Relationships

How to enjoy being single

By: Diana Faria

Getty Images Author: Canadian Living Credits: Getty Images

Relationships

How to enjoy being single

By: Diana Faria

While some women are comfortable and happy with being single and free, others may sometimes feel a sense of sadness when it appears everyone around them is married but them. We asked Vancouver-based registered clinical counsellor and couples therapist Iona Monk and Toronto-based relationships expert Stacie Ikka for advice on how to get over this temporary bump, and embrace life as a currently single person.

Take time for yourself

Zero in on the great aspects of singlehood, such as freedom and more time to do the things you enjoy. Ikka tells her clients to identify three things outside of their work life that excites them, and then suggests making those three activities their top priority.

"It brings a more positive focus and purpose to their life," Ikka says. "There is a ton of research and evidence to support that the more you enjoy the time you're spending day to day, the more positive and fulfilled you are, the more whole you become and therefore you are more likely to attract good and appropriate people into your life."

Monk recommends doing the things you've always wanted to do while you are still single. She suggests taking the opportunity to work on yourself before you have a partner, children and other responsibilities that come with relationships and marriage. "Be selfish when you're single, and I mean that in a positive way," she says. "Take that time for you, because you probably won't have it again."

Monk also says this is the best time to travel, explore and groups and clubs with people who share similar interests. Doing something you enjoy will not only take your mind off of being single, but you may just meet that special someone at one of these activities.

"The people that you're going to meet there are more likely to be good matches for you and therefore good, potential long-term partners." Monk says.

Have a positive outlook

Your dating outlook may be "shrouded in frustration" because you are the last single person in your circle of friends and that mindset may unknowingly be giving off a negative vibe. "They're either going to attract negative people into their life or they're almost going to guarantee a negative outcome when they go out on dates," Ikka says. "It's unintentional self-sabotage."

Remain positive about how your love life will turn out and appreciate all the great things you have going on in your life at this moment. "Try to focus on the things that are really good about your life," Monk adds. "Don't miss your life in the moment. Don't miss the joy."

Take a deep breath and relax
According to Ikka, you tend to act unnatural when you're looking for a partner. The way you act, the activities you partake in and the decisions you make appear deliberate and unnatural. "When you're genuinely not looking, you're just so busy focusing on the positive things in your life and spending time pampering yourself that people gravitate towards you because of the energy and vibe you are naturally giving off," Ikka says. 
 
Don't glamorize marriage
Remember to put things into perspective:  not everything about being single is bad and not everything about marriage is good.  
 
"Compare apples and apples, don't devalue being single and compare it to the glamour of being married," Monk says. "Compare the great things about being married to the great things about being single. Compare the bad things about being married to the bad things about being single." 
 
Marriage has its own set of problems that single people don't deal with, Monk explains. "I know that there are great things about being married, but there are great things about single too," she says.
 
Treat yourself

Being single shouldn't stop you from having a good time. Ikka recommends treating yourself out to dinner or a movie and doing what you enjoy, even if you do it alone. 
 
"We all know it's more fun and memorable to share experiences with others – especially loved ones – but when those people are not present in our lives, refraining from those activities that bring us joy is really just wallowing and the only person who suffers is you!" Ikka stresses. "Just by virtue of creating that positive space for yourself, you will attract people into your life."

Check out our Dating Advice channel for more helpful tips.
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Relationships

How to enjoy being single