According to population statistics, people are getting married later and later in life (on average at 28-30 years old). In other words, the age of the single population is also getting higher. In a way, it’s great that people are waiting to get married. I can only hope they are waiting to find the right person for them. In the meantime, though, are we as a population making the most of our single-ness? Are we taking advantage of our time and solitude? I’m single and at age 35 I can say that I have definitely tried to make the most of my single-ness.
Here are some of what I’ve tried, hope to try, and suggest that all single people do. After all, this is an opportunity to be your best self(truly) and hopefully along the way we’ll find someone to match that!
Things To Do While You’re Single
The idea here is to try new things, for instance, a new sport or a new hobby or putting yourself in situations you’ve never been in before. Give yourself the experience of something new that you otherwise wouldn’t do if you were in a relationship or busy with family obligations.
To Get Out Of The House
For many this is difficult. We are used to having company everywhere we go, either with friends or significant others. However, it’s important to do activities outside the home by yourself. Doing so pushes you out of your comfort zone and in my opinion helps you get out of your own head.
For instance, when I first went out to eat by myself, I was so self conscious about the fact that people would stare at me and wonder why I’m at a table alone. That I would be regarded as weird or odd. However, once I did it, and I forced myself not to look at my phone the whole time, I realized that I wasn’t the only one dining alone. Also, no one was looking at me. It went a long way towards helping me relax and just people watch.
Some other things to do by yourself that you should consider, starting small:
- Go out to a movie – this is super easy to do as you won’t have to talk to anyone and its a dark theater, so if you’re worried about being stared at, no one will even notice!
- Go out to eat – reference my antidote about this above. It’s only scary in our heads, not in real life.
- Go out for a drink – make friends with the bar tender! Just because you’re doing things by yourself doesn’t mean you can’t talk to anyone while you’re out!
- Attend a sporting event – again this probably is alot more awkward in your head when you think about it, but in reality, not a big deal. Plus, I bet the people watching here is insanely great.
- Take lessons – learn a new sport or learn new skills. Think of something that you’ve always wanted to do but you haven’t tried yet and go for it.
- Take a guided tour – whether you do this in your home town, or in a town you’re visiting, this is a great way to get out of the house and have someone else show you around. You can get started by looking for all the free things to do, such as free events, free concerts, or free tours that are easily accessible to you. For instance, visit an art museum, the local nature center, the local zoo or planetarium, or the history museum. Play tourist in your home town and schedule a walking tour!
Once you’ve done at least some of the above, it’s time to take it to the next level (or maybe you’re brave enough to take this leap from the get go).
- Take a weekend trip by yourself – this is an easy thing to do by yourself. Find a destination near your home, hop into the car and go. Alternatively, find a city or destination stateside that you have been wanting to see, and don’t wait for your friends to get on board. Take a chance and plan a trip yourself! Then take yourself on a mini sightseeing adventure and see what happens! Alternatively, you can slowly ease into this by planning day trips.
- Take a trip abroad alone – This is the Holy Grail of things to do by yourself, in my opinion. It takes a lot of courage to travel alone to a different country, especially if there’s a language barrier. However, it can be one of the best experiences you give yourself.
I actually did a solo trip abroad before I didn’t anything else, which is probably completely backward. Talk about leaping out of your comfort zone. However, there is no right way to accomplish any of what I’m talking about. I just want everyone to get into the mindset of cherishing their alone time and making the most of it.
To Work On Yourself
There are also things to do by yourself that do not involve uncomfortable situations; they just involve you getting well acquainted with who you are as a person, your goals, aspirations, and your true relationships. When you’re single and have the time alone, is the best opportunity to work on all of this; at this point in life, you are only responsible for yourself and can be selfish with your time.
By focusing on self improvement, you are not only being the best version of you, but you are also opening the doors to a better romantic relationship in the future. Or who knows, you may even meet someone during your journey!
Some things to do by yourself, to work on yourself, during your single days:
- Get into shape – you don’t need to be a model, just comfortable in your own skin and happy with the way you look and feel. Take care of your physical and mental health through a routine that works for you.
- Reconnect with friends and family – there is never enough time in the world for this. Life is short, so your single time should be focused on spending time with family and close friends because we all know that when we get busy with work and life, we fail to make the appropriate effort.
- Work on your career – you have time now to figure out what you want out of your career and where you want to end up. If what you’re currently doing isn’t right for you, now is the time to take steps towards change and bringing your goals to reality.
- Develop personal interests and hobbies – how many of us in adulthood have gotten busy with work, relationships, and just going out to a happy hour, that we’ve neglected to develop hobbies and interests for ourselves? It’s harder to make time for this when you’re working full time and trying to balance work and life, however, it’s important to develop this side of you. It can serve as an outlet for stress release and help you reconnect with who you are. Plus, when you’re single this is a great way to just meet people with similar interests!
- Read – this is my favorite past time and I think everyone should figure out how to read everyday like I do. A good book is not only a great way to bury yourself in a story and escape reality (should you need to), it’s also super relaxing, can help you to unwind and can be a great source of learning.
Benefits Of Doing Things By Yourself
To summarize, and in case you need further motivation, these are some great reasons for doing things by yourself, including:
- You go exactly where YOU want to go and do what you want to do–no questions asked
- You eat and drink as much as you want–no judgments.
- Don’t need to cook for yourself–yay!
- People watching galore—who doesn’t like to do this?
- Make new friends—never know who else you’ll see that’s also alone….much easier to strike up a conversation.
- Make friends with the bartender–self-explanatory
- No need for idiotic small talk–e.g., first date
- Become more independent – especially true when you travel and have to figure everything out on your own
- Come up with fun date ideas – by finding something interesting to you, you can share it with people you meet and see if you really connect!
On A More Serious Note
Be alone with your own thoughts—sometimes those are enough to keep you occupied. I’ve found myself having many conversations to myself and in doing so I’ll come to a decision that’s been plaguing me, or I’ll calm down about something that was bothering me
Learn how to be comfortable with yourself–this is probably the biggest advantage. Often my hesitation with going out alone was that I felt that I would be scrutinized by others; that people would judge or point me out, or that I would stick out like a sore thumb. What I learned on my solo trip was that NO ONE notices. If you take a look around you’ll see that not only are people so pre-occupied with themselves, about 90% of them are on their phones anyway. Kind of comical to watch actually
Reconnect with who you are – it can be very lonely when you’re single. However, I urge you to not waste the time you are given to just enjoy spending time with you. Date yourself. Take yourself out. Be your own best friend. Remind yourself of what you like and what you don’t like. Be selfish with your time and use it to find a place of contentment that comes with knowing yourself and knowing what you want from life.
These are all examples of things you can do and is meant to serve as inspiration as you progress on your own journey. However, everything I’ve mentioned is something that I’ve done and that I’ve found helped me get to a place where I’m happy being single.
Does it get lonely? Yes, of course. Yet, I know who I am and where I want to go. I hope to meet someone along the way, however, I am fully satisfied knowing that I’m not waiting for anyone to start living. I’m making the most of my time and finding things to do by myself that continue to help me grow and hopefully, I’ll meet someone that matches the person I am becoming.
So, take advantage of being single, cast your fear of loneliness aside and find things to do by yourself that help you grow. Keep your head up and relax into your own skin. Be kind to yourself, show some self-compassion, engage in positive self-talk, and find how to be happy alone.
Above all, don’t let being alone hold you back. You’re just another person out for a meal and a drink, another brave soul who’s out to see the world on their own, who’s badass enough to be confident and comfortable with who they are and does not care what other people think.
Featured image courtesy of unsplash.