This is a counter-intuitive topic but one that I can speak about from personal experience. The best thing I ever did for my dating life was to insist on staying single for a while. It taught me a lot about what I actually value in a relationship and how to set clear boundaries for myself. On top of this, it also taught me to be patient and not just jump into the next potential relationship and fall in love a few months in. In a sense, learning how to be a happy single guy taught me a lot about myself.
With that came a new sense of confidence that I didn’t have before. In this article we’re going to look at why guys should do this for themselves at least once in their life. I’m also going to give you some tips to make sure you’re getting the most out of it.
The Benefits of Being a Happy Single Guy
I’m here to tell you that being a single guy is a whole lot of fun. When you learn how to be a happy single man, you’ll realize that you were looking at women and relationships all wrong.
Hollywood teaches us that marriage is the ultimate success. After deciding to stay single for a year, I realized that a relationship should never be anything more than an addition to my life. Never a marker of success or failure. Let’s talk about why I came to think that way and how it improved my dating life for good.
Ultimate freedom and flexibility
One of the biggest changes I noticed when I remained single was the fact that I could do what I wanted, when I wanted. For the first time in years, I didn’t have to factor someone else into my decision making and it felt amazing.
It allowed me to be entirely selfish for a while without hurting anyone else. From small things like what I wanted for dinner, all the way through to what country I lived in, things started changing within months.
Remove any reliance on others for your own happiness
This is actually more difficult than you might think but it’ll have an immeasurable impact on the rest of your life. By learning to truly be okay by yourself, you gain a level of independence that you just can’t get any other way.
As you continue to learn more about yourself and have the freedom to do what makes you happy, everything gets better. You start to learn that it’s okay to do the things that bring you joy and that none of those things come from another person.
Once you reach that stage, dating starts to feel exactly like I described above — a positive addition to your life rather than a necessary element of happiness or success.
You can fix the parts of your life that you don’t love
With all this extra time to focus on yourself, you also get to identify the parts of your life that you don’t feel so great about. For me, I grew to hate my career. Spending years chained to a downtown desk job, I also hated what I saw in the mirror. I came to realize that I was alive but I wasn’t really living.
Since I was free to make a spontaneous change now, that’s exactly what I started to do. I moved to the US, I started a new career and I made an active lifestyle a priority rather than something I did in my spare time.
I can proudly tell you that even though I make less than half the income I used to, I’m infinitely happier and healthier. I look and feel like a new person and it all started with learning how to be a happy single guy.
You’ll become a more attractive version of yourself
I was someone that was always described as the quiet, shy type. I had almost zero confidence in myself in any aspect of life and it showed in my demeanor.
These days, I regularly get described as calm and confident and regularly see signs from women that they’re interested in me. I have a different take on life and the things that matter and this brings a lot of genuine confidence with it. Becoming this confident person who never “needs” a date to go well has made me that much more attractive.
Had I stayed in that long-term relationship, ticking all those “success” boxes, I never would have seen how great life can be.
How to Be a Happy Single Guy
Whether you’re single by choice (highly recommend, in case you’ve just started reading) or going through a difficult time, there are steps you should be taking for a happier life. Lean into being single, embrace it for all the positives I’ve covered above and use that in all areas of your life.
To help you get started on this journey, here are a few things I found important along the way.
You will need to put in some work
This is something I wanted to point out very clearly. While learning to be happy by yourself will bring a lot of opportunities, that doesn’t mean they’ll just start happening to you the moment you become single.
You’ll have the opportunity to do new things but you’ll need to put yourself out there and start trying them. You’ll have the opportunity to figure out what’s truly important to you but you’ll need to take some time to work through this yourself. You get the point.
After you’re done reading this article, use this advice to start a list of things you want to work on for yourself. It’s easier than you think but you’ll need to make a conscious effort.
Get spontaneous — More “yes”, less “no”
If I could point to one conscious change I made that had a huge impact on my life, it’s this. Think of it like a more realistic version of Jim Carrey’s “Yes Man”, just start saying yes to new experiences, even if you think you might hate it.
This is by far the more simple way to start introducing spontaneity into your life. You have the time and the freedom now, why stick to the status quo?
Figure out what you want vs what you’re told you want
Close friends and family all want the best for you and that’s important. The thing is, this can sometimes lead to people telling you what you want rather than letting you decide. When you’re surrounded by this for long enough, you’ll start to genuinely believe their opinions rather than making your own decisions.
By spending some time away from relationships, you get the opportunity to reevaluate without these outside opinions.
Do you really want to get married or have you just grown up being told you want that? Do you really want children or do your parents just want grandkids?
There’s nothing inherently wrong with these or any other topics you start to question. There’s also no right or wrong answer. The point is, you’re taking the time to question what’s actually important to you — both in your life and in your hypothetical future partner.
Invest time in your friends and family
I’m all for independence and still insist on it in my own life. Although I don’t need anyone else for happiness, that doesn’t mean friends and family aren’t important. Humans are inherently social so having good people around you is important.
Make sure those closest to you feel cared for and valued, too. Spend time with them, ask questions and stay involved in their lives. When these relationships are happy and healthy, it gives both sides an important safety net for those inevitable bad days.
Not only does that improve your quality of life but it stops you seeking a relationship to fill that gap.
Find things you enjoy doing completely alone
Another key factor to feeling independent is learning to act like it. Find some kind of hobby or activity you can enjoy completely by yourself. You don’t always have to do it solo but it should at least be something that’s possible to do alone. Then make sure you actually do it from time to time.
For me, this was solo hiking. I started doing it when I moved here because there was so much to explore and I didn’t know anyone yet. While I have a lot of friends eager to come with me these days, I still make time for a solo adventure at least once per month.
Hiking might not be your thing and that’s fine. You just need to find what it is that gives you that same sense of independence and satisfaction. It can be knitting or building model planes for all I care — the important factor here is you, not the activity itself.
Work on the parts of your life that don’t bring you joy
Above, I mentioned how this is one of the huge benefits to learning how to be a happy single man. To achieve this, you’ll need to take some time to honestly evaluate how you feel about you.
It sounds scary but you’ll learn to get comfortable with it. It helps to write these things down or type them out. Take stock of the elements of your life that you don’t feel great about then find small ways you can start to improve it.
Whether it’s your job, income, waistline, apartment. . . all of these things are fixable over time. Start taking small, sustainable steps to improve them and you’ll wish you started years ago. Just don’t fall into the trap of trying to do everything yesterday. Crash diets or overspending on a new wardrobe aren’t what we’re looking to achieve here!
Be kind to yourself. Being single isn’t a failure.
Being single is an opportunity for growth. A couple of generations back, if you were 30 years old and single, you were looked down on as someone who “can’t keep a girlfriend”. This isn’t the 70s anymore — even if you’re 40, single and loving life, why on earth would you trade that joy for an arbitrary relationship?
If you end up with someone that compliments the life you’ve built, that’s fantastic. Never feel like you “need” to be in one. You’re a smart, confident guy and you don’t need a long-term relationship to be happy.