Although single people often bemoan their lack of partners, the truth is that people in relationships are missing out on certain things as well. As it turns out, being unattached offers perks that influence everything from your physical health to your personal development. Here are ten of the most significant benefits of being single.
1. Freedom to be spontaneous
Perhaps the most obvious advantage of the single life is the room for complete spontaneity. You can make choices that would seem selfish if you were in a relationship—for example, you can adopt a pet that suits you, move to a new city to experience a different environment, book a last minute vacation, or even change careers. When you have a partner, you need to negotiate all major decisions, and the resulting compromises sometimes breed resentment.
2. Physical fitness
Studies on the exercise routines of single people show that they put more effort into maintaining a regular gym schedule than people in relationships. Those who have been with a partner for a while will often become so comfortable with their lot in life that they settle for a less healthy figure or a lower level of physical fitness. Research on relationship satisfaction also shows that people in unhappy relationships are the most likely to gain unwanted weight (perhaps due to habitually eating for comfort).
3. More comprehensive personal development
Whether or not you end up in a relationship eventually, you will benefit from the personal development that occurs while you’re single. With plenty of opportunities to focus on increasing your self-knowledge and considering what you really want from life, you’re likely to become a wiser, more balanced person than your serially monogamous peers.
4. Less time spent on personal grooming
For women, regular shaving often involves contorting into bizarre positions and constantly enduring the irritating itch of hair regrowth. Single ladies can set aside their razors until they know key areas will definitely be seen (such as on a summer day or a beach vacation). In addition, men and women alike can dress solely for comfort when relaxing at home, instead of worrying about perceived sexiness.
5. Higher levels of achievement
Your extra time and freedom to focus solely on yourself also increases your chances of success. Instead of arguing about how to divide up the household chores or attending tedious dinners with a troublesome extended family, you’ll be able to use your energy to pursue your goals. Whether you want to go to graduate school for an advanced degree, climb the career ladder at your current job or start your own business, you’ll have no romantic responsibilities holding you back.
6. Closer friendships
Couples often let their previously significant friendships wane, sometimes due to a tendency to exclusively socialize with other couples or simply because being in a committed relationship leaves them with little free time. This practice can lead to nasty surprises and intense loneliness when relationships end. If you’re single, you’re more likely to spend time with close friends, nurturing these bonds and ensuring mutual, lasting support.
7. Variety of experiences
Since being single doesn’t mean you have to be entirely uninterested in attractive people, it’s worth noting that the single life affords plenty of fun opportunities for casual encounters. You can explore interesting attractions that you might have wistfully wondered about if you were in a relationship, and you can flirt outrageously without ever being accused of wrong-doing.
8. Lack of financial constraints
If a relationship involves one thrifty person and one person prone to impulse buying, there can be fierce disputes about the appropriateness of purchases. Worse still, you can end up shouldering some of the liability for your partner’s debts, which is both stressful and inhibiting. Single people control their own finances, taking sole responsibility and enjoying the freedom that comes with not having to consider someone else’s preferences when making a major purchase.
9. Sleep quality
It can be wonderful to cuddle up to a warm, affectionate body on a cold night. However, don’t forget that sharing a bed also involves fighting over the covers, waking each other up with snoring or sleep talking, and struggling to get enough space to sleep comfortably. When you’re single, all the covers are for you alone, and you can stretch out across the whole bed if you like. Single people typically report more restful sleep than those in committed relationships.
Finally, previously adored hobbies often fall by the wayside once people get married or move in together. If you’re single, you will not only find it easier to continue your existing hobbies but will also be more likely to develop new ones. Pursuing your interests helps you to maintain a strong sense of self and emphasizes the fact that you don’t need anyone else to make your life happy or meaningful.