single or partnered.
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