Feeling happy being single | Advice for Young People | Jigsaw

Feeling happy being single

Feeling happy being single

Monday, 07 February 2022

Being single doesn’t seem like something to celebrate. Relationships are the focus of a lot of the popular culture we consume. 

It can also take a period of adjustment if we recently find ourselves single, through a break-up, or ending a relationship.

Our Instagram feeds are filled with snaps of ‘happy couples’ and #relationshipgoals. There’s a mountain of advice on how not to be single. So, you’d be forgiven for thinking everyone in the world is in a relationship except you.

However, that’s not the case. According to the most recent Irish Census, 41% of people over 15 years-old are single. Yet still, we can feel the pressure to ‘couple up’ and this can be challenging.

a group of young people walking up a flight of stairs with backpacks, backs turned

Managing expectations

We all have our own inner dialogue and sometimes, it can be pretty self-critical. If you are putting yourself under pressure to be in a relationship can you explore why that is? What would being in a relationship change for you?

We can convince ourselves that everyone in relationships is happier than ourselves. Think about this realistically. It cannot be possible. Try to re-frame your thoughts to “a relationship is not the only way to make me happy”.

 

globe with hands holding it

Relationship status

Think of the people you enjoy being around. More than likely they are comfortable in their skin and with themselves.

Positive thinking about being single

Instead of focusing on what we don’t have, it’s helpful to focus on what we do have.

For example, do you have other people in your life that care about you? Are there people you care about? Is there any way that you can make someone’s day better?

These are unique and important parts of who you are that your relationship status has nothing to do with.

Enjoying alone time

Unlike friends, who must split time between their interests and their partner’s, you get to decide how to spend yours. Think about what you’re passionate about and where you can put your energy.

Some people think time alone means being lonely, finding it difficult to be on their own. But spending time with yourself and your own thoughts can be good for your mental health and self-esteem.

Think of the people you enjoy being around. More than likely they are comfortable in their own skin.

Don’t enjoy time on your own? Read how to feel more connected and check out how to be better spending time alone. 

Feeling connected

Feeling connected in your life is important. But this doesn’t have to happen through a romantic relationship

Circle of wooden figures on a table top

Social media cleanse

Scroll through your social media feeds with fresh eyes. Notice your reaction to the images or posts as they pop up. Do certain accounts spark jealousy or make you feel a little ‘less than’ because you’re single?

Mute or unfollow these accounts. Find accounts that bring a smile to your face. Or ones that remind you of the freedom and happiness being single can bring.

“Why are you single?”

It’s likely we’ve all been asked this question by someone in a relationship or an unhelpful relative. Unfortunately, you can’t prevent being asked but can have a response ready.

Try “I’m happy being single”. Change the conversation to weekend plans or favourite hobby. Steer the conversation away from your private life.

Party prep

Social events can be a brilliant way to meet new friends. The experience can be daunting, though, particularly to arrive on our own, without a ‘plus one’.

We might feel anxious and self-conscious, which is very normal. However, don’t let this be the reason to miss out on something you could enjoy. There are some useful ways to combat social anxiety.

Mates over dates

Feeling connected is important. But, this doesn’t have to happen through a romantic relationship. Friendships, new and old, can help us find new interests, get out more, and generally feel better.

Our friendships can change when one of us gets in a relationship. We might not be able to hang out as much.

Try to be open about making new friends and expanding your social circle to include more single people. Watch Jess and Conor chat about making new friends in this short video.

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