There’s pressure in society to be in a relationship, but the single life has a lot going for it, writes Shar Davis.
Angelina Jolie was recently quoted as saying, “There’s nothing nice about being single, it’s just hard.”
While we understand that transitioning from a relationship to going solo can be tough, we also know being single is not some terrible life sentence. It doesn’t have to stop any of us from living life in all its fullness. Here are some of our top tips for embracing your single status and learning to thrive, not just survive.
1. Be the best aunty or uncle you can be
You don’t need to have your own children to help a child grow. It’s an honour to be loved by a child whether they are your flesh and blood or not. Become their champion. Whether it’s on the sidelines at their game, at their school concert or helping build their latest Lego creation. And if having children has been an unmet desire in your life this might just help soothe the wound.
2. Never underestimate the value of a pet
Forget the stigma of owning a cat as a single person; pets can be an enriching addition to your life. One of the key benefits is the companionship they provide. If you live on your own, having a pet also gives you someone to talk to. Never underestimate the power of hearing your own voice.
3. Make the most of cooking and save some for later
Don’t settle for cheese on toast every night because it’s just you at home. Cook up a meal and divide portions for eating later. You can keep them in the fridge or freezer. Mix and match a few different options so you’re not eating lasagne for a week. It’s often cheaper to buy food in bulk, so make the most of those family-sized servings and save the cheese on toast for a special occasion.
4. Find ways to explore the world
Travel can look tricky as a single person. Everything’s cheaper twin share and some people feel unsafe travelling on their own. So try booking a tour—then have transport, companionship and safety, and if you like your own space then spend a little bit extra and get your own room. Find friends to travel with, and don’t assume that married friends won’t want you tagging along. There are lots of great travel blogs by solo adventurers with tricks and tips to help you.
5. Take a support person with you to important appointments
A second set of ears is always a valuable thing, especially when having difficult conversations. Sometimes we stop hearing anything beyond the first bit of information that takes us by surprise. It can be very helpful to have someone debrief and process with. The good thing is, support people are common practice these days, so don’t be afraid to ask.
6. Invite people to check on you
Being single does not mean being alone, and there’s nothing wrong with planning for companionship. Arrange for one or two people to check in if they haven’t heard from you for a day or two. It may sound crazy, but dying and not being discovered is a real fear for some people, so make a plan. And while you’re at it, go check on your friends too!
Published with the permission of War Cry New Zealand.