Single and happy

Yes, it’s possible to be happy and single. In fact, being single can be great. But, let’s not kid ourselves, sometimes it can also seriously suck. Especially if all your mates are in relationships. We spoke to Relate counsellor Christine Webber about how you can feel happier about being single.

A young man is on his phone. He is happy and single. This is a wide-angle image.

How can I be single and happy?

  • Make time for your friends. “To be single and happy you need to have a great group of friends,” says Christine. The worst thing about being single is feeling lonely, but good friends can guard against that. But this isn’t about having as many Facebook friends as possible, or going clubbing every night. You should focus on being a really good friend to a few people. That way you have a strong support network. Plus, when you’re in a romantic relationship, friendships can take a backseat. Use this time to really embrace them.
  • Get busy. If there’s something you want to do or learn, there’s truly no time like the present. Now’s the time to start living your life for you. Whether it’s learning to play the didgeridoo, volunteering, or taking up zorbing; by putting yourself out there you’ll become more confident, and therefore (if you even have the time to worry about it) more attractive. 
  • Be happy now. Some single people have a tendency to think: ‘I can’t be happy until I have a partner.’ But that’s just the people around you getting in your head. Instead, think: ‘I’m happy and single and I’m going to enjoy it while I can.’ We get that it’s not easy to change how you think, but it’s worth a shot – right? To get started, you can read our article on being positive  to get you started.
  • Learn to be happy single and alone. This one is probably the toughest. Ever had that sinking feeling when you’ve got an empty weekend ahead? It’s not great. Well, we’ve got good news. That feeling will slowly go away as you start learning to be happy in your own company. If the idea of a whole day on your own sounds a little daunting, try an hour first then slowly build it up. If you have the opposite problem, and you feel like you’re always alone, try going out and meeting some new, single people.

I’ve never had a partner – is that normal?

Totally. With all these movies and tv shows around showing 16 year-olds having sex, we get where this is coming from. But, we promise, IRL there’s no set timeline that you have to follow. And, just as a reminder, there are tonnes of people that are happily single. 

“We tend to think everyone’s pairing off from an early age, but this is not the case,” says Christine. “Some people just aren’t ready until they’re much older.”

Why am I still single?

You could still be single for any number of reasons. Oftentimes your relationship status is due to circumstances out of your control. Regardless, the fact is: the happier you are in yourself, the more likely it’ll be that you find yourself in a relationship.

If you feel that you’re happy in yourself but you’re still single, ask your friends what they think. Choose someone who’s been single before, who knows you well, and who’ll be honest but kind. Just come straight out and ask them: ‘why isn’t this happening for me?’ They may say something really helpful that you’ve never thought of… or tell you to get rid of the mullet.

It could be that you’re just not meeting the right people. Even if you’ve got a calendar that’s booked everyday. Problem is, if everyone you meet is not part of your dating pool, it’s no surprise you’re still single. If this is the case, try online dating or one of the many new places to pull.

Am I single because I’m unattractive?

If you’re worried about how you look, being single can sometimes make it worse. “Your self-worth should never be dependent on who finds you attractive,” says Andrea Boden from the Romance Academy. “Make sure you find your worth in something else. For example, your personality or something you’re passionate about.”

Plus, if you look at other people who’re in relationships you’ll notice not all of them are Kendall Jenner levels of attractive. And even some who are are still single. “Despite what social media makes it look like, physical appearance is no indicator of having good relationships,” says Christine.

What if I never find someone?

The fact is you don’t know when you’ll meet someone. But worrying that you never will, or thinking it’s impossible to be happy single, is a waste of energy. Instead, spend your time growing as a person and learning about yourself. “When people are OK with everything, that’s when someone turns up,” says Christine. Focus on the present and what makes you happy now, instead of asking ‘what if?’ about the future.

So, that moment when you feel happily single might just be the moment when you meet someone great. But even if it isn’t, the lessons learned from living your life to the fullest are only going to make you a better person. Whether that’s for your friends or family to be around, or even for you to be around. We have a feeling that taking  the time to figure out what you want will pay off in the end.

Next Steps

  • Chat about this subject on our Discussion Boards.
  • Need help but confused where to go locally? Download our StepFinder iPhone app to find local support services quickly.

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Updated on 25-Dec-2021