Kiss Dating Goodbye: Reasons Why The Single Life May Be Right For You

Medically reviewed by Majesty Purvis, LCMHC
Updated February 25, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Many of us have been subject to remarks from family and friends surrounding the topic of our personal love lives, or lack thereof. Undoubtedly, there is a strong emphasis placed on romance and relationships in media, popular culture and throughout society in general. While many people thrive in romantic partnerships or marriage, others tend to struggle in these areas. 

While many outside influences have the tendency to make single adults feel out of place or abnormal, the reality of single life is not substandard as it is often made out to be. In this article, we will explore the many benefits of single life and why it may be time for you to kiss dating goodbye. 

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Having a preference for single life

In a recent article published by Forbes magazine, it was stated that a personal preference for singlehood is more common than many think.

Some estimates have found that nearly half of adults have issues with finding and maintaining fulfilling, long term, committed relationships. Though many of us maintain the desire to find a romantic partner despite this, the desire to remain single is becoming more and more prevalent as society progresses forward.

While a heavier emphasis has been placed on respecting the lifestyle choices of others in recent years, there remains many societal standards and stigmas that may have you believe that the desire to stay single is strange or unacceptable. This is absolutely not the case; while some people opt towards singlehood based on their sexuality, others lean away from relationships to focus on themselves or their career. According to research, our work or career path can sometimes be more important to overall life satisfaction than being in a relationship.

Choosing to be single can often be a temporary choice, opening up the opportunity for self-exploration and improvement before pursuing a partnership. Some may choose to remain single permanently. When making these types of decisions, it can be crucial to focus on what you want, rather than what you may feel is expected of you. The choice to avoid relationships or marriage is not only an adequate one, but one that can even benefit you significantly. 

The science-backed benefits of being single

In an interview with Insider magazine, psychotherapist Anna Jackson said that “a lot of people accidentally end up defining themselves and their self-worth by their romantic relationships.” The inclination to adhere to societal relationship standards can often be completely subconscious. Still, this feeling has the potential to lead to turbulent, short-lived or generally toxic relationships. Additionally, this misplaced anxiety has a high potential to result in people "settling for less out of fear of being single."

As quoted by Insider, therapist and founder of Mindful Kindness Counseling, Bonnie Scott, purports the benefits of being single, saying, "On many levels, there's mental health benefits of feeling free to drive your life. It's empowering, and in many ways, a much more straightforward way to live than people who are not single."

While singlehood does not have to be a permanent choice, taking time for yourself will most likely result in stronger relationships in the future. Many benefits such as this are even backed up by science. In the same article published by Insider, it is said there are seven science-backed reason to stay single.

Being single gives you the space to think

There is a vast difference between loneliness and simply being alone. Being single can offer the space for you to learn to feel comfortable in solitude. This comfort is sometimes vital to overall life satisfaction and the ability to maintain healthy relationships if you so choose.

Single people are healthier

According to research, people who are single tend to be healthier than those who aren’t. Studies show that single people tend to exercise more often, take fewer sick days, and have fewer visits to the doctor.

You're better at keeping friends

One study noted that single people are more attentive to their friends than their married counterparts. "The people who bounce from relationship to relationship are putting all of their time just in their partner, so no wonder they feel lonely," said therapist Anna Jackson. "You feel lonely because you've let your friendships go."

You're better with money

While it is often reported that single people have more concerns regarding the cost of living, for many, being single means all of their money is spent on themselves. Additionally, people who are single have the opportunity to make their own financial decisions.

Being single can lead to doing better at work

According to psychologist Dr. Bella DePaulo, single people are more likely to value meaningful work, thus creating more potential to achieve certain goals or make a meaningful impact.

Being single can be less stressful

While there are several stressors associated with being single, the negative effects of a bad or unhealthy relationship have the potential to become all-consuming, often causing more stress, dissatisfaction and possibly even danger in one’s life. 

Singles are more self-sufficient

Self-sufficiency tends to play an essential role in overall happiness. According to Dr. Bella DePaulo, the more self-sufficient single people are, the less likely they are to experience negative emotions. She goes on to say that married people tend to associate self-sufficiency with resentment and negativity, feeling as though they are “forced” to handle things alone.  

Getty / Maskot

The unexpected benefits of being single

Alongside the research backed benefits of being single, there are number of unexpected or lesser-known benefits of being including: 

  • Having more time and flexibility to travel
  • Having more time to connect with family and friends
  • The chance to embrace a healthy sense of flirting as well as boundaries
  • The opportunity to focus on creative endeavors or impactful work
  • The development of a more mature understanding of love

Additionally, the insight gained from time spent living the single life can be extremely helpful in matters of self-improvement, especially when working with a therapist or mental health professional. 

The benefits of online therapy

If you are newly single or wondering if the single life is the right choice for you, it may be helpful to consult a licensed therapist or mental health professional. Online therapy often serves as a great place to begin. Working with a therapist can be crucial to overall growth and self-improvement for those seeking a path to authentic happiness and self-acceptance, regardless of relationship status. 

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Do you have concerns about previous bad relationships?

The effectiveness of online therapy

According to the National Center for Health Research, online therapy is equally as effective as in-person therapy in treating symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions. It is not uncommon for untreated symptoms of mental health conditions to play a role in feelings of being uncomfortable with solitude. Effective talk therapy, or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) can often lead to the development of a healthier relationship with yourself, as well as with those around you.

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Whether you chose the single life temporarily or permanently, it is important to make the distinction for yourself, rather than for the sake of how others perceive you. It is completely possible to live a happy and fulfilled life as a single person. Your overall happiness and satisfaction in life is entirely up to you. Should you desire help in navigating the dating world or making the most out of the single life, you can reach out to an online therapist at BetterHelp for guidance.
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