It’s okay if you choose to stay single for a period or for a lifetime. Especially in this day and age. More people are choosing to postpone marriage or remain single indefinitely than ever before.
If you choose this path, you’ll need to watch out for a few potential pitfalls.
When you live alone, everything revolves around you and your wants and needs. There are no counterbalances, alternate opinions, or competing preferences coming from a spouse or children. Everything is your way, all the time, every day.
After a number of years, this becomes your routine and your reality. If you’re not careful, you begin to see the world through the lens of your singles lifestyle where everything around you is about you. Anything that doesn’t satisfy your desires, you’re not interested in it. Since a lot of your daily conversations are with yourself, that’s the main topic that you want to talk about with anyone you come in contact with. The result is a selfish disposition.
You can safeguard yourself against this behavior by periodically reminding yourself that people have needs and desires that are different from your own. And that you don’t have anyone living with you to remind you of that fact, so you need to remind yourself.
If you have controlled everything in your life for years, it’s easy to fall into a rigid state of inflexibility. With no one around you to influence your schedule or encourage spontaneity, you can slide into a rut of doing the same things day after day, year after year.
You can become a bore. And you probably wouldn’t notice it since there’s no one around to offset your perspectives and thinking patterns.
You can avoid becoming inflexible by intentionally making changes, trying new things, and being spontaneous when the opportunity presents itself.
3. No Resident Confidant
When you live alone, there is no one who is heavily invested in every aspect of your life. There’s no one who’s deeply concerned about your health, your future, or your retirement like a spouse would.
If you have children, they may be concerned but they have their own challenges and life to deal with. They may care, but they aren’t normally intimately involved on a daily basis.
You can compensate for this void by accepting full responsibility for your life and by developing deep relationships with people who have chosen the same lifestyle as you. These people become your confidants because they are the only ones who will truly understand the unique challenges of being single. This is one of the purposes of a singles club. They provide a constant venue for these uncommon relationships to develop.
4. No Dual Income
Couples have an advantage when it comes to income generation, job loss security, and retirement savings accumulation. But because of obligations to children and differing money management styles, they don’t always come out on top.
If you’re smart with your money, you can match or exceed what a couple can do financially. This is especially true if you’ve never been married (and divorced) and you don’t have any children.
The problem for singles is that they tend to be less focused on financial issues. This happens because they don’t have anyone else who they are responsible for. It’s easy for them to become lackadaisical. The other problem, which mostly occurs with single women, is that they don’t worry about their financial future because they are expecting Mr. Right to come along and take care of them. Big mistake. Mr. Right would more likely be attracted to you if you didn’t have any expectations of being taken care of. Most men today don’t want another burden, they want a life partner.
Being single, you just need to take some extra precautions when it comes to planning for retirement and unforeseen circumstances like job loss. Since you control how much time you devote to your career and how you spend your money, you’re in an ideal position to create financial abundance.
5. No Loving Caregiver
Without a spouse or children, there are no built-in caregivers if you get injured or sick. Most people in the medical profession care about their patients, but no one will care for you like a spouse or close family member.
This assumes that you have a good marriage with a strong, caring, and loyal spouse. If not, you’d probably be better off alone.
The best solution, if you’re single, is to do everything you can to stay healthy. This means committing to a “lifestyle” of healthy eating, vitamin and superfood consumption, and daily exercise. Aside from the amazing health benefits of doing these things, you will also enhance the quality of your life and appearance! You can have a lot more fun being single if you look good. 😀
6. Loner Living
I’ve noticed that many people who choose the singles lifestyle tend to have some loner attributes. I consider myself to be a loner to some degree. I savor my alone time, but I also enjoy the company of others.
I wasn’t always comfortable being alone. Somewhere along the line I picked up the idea that being alone, or being a loner type, was bad. I’m sure that the field of psychology has come up with some label to classify it as being some sort of “disorder.” But I do not consider being a loner as an abnormality. It’s simply one of many ways of living.
I found that it was particularly difficult to be alone after a long-term relationship broke up. I had gotten used to having another person in my life. When they suddenly weren’t there, it felt strange. During the early stages, I didn’t feel like being around people. I just wanted to be alone until my wounds healed. Even though I wanted to be alone during that period, I felt weird like there was something wrong with wanting to be alone.
That all changed when I read a book entitled, “Intimate Connections,” by David D. Burns, M.D. In the book, Dr. Burns talks about how learning to be comfortable and happy alone is a prerequisite to having a healthy relationship. Otherwise, as he pointed out, you’ll always be in a weak position because of your fear and inability to be alone and content.
Learning to have fun alone is an adventure. It really is! Anyone can go out with their friends or family and have a good time. We’ve been developing those skills since we were kids. But to learn how to truly enjoy yourself whether you’re alone at home or in a busy restaurant on Saturday night is a valuable and exciting journey into unknown territory. It’s definitely a skill set worth learning.
If you get too complacent about your social life it’s easy to become isolated. You’ve got to stay active.
Although there are some forces that are causing some changes, it’s still a couple’s world. Our entire social infrastructure was designed to accommodate couples, families, and children. The singles lifestyle was not factored in.
The forces that are causing these changes are the rapid increase in the number of single adults and the growing acceptance of this lifestyle choice.
In the world of married and family life, there is a long, never-ending list of built-in social events. There are never any concerns about isolation, but rather carving out some time to be alone!
Another one of the purposes of a singles club is to provide a built-in social structure for singles. In terms of building a public infrastructure for singles, that’s one of the main objectives for developing a master-planned community exclusively for singles, which is a dream of mine.
To avoid slipping into isolation, you need to join and stay involved with activities that you are passionate about. I have found that Toastmasters clubs provide regular and ongoing opportunities for personal growth and social activities. As you get involved in a club, you will start to receive invitations for social functions. One of the unique aspects of a Toastmasters club is that you really get to know the members through their speeches. There’s an added bonus too! As you develop your public speaking skills, you also develop your social skills at the same time. You’ll find that the better you get at public speaking the more comfortable you’ll be when you’re talking to people one-on-one and in small groups. It’s like you get three benefits for the price of one membership, which is very low by the way.
People who are new to single life need to safeguard themselves from being lonely. You can eliminate feelings of loneliness by changing your point of view about being alone.
If you believe that when you are alone you’re supposed to feel lonely, you will. If you haven’t spent much time alone because you just got your own home or you just ended a romantic relationship, you’ll need some time to adjust. The fluctuations between feeling lonely and not so lonely during this adjustment period are normal! Eventually, you’ll get used to it, and soon after that, you’ll start to enjoy it.
Loneliness is a state of mind created by your thoughts. The fact that no one is with you isn’t the cause of your loneliness. It’s how you’re choosing to think about the fact that no one is with you. If you’re alone and you take issue with that fact and decide that it’s a bad thing, then you’re going to feel lonely. If however, you acknowledge that you’re alone, decide that it’s okay, decide that you’re going to do something you enjoy, and decide that you’re going to have fun, you will not feel lonely at all!
There are some unique challenges to the singles lifestyle. There’s nothing usual about that though. Every lifestyle has its own issues to deal with.
Armed with the information available on this site and elsewhere, you should have no problem having a fulfilling and exciting life as a 21st Century single.