While many of us tend to feel happier in a relationship, you shouldn’t look at being single as inherently “bad” or less enjoyable. Even though it can seem lonely and emotionally unsatisfying at times to not have a partner, you can gain many important benefits during your time as a single man or woman. Society seems to push the message that we can only find happiness in another person, however, this is very far from the truth.

Being single doesn’t have to mean loneliness and despair; in fact, you might be surprised to find out that science has proven that some people actually do better single. Whether you fit into this category or not, you can still learn to enjoy and cherish your time without a partner, so that you’ll feel even more ready to dive back into the dating world later.

Here are 5 important lessons to learn from being single:

being single

1. Love isn’t just bound to a relationship.

With the advent of modern movies, advertisements, and mainstream media, we’ve been brainwashed into thinking that love somehow only exists in romantic relationships. Sadly, many people still feel incomplete without someone to call their own, and can’t seem to find love unless they have a significant other. However, love shouldn’t have conditions – it should just exist and become your primary state of being. In other words, you shouldn’t have to have a significant other to recognize the abundance of love in your life.

Being single can teach you to not only find love in other people, places, and things, but find it within yourself, as well. When you cultivate enough self-love, you will then see the reflection of this love in everything and everyone else in the world. Love should be a state of being, not a feeling you can only have in a relationship.

2. You don’t need anyone else to validate your existence.

Being single can also teach you that you and you alone have the responsibility to see value in yourself. You shouldn’t look to anyone else for acceptance or assurance, because if you have to do that, this means you don’t see your own self-worth. Other people can boost your self-esteem or provide support in times of uncertainty, but they shouldn’t replace the value you give to yourself.

As a single man or woman, you can learn how to love and take care of yourself, so that you won’t have to rely on someone else to do this for you.

3. Alone time is recovery time.

Many people in relationships don’t seem to remember how to spend time alone since they spend so much of it with their significant other. However, alone time allows us to recharge, do solitary activities that we enjoy, and cultivate passions and awareness without the presence or input of our partner. When you spend time alone, you have the opportunity for quiet reflection and powerful insights, something that you can’t really get in the presence of someone else.

4. Another person should add value to your life, not be the sole source of your happiness.

Also, your happiness should come from within, not from reliance on someone else to give it to you. Other people should make you feel good and excited to be around them, but you shouldn’t totally rely on them for feelings of safety, happiness, or anything else. Honestly, other people can leave whenever they wish, so depending on them for our sole source of well-being doesn’t sound like too promising of an idea. If you find happiness within yourself, no one can take that away from you.

So, during your time as a single man or woman, you can figure out your likes, dislikes, and what truly makes you happy. You get to discover yourself all over again, and nothing is more exciting than learning how to have a positive relationship with yourself.

being single

5. Being single can provide you with the time to explore your own interests and hobbies.

Finally, being single allows you so much free time to do things you truly enjoy without having to check in with someone else first or see if they want to tag along. You get to be the boss and make your own decisions without the input of someone else, which can be totally liberating. All the time you spent with your significant other trying to decide what to do on the weekend or attempting to agree on a restaurant to eat at will seem quite taxing when you can just get up and do whatever you want on your own. No checking in with someone, no compromising, and no skipping out on things you enjoy just because someone else doesn’t agree.

Simply put, being single allows you the freedom, flexibility, and time to find yourself again, and learn how to truly fall in love with the one person who matters most – you.