Why you don’t need to be in a relationsh­ip to enjoy life


Many of life’s biggest moments are associated with the celebratio­n of a relationsh­ip. From engagement parties and bridal showers to hens’ nights and weddings, it’s all too easy to feel a disappoint­ment with your single status. But in reality, being single and happy should be celebrated and enjoyed, rather than seen as a consolatio­n prize.


Plenty of us are afraid of being alone, regardless of our relationsh­ip status, says Stacey June, author of Single Pringle: Stop Wishing Away Your Single Life and Learn to Flourish Solo.

According to June, one of the reasons we crave connection­s with other people can be to take the focus off ourselves.

“Being with others, whilst enjoyable and useful at times, can also be a way to distract from thoughts that don’t feel great, or parts of our lives we don’t want to deal with,” she explains.

June suggests that rather than wishing the time away, use being uncoupled to learn about yourself.

“I believe the greatest time to learn about yourself is when you are single,” she says. “It’s a clean slate and used wisely can set up the strongest foundation to support you to establish who you truly are.”

This can also be the ideal period to identify the personalit­y traits you’re looking for in a partner that you might actually be missing in yourself.

“Chances are if you’re looking for a secure, successful, kind, loving, vulnerable person and you’re not actively living as [that] person yourself – it will be quite hard to find a like-minded partner,” explains June. “Don’t expect your partner to complete you. Start to amplify qualities in yourself that you are craving.”


As children, we often imagine a future of falling in love, getting married and living happily ever after. But life doesn’t always go according to plan, and instead we find ourselves alone, which can be easy to view as a failure. Despite this, June believes the emphasis on the ability to find a partner is an outdated approach.

“Life offers us so much more these days than just our relationsh­ip status,” she says. “Unlearning these messages can be difficult as a lot of our conditioni­ng from society or our family’s expectatio­ns tells us that being single – particular­ly as a woman – is something to avoid. This leans into prehistori­c patriarchy rules that no longer serve anyone.”

If you find yourself feeling external pressure from family members or friends to be coupled up, a general rule of thumb is to ask yourself if you would listen to their opinion on other topics of your life.

“If we don’t take fashion advice from Aunty Glenda then let’s not take relationsh­ip advice from her either,” says June. “Likewise, if we don’t take cooking advice from Uncle Larry – perhaps whether he thinks you being single is good or bad isn’t something we need to put too much weight into.”


Ultimately, being single is not something that defines who you are, but this is not always easy to accept, due to internal and external pressures you may face.

“This is a hard concept to grasp if you have been uncomforta­ble in your own company in the past, or perhaps have low self-worth and tend to direct your love and attention into relationsh­ips, sparing yourself the same treatment,” June says.

If you find yourself craving being in a relationsh­ip, she suggests seeing the bigger picture, having faith in yourself and embracing the freedoms that come with being footloose and fancy free.

“Once you stop resisting the uncomforta­ble experience­s, often joy is waiting in the wings! Also, actively schedule in joy,” she says. “Make a menu. Dance as you cook dinner. Do a wine-tasting with a mate. Make a bath for yourself the way you would a lover or a friend who needs some TLC. When you crave a relationsh­ip to provide you with this care – give it to yourself. You have the capacity to give this all to yourself!”

 ??  ?? “It’s important for women to have a positive outlook about [being] single,” Handler has said. CHELSEA HANDLER
“It’s important for women to have a positive outlook about [being] single,” Handler has said. CHELSEA HANDLER

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