It’s no secret that society has viewed being single, especially for women, as something negative. For those seeking to learn how to be single in its most positive connotation—self-reliant, capable and aware of all that life has to offer—here are 10 common mistakes single women have vowed never to make again.
Don’t spend your time (or money) trying to be perfect for someone
As a woman, you will likely receive lots of unsolicited advice—including this article—but it’s important to know when to stop listening and identify what makes you feel good. Realize that the chase for perfection, whether it is someone else’s definition or your own, will always leave you unsatisfied. Don’t be with someone who likes the changed version of you, that’s not how rewarding connections are forged. Stick to your truth, no one else’s.
Don’t be afraid to do things alone
The beauty of not being obligated to a partner is that you can do what YOU want to do, with whomever you choose. If you really want to see the next “Fifty Shades of Grey” movie but no one wants to see it with you, go alone! Appreciate the indulgence of “treating yo’ self” by doing the things you like to do and value what makes you happy.
Don’t ignore your friends
Some of the most important relationships you will have in life are those that you cultivate with friends. While spending time alone is crucial for connecting back to yourself, friends (and family) can bring you the joyful moments that make life worth living. A key mistake many people make when they enter their first relationship is ignoring their friends. Similarly, keep in mind that hookups, while fun, are not nearly as important as having a good time with the people that are mainstays in your life.
Don’t force yourself to spend time with others
This one is similar to number two, but it’s important to identify that you may not be afraid of being alone so much as afraid you’re not being “social enough.” Yes, you appreciate your solitude, but maybe you’re concerned that you’re not having as active a social life as your Facebook friends. Kick this habit! If you’re feeling too tired to go out this Friday night, stay in and read that book you’ve been putting off reading! Life may be short, but it’s long enough for you to identify what will actually make you feel happy and energized.
Don’t be cynical
You can be happy about love without being in a relationship. Once again, ignore popular media that portrays the single person as a bitter spinster! You can choose to dwell on the perfectly normal surges of envy that you feel for people that appear to have it all, or you can look at happy couples as proof that true love does exist. Gaining this positivity will help you to be more open to new connections and to place less emphasis on those relationships that don’t work out.
Don’t confine yourself to a set group of people
Keep the people that truly value you close, but don’t be afraid to build new relationships. Meeting new people brings new experiences and pushes us out of our comfort zones. This is crucial for not only learning about yourself but also discovering how to positively affect change in the world—wear the smile you wish to see on others.
Don’t be afraid to try
We are past the days when trying was considered uncool. Remind yourself that because life is short, you should try as much as possible. However, you should establish boundaries so you know when to say “no” to something that will absolutely bring you regret.
Realize that finding the right person is a marathon, not a sprint
Being single should not be treated like a challenge to overcome as quickly as possible. Rather, it is a time for you to learn about yourself and occasionally others. To continue the metaphor pattern, don’t see the single status as an ailment to be cured, but rather a remedy for your toxic experiences with other partners.
Don’t hesitate to identify your relationship values
Knowing what you want in a relationship is key to understanding who you should be looking for in the vast dating pool. Don’t settle for someone who has habits that you can’t stand or someone who barely remembers to text you on your birthday. Establish the traits that are mandatory in a potential partner and know when to walk away from someone who doesn’t exhibit those.
Don’t forget you can complete yourself
Don’t spend your life waiting to be picked by someone else for your life to begin. Take responsibility for how you want your life to look and shape it accordingly. Choose yourself!