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.
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.
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.
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.
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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Is it normal to give up on dating?
Many people decide to stop dating, with the intention of taking a temporary or permanent break from it. There are many reasons to stop dating, including personal preference. Though romantic relationships are often idealized as the ultimate goal, it can be completely normal to not be interested in having one for yourself.
In a New York Times interview, Mae-sa Dixon explains that she gave up on dating in 2013. She was never very interested in dating, and has enjoyed being celebate and single since then. She explains, “It is also an empowerment thing, that I don’t need attention from a man at all, that I have myself. All of my sleepless nights staying up crying, wondering if he’s ever going to call me again, if he still likes me, do I have worth outside of my vagina — all these doubts just left when I quit dealing with men. I have never been happier. It’s such a freeing experience.”
However, for some people, giving up on dating may be indicative of something else, like low self-esteem, unreasonably high standards, avoidance, or a deep fear of getting hurt.
If you’re wanting to give up on dating, it’s a good idea to consider why. If you genuinely want to be in a relationship but are still considering giving up, you might want to discuss your feelings with a close friend or a therapist.
Why do I feel like giving up on dating?
You may feel like giving up on dating for many reasons, including:
- You’ve recently ended a serious relationship
- You’re experiencing grief or a major life change
- You’ve had negative experiences dating, such as being ghosted or being cheated on
- You’ve felt rejected
- Dating feels exhausting or too demanding
- Your trust has been broken
- You are aromantic (meaning you have limited or no romantic attraction to others)
- You have other commitments taking up your time, such as school, work, or caregiving responsibilities
- You want to spend time growing as an individual
- You have feelings of unworthiness or low self-esteem
- You’re avoiding dating because you find it stressful or worrisome
- You already have feelings for someone
- You dislike dating apps and other aspects of modern dating
- You just don’t want to be date anyone right now
Many people lose interest in dating, and for some, it can be healthy to take a step back to focus on self-love.
However, some people give up on dating even though they truly want a relationship. If you believe you should give up dating because you don’t deserve someone’s love, or you’re afraid of vulnerability, it may be a good idea to work through these concerns with a therapist.
Are more men giving up on dating?
According to a Pew Research Center study, 63% of American men under 30 identify as single, compared with 34% of women. Based on this statistic, it appears that many men are not currently dating. Furthermore, the researchers found that 57% of single people are not currently seeking out casual dates or a relationship, primarily because they enjoy being single or have other commitments.
Should I give up on dating after 30?
Many people date beyond their 20s. Shanta Jackson, M.A., LPC, offers advice for people concerned that they’re too old for dating. She says, "Let go of societal ideas that you're supposed to be in a relationship, married, or have children by the time you're 30. Love can happen at any age. Don't pressure yourself so much, and don't allow singleness to make you believe that there's something wrong with you."
However, if dating doesn’t make you happy, or you have other priorities, there’s nothing wrong with taking a step back to focus on yourself.
What is dating fatigue?
Dating fatigue, or dating burnout, is an emotional state characterized by a lack of motivation, disillusionment, and exhaustion. It is very common, especially amongst people trying to find love with online dating. You may find yourself experiencing the following while using dating apps:
- Being flooded with too many choices, which can feel overwhelming
- Going on countless hopeful first dates, only to realize you’re not a good match
- Learning that someone you’re interested in was catfishing you (not being honest)
- Never having your expectations met
To combat dating burnout, try:
- Limiting the number of first dates you go on, focusing on quality instead of quantity
- Reminding yourself that dates serve as a learning opportunity, not just a chance to find love
- Taking a step back from dating when you feel burnt out
If you’re tired of the online dating scene, you might prefer meeting people in person. You could try signing up for a workout class, going to a speed-dating event, or inviting a friend to join you at social events.
Why do I avoid dating?
There are many reasons people avoid dating, including:
- Dating or social anxiety
- Being aromantic
- Negative experiences in previous relationships
- Fear of rejection
- Poor body image or self-worth
- Strict upbringing or religious values
- Financial insecurity, which may be especially challenging if you’re a man who believes that “good men” must pay for their dates
If you’re interested in dating but still find yourself avoiding dates, it may be a good idea to learn more about yourself, build healthy boundaries, prioritize your needs, and identify what you want in a partner.
How many dates before giving up?
According to Glamour Magazine, “three dates is a good rule of thumb” before you decide to give up on a relationship. After three dates, you’ll likely have a good sense of your chemistry, alignment, and attachment.
At what point do most dating relationships end?
The average length of a relationship changes based on age, with the average relationship in your twenties lasting 4.2 years.
Why do guys give up on dating?
There are many reasons men may give up on dating, such as:
- Competing priorities
- Enjoying being single
- Avoiding drama
- Negative experiences with dating
- Dating fatigue
- Unrealistic standards
- Fear of commitment
- Social anxiety
On average, more men than women have given up on dating, primarily because they enjoy being single or have other priorities.
How do you know if you should stop dating?
Here are some signs that it’s time to end your relationship:
- You no longer enjoy spending time with them
- Your friends and family tell you they don’t approve of the relationship
- You’re happier when you’re with other people
- Your needs are not being met
- They’ve broken your trust multiple times
- You’re staying with your partner because you think they need you
- Your partner is unwilling to work on your relationship
- You’re experiencing abuse
- You can’t envision a future together
- You have a gut feeling that it’s time to break up
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