I want to be alone

Being a single female beckons questions like “Why don’t you have a boyfriend?”, “Are you courting?” and “When are you having children?” Not only is it insensitively intrusive to implore about private subjects, the common assumption is that a woman must be in a steady relationship to be happy or complete. Hearing “I want to be alone” may be a shock to some, but a few of us actually enjoy it. Regardless of your reason, you should be celebrating your single self. Not because you are single by circumstance and sad about it, but because you are single by choice.

Choosing to be alone may be a short-term lifestyle choice, but I believe it’s important to be yourself without a partner. It’s particularly important to rediscover one’s self between relationships when you may be particularly vulnerable. Some may choose to have a casual relationship in hopes to fill a romantic or sexual void without the commitment, but this can be risky business when not executed well. When facing a casual relationship, feelings may develop and if you don’t have a strong sense of self, it could go disastrously wrong.

It’s important to find the distinction between not wanting a serious relationship and wanting to be alone. Let’s discuss the latter.

1. I want to focus on my personal development

It’s not selfish to want time to yourself. When trying to build a better future, relationships can easily hold you back and use up a lot of precious time. It’s useless having a committed relationship when you have no intention of investing time in it. They say, “if you don’t love yourself, how are you going to love someone else” and that’s the advice that you have to apply to your life (put yourself and your needs before looking for a partner). Timing is very important, and it can be heartbreaking when a relationship just won’t work out because of where you are in life. See that as a good thing though, everything will eventually fall into place and there’s nothing to say that you won’t be able to rekindle old flames in the future.

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2. I don’t like answering to anyone else

The more time you spend single, the more likely it is you’ll “find yourself”. Over time, a routine will fall into place which a partner can disrupt. Having someone come into your life and try to alter said routine can be unnerving. A healthy relationship equals give and take, if you can’t attain that at the moment due to a busy schedule, a healthy social life or any other factor, you know what’s best for you. The greatest thing about being single is that you don’t have to answer to anyone. If you don’t like something, you can change it with out worrying about potential repercussions. While serious relationships are great when they come around, think about how many important decisions that need the consideration of your partner. Can you accommodate that in your life right now?

3. I don’t need drama in my life

Relationships, as lovely as they are, can be a source of drama and conflict. If you’re the type of person that has trust issues or personal demons, it’s best to take some time out to resolve that within yourself before getting into a relationship. Particularly if you have children, the main focus should be creating a loving and peaceful environment for them. Drama should always take a back seat in relationships, so if you have a man and you’re breaking up more than making up, you might want to take my advice on this one.

4. I prefer my own company

I won’t lie to you, I’m the funniest person I know and I’m happy with that. If you’re comfortable having dinner by yourself and spending time alone, that’s a great thing. If and when you’re ready for a relationship, you’ll be in a much better position to meet someone since your partner will not be the be all and end all of your existence. You have hobbies, interests and a life. Not only is that an attractive quality, I believe it’s a profound sign that you’re more than just “ok” with being single, you actually enjoy and prefer it.

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5. I don’t know what I want

If you don’t know what you want from a partner or out of life in general for that matter, it’s best to stay put. This doesn’t mean that you have to actively look within yourself to answer life’s questions, sometimes you don’t know what you want until you get it. The point is, if you’re unsure when rushing into a decision, you’ll always have a negative and sloppy outcome. In this case, I would encourage you to try the dating scene in a non-committal fashion, get yourself out there and test the waters. You can be single and go on a few dates, then make your decision from there.

6. I’m still recovering from heartbreak

It’s important to take time out between relationships to rediscover yourself and make time for your interests. Serial monogamy is a dangerous game and can lead to a lack of identity. Try to look at your life as a long stroll through a park, rather than a sprint. There’s no rush to achieve marriage and have children in the 21st century, a time where there are options and acceptance. Wouldn’t it be better to spend time to yourself and eventually find a solid partner to settle down with? Besides, there are phases when dealing with a break up which should be resolved before moving on in a healthy way.

7. I am too lazy to date

So, you can’t be bothered to date? Let’s face it, anyone could find a partner if they wanted to, but it takes a lot of effort to find someone that is correct for yourself and your situation. I know people who happily go on 3-4 dates a week. While this is normality for some, it’s common (especially for younger generations) to take a lax approach to dating. As I have already stated, life is not to be rushed, but savoured. If dating feels like a chore, you’re not in the right mindset to start a relationship. Imagine how much effort you’ll have to put in when you do activities together or even meet the parents. If this sounds like your personal idea of hell, stick to the relationship you have with your Netflix account and give dating the swerve for the time being.

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Whether you have one profound reason to stay single, or a mixture of the above, be proud when you tell people you’re alone. In fact, you are in a relationship with yourself. Some people are happy being a lone ranger, so even if you don’t agree, keep the disappointing looks and the assumptions that all women are desperate to marry prince charming to yourself. We have yet another generation of independent women who just might not need a man right now. This doesn’t mean that we’ve given up on love, but we’ve replaced the old-fashioned goals with new ones that will benefit us and produce long lasting, healthy relationships in the long run.

Being single allows time to work on yourself, whether that’s getting priorities in order or spending time with loved ones. It’s an amazing and fabulous life, as long as you can relax into it. Even the most committed serial monogamist can learn to live their best single life, just remember being single is not synonymous with being lonely.

Charlie is a graduate in Media and English Literature, an excitable blogger, and a closet comedian. Also, Netflix enthusiast, friend to dogs, foodie, book club aficionado, and wannabe jet-setter.

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