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Healthy Reasons to Embrace Being Single

7 min read

By Kate Harveston

Reviewed by Greg Dorter, RP

We tend to put a lot of value in being in a relationship, and don’t get us wrong, being in a healthy relationship is great, but there are really great things about being single, too. While being in a relationship has its perks, it can take the focus away from you.

A relationship isn’t the only way to happiness and health. Single life can actually benefit your mental and physical health in more ways than one! Instead of moving from one relationship to another, take some time to be with yourself. That way, whenever you do decide to enter a relationship, you’ll know you’re bringing your best self to the table.

Here’s a look at some more healthy reasons to embrace being single…

To Know Thyself

When was the last time you took a personality test to discover your true passions? If you haven’t done so since high school, you’re not alone. Many people stumble through life with blinders on, never fully embracing what makes them feel alive. Our tendency to go with the flow only increases when another person is added into the equation.

If you’ve always wanted to spend a semester teaching abroad in Asia, single life allows you to do so. You won’t have to consider how this time away will affect anyone other than yourself. The same goes if you decide to take a mission trip to Africa, or take a season to work in a political campaign. Single life allows the freedom to pursue whatever desire ignites your soul. Make this time a meaningful exploration of what makes you, you!

To Expand Your Education

Furthering your education is an ideal way to make yourself more bulletproof in an ever-changing economy. However, this kind of personal development requires a significant investment of time and energy. If you’ve wanted to pursue a degree in nuclear physics merely because you can, being single is the perfect time to do so.

The best part is that you don’t have to drop a bundle on a pricey degree program if you don’t need the fancy letters behind your name. The internet makes it possible to learn anything from a foreign language to how to code right on your laptop. Maybe you’ll never need your new skill — but if you find yourself in Rome, it’s helpful to speak Italian.

To Travel

Speaking of finding yourself in Rome, what’s better than packing up for a spontaneous weekend road trip? There’s something so freeing about not having to collaborate or schedule a weekend away. Being single means you can do whatever you want, whenever you want! Might want to check with work first though…those bills ain’t going to pay themselves! 

Don’t have the funds to travel? Here’s an idea, volunteer your services at hostels in exchange for lodging during a trip or go abroad as a volunteer through a not-for-profit foundation. That way, you can live your dream, even if your coffers are empty.

To Get Your Finances in Order

When you get hitched, the decisions you make about money affect another person. Depending on your partner’s financial situation, you might become responsible for taking care of some of their needs or absorbing some of their debt.

Money is a significant source of stress for most people, especially those in relationships. Did you know that half of all people surveyed say they would face financial challenges within six months if their partner passed away?

Being single gives you more of an opportunity to learn how to become financially independent. You’re less likely to rely on someone else financially, even when you do find yourself in a relationship one day. If you have the economic means to make it independently, you’re also less likely to fall prey to abusive partners, who often use money to isolate and control others.

To Develop Your Dreams

Did you ever close your eyes and project yourself into the future? Can you describe the appearance of your dream home? Is it in the city or the country? Does it include pets, kids, or maybe just a few houseplants?

It might sound silly to visualize what you want your life to look like — but the process forms the basis for setting goals. Obviously when you’re in a relationship, you have to take into account what that other person wants. Moving into your partner’s downtown high-rise might make sense at the time, but what if you’ve always dreamed of living outside the city with a big yard? Making that compromise could feel vaguely unhappy. Being single will help you identify and create the life you want.

To Embrace Your Inner Weirdness

It’s 3 a.m. and you’re craving cheesy poofs. Is there anyone to stop you from shuffling off to the mini-market in your robe? Sure, you might raise a few eyebrows, but there’s no one at home to judge your after-hours snack binge.

Other times, you might need to relieve stress by putting on your favorite tunes and dancing and singing at the top of your lungs. When you’re living the single life, there’s no one to interrupt these moments of weirdness. Paint designs with your shed hair in the shower and have in-depth, philosophical discussions with your cat — no one will feel disgusted, laugh, or question your sanity!

To Perform Less Housework

The second shift is, unfortunately, alive and well — and it impacts the careers of women who try to juggle home and work. If you live with a partner, they can exasperate you with sinks full of accusatory dishes. This only gets more hectic if or when you decide to have children.

When you’re single, you only have one person to clean up after. Sure, you still need to clean your toilet and wipe up the dust bunnies every now and then, but you’ll never feel the simmering desire to clobber someone with the pot after they swore they’d soak those dishes for “just a few minutes” and actually left them overnight in the sink.

To Conquer Mental Disorders

Too much isolation is a negative thing — extended loneliness causes adverse health outcomes, including a higher risk of death. However, if you’re battling a mental health concern like anxiety or depression, you might work through your symptoms more effectively if you’re single. While you don’t want to isolate yourself — support groups are a crucial form of assistance — partners can unwittingly trigger emotional responses.

For example, if you’re battling anxiety and addiction and they’re also struggling with addiction, you could become trapped in a cycle of codependency. When you work through challenging emotions independently, you take responsibility for making choices — and living with the consequences. You don’t have anyone to enable self-destructive behavioral patterns.

To Heal Past Trauma

Imagine that you broke your leg — and, instead of giving you a cast, your doctor told you to run a marathon. How well do you think you’d do? Guess what? If you’ve survived any abusive past experiences, you could be putting the same type of unrealistic demands on yourself if you expect to enter into a relationship without healing first.

Healthy relationships involve both giving and taking — abusive ones only take. Now is your time to explore your interests and discover what excites you. Then, if you do get into a relationship in the future, you can make sure all your needs are met.

To Improve Your Diet

Science proves it — while they don’t have to do so, happy marriages tend to lead to weight gain, so get your diet under control while you’re single. Once you establish healthy habits, it feels natural to maintain them going forward.

It doesn’t matter if you embrace a vegan lifestyle, do keto or maybe both. Learn how to prep healthy meals you can grab on workdays so you don’t rely on the drive-thru. Chop your veggies and the like on your days off — cooking is a relaxing after-work activity when you don’t have to deal with tedious prep.

To up Your Exercise Quotient

People who are married tend to work out less often than those who stay single. Living without a partner can benefit your health significantly in this manner. Exercise reduces inflammation and ups the production of endorphins, chemicals that boost your mood naturally. They also keep your skin glowing and rosy.

You can do any form of exercise you like. If you’ve always dreamed of adding finishing a marathon to your resume, take advantage of this time for training. The sense of accomplishment you’ll receive will inspire you to tackle the next greatest thing.

To Explore New Hobbies and Stretch Your Horizons

What gets you excited to get moving on a Saturday? Perhaps you can’t wait to putter in a sunny garden. Maybe you want to learn to build websites using WordPress. Ever thought of trying yoga? It offers a fabulous way to exercise both your mind and your body. The word translates to “union,” and the marriage of physical movement with meditative practice offers the ideal healing tool.

When you’re living the single life, you have all the time you need to find things to explore in your hometown and beyond. Many of them don’t cost a dime, so get off the couch and get involved.

To Make a Difference

Living single gives you ample time to get involved with causes you support. If you adore animals, your local shelter probably needs help socializing the kitties and walking the dogs. If you love working with kids, most every teacher can use an aide in their classroom. You can find tons of volunteer opportunities by looking for some local not-for-profit organizations. 

The single life can be your best one yet. Instead of looking for love, work on yourself and your health. The evidence suggests you have a lot to gain from doing so!

RP, Registered Psychotherapist

Greg has a master's degree in counselling psychology and is a registered psychotherapist in Ontario where he's been practicing with individuals and couples for 15 years. He specializes in evidence-based treatments such as CBT and mindfulness, and produces a variety of online self-help content you can find on ( and twitter (@GregDorter).

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