“I am tired of being single! Sometimes, I think no one is good enough for me.” On other days, I question, “Why would anyone want to date me?” Do these thoughts arise because I’m reluctant to let go of my past? Or because I always fall for emotionally unavailable people?
At least I’m not the only one. A 2017 statistic from the U.S. Census Bureau has revealed that 50.2% of Americans are single. Being single is not painful, but being lonely is.
So, what to do when you’re single and lonely? To answer this question, we’ve turned to psychologist Ridhi Golechha (Masters in Psychology), who specializes in physical, mental, and emotional health counseling, for insights.
Are You Tired Of Being Single? 7 Signs
Ridhi mentions, “Sometimes we are envious of things that others have. Jealousy/comparison trap comes up when you’re attending a wedding and you see everybody is dating/married and you’re unpartnered.
“This jealousy doesn’t necessarily mean that you are tired of being single, it could mean that you’re yearning for something more in life. When you see others having what you want, you start wondering if you need to accept being single forever.” Here are some signs you are sick of being single and lonely:
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1. Weddings make you want to throw up
Ridhi explains, “Think about it this way. If somebody is going for a fancy vacation and you’ve been wanting to go for a really, really long time, you’re going to feel jealous when you see their Instagram photos. The wedding is a similar manifestation of your insecurities.” So, when you are tired of being single, weddings just make you feel sick to the stomach.
2. You don’t like going to family functions
Ridhi says, “You don’t like going to events where your relatives are going to question you about your relationship status. This is one of the signs you’re tired of being single.” Those nosy relatives make you feel like all the good potential partners are happily married now and your destiny is being single your whole life. Needless to say, they are wrong.
3. You avoid events with couples
Ridhi points out, “When you are tired of being single in your 30s, you avoid events like parties, where you are likely to encounter couples.” Since you’re unhappy being single, third-wheeling is the last thing on your list. You’d rather Netflix in your pajamas on Valentine’s Day.
4. You’ve lowered your standards
“I’m too fed up of being a single man/woman,” you lament. You’re so bored of being single that having a wrong person around seems a better option to you than no partner at all. You’ve reached a point where you’re no longer waiting for the right person who ticks all the boxes. You’ve torn up the list of ‘relationship deal breakers’ and you don’t mind settling, even though deep down you know you deserve a better love life.
5. You call up your exes
Even after the dating advice your friends give you day and night, you are not able to resist the urge to call your ex. You still have feelings for them. Or you contact them simply because you’re unhappy being single. Please know that this loneliness will pass.
6. Social media triggers you
Ridhi explains, “There are a lot of triggers around you that remind you that you’re frustrated being single. Social media is one of them.” You’re feeling lonely and so, you open Instagram. Ironically, the PDA there reminds you of the perpetually single woman you are.
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7. You’re hooking up way too much
Ridhi points out, “If you’re actively dating and getting involved in too many one-night stands/hooking up too much, it’s one of the signs you’re tired of being single and just need a distraction.” You’re aggressively using dating apps, so much so that your loved ones are concerned about the way you’re choosing to avoid feeling lonely.
9 Things To Do And Remember When You Feel Tired Of Being Single And Lonely
One study found that people who viewed themselves as being ‘voluntarily’ single were less likely to report feelings of romantic loneliness. People who felt that being unpartnered was ‘involuntary’, however, were more likely to feel emotionally lonely.
But how can you attain the state of mind wherein you feel ‘voluntarily’ single? Here are some things to do and remember if you’re sick of being single:
1. Expand your horizons
Ridhi explains, “You can use singlehood to make yourself the person you want to become. You have so much time on your hands, which otherwise would go to another person or their family. Since time is your friend right now, utilize it wisely for personal growth.
“Learn a new hobby, play a sport, start a business. Dip your hands in anything and everything and see what you enjoy.” So, if you’re struggling with being single too long, you can keep yourself engaged in the following ways:
- Learn a new language
- Start journaling
- Enroll in a class/get a new degree
- Join online groups (like book clubs)
- Volunteer at an animal shelter
2. Tired of being single? Start saying ‘YES’
Sticking to old routines can be a major limitation sometimes. So, get out of your comfort zone and start doing things you wouldn’t normally do. It could be exploring weekend getaways. Or a new adventure activity. Most importantly, meet new people.
Ridhi points out, “If your family is pressuring you to find someone, have a very honest conversation with them that you’re not ready. And if you are ready, then why not? Go meet people.
Related Reading: How To Meet People Without Dating Apps
“Whether you’re meeting them through Bumble, Tinder, or family, what’s the harm? The pool is larger for you. If you want to get into a relationship, why not use all your options?”
3. Work on your health and fitness
Ridhi points out, “It is possible to be single but not lonely. Find out ways to do productive, happy activities in your ‘me time’. Maybe go train for a marathon and release some endorphins.
“If you’re unhappy being single, try to invest in activities that are going to make you feel good (for which you don’t need other people).” So, get to bed earlier. Meditate to maintain your mental health. Make a few dietary substitutions. Drink plenty of water.
4. Your fear is not a ‘fact’
Ridhi explains, “The fear of ‘being single your whole life’ is totally normal and justified. A similar fear can happen in various scenarios. Let’s say, if you’re not making enough money, you feel like you’ll never succeed.
“The way to cope with this fear of being alone forever is to stop your thought right in its tracks. Remind yourself that this is just a ‘fear’ and not a ‘fact’. Constantly remind yourself of that.” A romantic relationship is just one of the many, many relationships of your life. Just because you don’t have a partner, doesn’t mean you’re alone in life.
Salma Hayek said in a 2003 interview with Oprah Winfrey, “You can have a relationship with God. With nature. With dogs. With yourself. And yes, you can also have a relationship with a man, but if it’s going to be a shi**y one, it’s better to have a relationship with your flowers.”
5. Remind yourself that the grass is always greener on the other side
When I was in a relationship, all I fantasized about was being a perpetually single woman. But now when I am single, all I dream about is being cuddled by someone. The Instagram wedding spam just makes the grass on the other side look way TOO green.
Related Reading: 11 Signs You Are Single In A Relationship
So, what to do when you’re single and lonely? Stop comparing your life to others. Everybody is on their own timeline. Being partnered with someone is not the solution to all your problems. Even people in relationships feel lonely, right? In fact, there is no dearth of research on how suffocating marriages can be.
6. Nurture your existing relationships and hang out with single people
Research has found that while single adults tend to have worse mental well-being than their counterparts who are in romantic relationships, the amount of social support that people had played an important role in offsetting this.
So, if you’re frustrated being single, use this time to nurture your platonic friendships. Even studies indicate that relying on different people for different things, rather than the same person most of the time, is more emotionally satisfying.
Also, in order to deepen your social support, hang out with more single people (and not just with couples) because they know where you’re coming from.
7. Learn more about yourself if you’re tired of being single
f you’re sick of being single and lonely, maybe this is a reminder to get to know yourself. Your past relationships can offer you valuable lessons on your own limiting beliefs, behavioral patterns, and attachment style. You can even seek professional help to heal your wounds. If you’re looking for support, our counselors from Bonobology’s panel are just a click away.
Ridhi explains, “Therapy can be beneficial in embracing the single life by teaching you how to be okay in your own company, how to stop all your fears in their tracks, how to be okay in situations that trigger you (like weddings), and also helps in exploring yourself.”
8. Practice self-love
On dealing with being single, Taylor Swift said, “Being alone is not the same as being lonely. I like to do things that glorify being alone. I buy a candle that smells pretty, turn down the lights, and make a playlist of low-key songs. If you don’t act like you’ve been hit by the plague when you’re alone on a Friday night and just see it as a chance to have fun by yourself, it’s not a bad day.”
So, if you’re struggling with being single, here are some easy self-love practices you can adopt in order to live your best life:
- Make a list of things you’re grateful for every day
- Start saying ‘no’ at work or to your family to preserve your energy
- Let go of toxic, draining, and one-sided friendships
- Say kind things to yourself (positive affirmations)
9. Evaluate your finances
What to do when you’re tired of being single? Take out some time to figure out your finances. Since you are not sharing expenses with someone else, you can save money and invest it in the right places.
Also, since you have a lot of free time on your hands, keep looking for a side hustle/freelancing gigs to earn some extra money. This way you can buy that bottle of expensive wine you love.
- Know that getting into a relationship seems like a great idea right now but it is not going to be the solution to all your problems
- You can have an amazing life while you are single if you use this time to travel, meet new people, and learn new hobbies for fun
- Focus on becoming the kind of person you would like to date instead of waiting for someone to come and rescue you
- Find joy in the little things like taking care of yourself
- Nurture the already-existing fulfilling relationships and seek more single people to spend time with
- Find joy in the little things like taking care of yourself
- This is the ideal time for self-realization. Use this emotional energy and channel it into your career
Finally, if you’re bored of being single, the Old Town Road singer Montero Lamar Hill has some advice for you. He says, “I’m at the best place I’ve ever been in life. The split with my ex helped me open up a lot. I was able to write actual stories about my life and put it into my music. At the end of the day, I want to exist. I want to have fun, I want to cause chaos sometimes.”
Dealing with being single hurts when you start comparing your life to others and start desperately looking for love. It hurts when instead of looking inward, you use this phase to drown yourself in unhealthy coping mechanisms.
You’re single but not lonely. You have the right to live your carefree life exactly the way you want to. If it makes you happy, it doesn’t have to make sense to others.
If being single is accompanied by a lot of loneliness, then yes. As research points out, loneliness can lead to various psychiatric disorders like depression, alcohol abuse, child abuse, sleep problems, personality disorders, and Alzheimer’s disease. This is why it’s important to have a fulfilling dynamic with yourself regardless of your relationship status.
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