An Amateur’s Guide To Being A “Satisfied Single”

It doesn’t take a relationship to achieve fulfillment.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez of Unsplash

At some point in history, the idea was inculcated that we, as individuals, are of less value than those that are a part of a pair. I recently read an article where a woman shared how her peers made a comment on the ‘joy’ she displayed in photos with her and her new beau, implying she was without before he came along. A comment that sounded a little something like, “I love seeing how happy _____ makes you. I love seeing the joy he/she brings you.”

This seems to be the case with many of us. We associate a person’s ‘glow’ with their relationship — when the timeliness of the two supports this notion — but we are sadly mistaken if we believe the relationship is what prompted that person’s sense of happiness.

Yes, a person can experience moments of ‘bliss’ and infatuation at the inception of the relationship, but the continued feelings of joy while in a relationship should be attributed to the realizations we make about ourselves throughout the process of dating. In fact, I have been in a relationship that made me experience pure happiness, but it was due to the awareness the partnership brought to the good things I already knew about myself but had hushed due to my own flawed way of thinking.

Nonetheless, if we believe a person’s happiness is contingent on their relationship status, then those of us who are single are doomed. Rather than paying tribute to a person’s significant other as the reason for their ‘new-found joy,’ we should instead be focused on the emotion itself. But don’t worry singles, there is hope and achievable satisfaction without any strings attached:

Adopt a new hobby

Whether you are on the verge of a breakup, still licking the wounds of a recent split, or living life as an individual for the long run — there is something to be said about a new hobby in one’s life. Though many of us use hobbies as distractions, we can learn a lot about ourselves when acquiring knowledge about something new.

For me, I made jewelry, then lip balms and sugar scrubs, then a podcast, followed by a website, and now I write/edit and teach full time. Though a few of the previously mentioned hobbies were prompted by a breakup, my commitment to following through on each is due to the satisfaction and fulfillment each brings to my life.

Keep a journal

I am a firm believer in the importance of thought and paying attention to the dialogue that goes on inside one’s own mind. We are our biggest critics and we will continue to be until someone (we) corrects an existing school of thought.

Oftentimes, seeing something on paper can provide you with a new perspective, especially when it is in your own writing and words. When you fail to put words to your thoughts and awareness to the flaws in your thinking, you give the critical part of your mind the upper hand and room to manifest whatever belief was cultivated from negative thinking to begin with.

By writing down the words to describe the events of the day and the emotional impact each has had on your mindset, you can determine an appropriate direction to step to going forward. Consider the fact that every experience you have is responded to in a way that is based on how every other experience in your life has affected you. The residual impact is present until you take back the power your silence gave it to do so.

Achieve Self-Awareness

When you know who you are, the opposing words of others are no longer believable. This was one of the biggest epiphanies I had following a toxic relationship a couple of years ago. It wasn’t until I was left with only my words that I realized how much kinder I could be to myself if I was the narrator of my own story. I no longer needed to seek acceptance (only to then face rejection) and the opinions of others held far less weight because I had already figured out who I was.

Self-awareness is one of the most valuable traits we can behold. It is our saving grace in moments of trauma and a necessity for satisfaction while single. If you are unsure of who you are, you are likely to see the opinions of others as less subjective and more factual.

Cultivate new relationships and nourish the existing

No matter who you are, we all need some form of relationship in our lives. These relationships should be constructive before romantic. We, as humans, crave comfort and familiarity and oftentimes, this is both the reason for establishing the relationship and the cause for heartache should it come to an end. Both of these fears can be extinguished when we consider every other source of relational support we can establish in our lives.

By having peers, friends, family, mentors, etc. in your corner, you can learn things about yourself from the people who want nothing but the best for you. It is difficult when things get hazy in a relationship, to put clarity to their intentions, but those who have no ulterior motive or romantic reason to sabotage will be there to point out the positive traits of your existence that you might struggle to identify during a trying time.

Do things alone

This might sound a bit strange, but believe me when I say, there is something so empowering about a person’s willingness to do things alone. Though being in outside sales for as long as I was provided an inevitable solo lunch date nearly every day, it wasn’t until I lived alone, went to the movies alone, and traveled alone, that I began to feel enjoyment from my own company.

It was almost as if doing things by myself required less time than trying to make plans to include another person. This is not to say you should never seek out company (see point above), but just the willingness to embark on a journey by yourself is the quickest way to emancipate yourself from the mindset that kept you from not doing it in the past.

Yes, it will be uncomfortable and scary, but it is a necessary step on the journey into becoming a ‘satisfied single.’ Not to mention, when you allow yourself time alone and create new memories through solo experiences, you can gain a better understanding as to what you truly want going forward, whether that be inclusive of a romantic partner or not. When you have removed the presence of others from certain experiences, you truly are left with one way of thinking — yours.

Though splits can be unpredictable and earth-shattering, we must not lose sight of the happiness we were capable of achieving before stepping into a romantic relationship. It should never be your partner’s job to make you happy; therefore, their absence should not remove joy from your life. Sure, the heartache might make it feel impossible, but once you know you are still the same person and no one can take that with them when they go, the impact weakens and the time until you smile again grows a little shorter.

Written by

Writer. Poet. Philomath. Dog Mom. Traveler. Creator. Wanderer. Teacher. Empath. Author of “Unapologetically Human” - available on Amazon

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