Most of us fantasise about the idea of packing up and jetting off to see the world at some time or another, but not so many of us actually get to do it. It’s a scary thing to do that reaps massive rewards – not least for the amazing sense of achievement at having taking the plunge in the first place. Leaving a partner behind is enough reason for a lot of us to shy away from the idea, so being single is the best position you could be in to globetrot.
Granted, it’s not quite as epic as seeing the world, but no one can dispute the sheer unadulterated pleasure gained from a good night’s sleep in a bed all to yourself – stretching out those limbs as far as they’ll go to all corners of the bed, rolling around, hogging the duvet, lying diagonally, the possibilities are virtually endless. Replace a partner with a hot water bottle and you won’t even miss the spooning.
Be spontaneous with arrangements
Your work buddy suggests drinks after work but you promised your partner you’d be home in time for dinner. An old friend calls you up at the weekend to suggest lunch, but you promised you’d attend your partner’s family get-together (even though you’d rather stick hot pokers in your eyes). Another half in your life means twice as many plans and it can often leave little room for spontaneity. The beauty of singledom is being the master of everything you do – whether it’s naff all on the couch after a hard day’s work or a cheeky boozy dinner on a Monday night.
Hang out with exactly who you want to
Duncan, 36 from South London says “my ex-girlfriend and friends really didn’t get on. It got increasingly tricky because she saw me making plans with them as a deliberate snub and I found myself turning certain stuff down just to avoid conflict.” Social freedom is an oft-overlooked advantage to being single. No annoying best friends, unbearable in-laws, no friendship jealousy.
Work the room at a party
Going to a party solo can be a terrifying prospect, but anyone who’s done it knows that it always works out fine. Your insecurities tell you that you look like a weirdo loner when the reality is that single people at a party have a certain allure. You may find you get more attention than you want, but being footloose and fancy free means you can talk and flirt with who you want, when you want for however long you want. Joy!
Have fun with guys and gals
You may not be looking for the love of your life, but that certainly doesn’t stop you from indulging in a fling or two. Dating is fun and it can be as serious or frivolous as you like. Throw yourself in it, try things you might not ordinarily do like going on a blind date or allowing yourself to be set up by a friend. Keep it light-hearted and it can be a real confidence-booster.
There are some things you just can’t really get away with in a relationship. You can’t finish the milk and not replace it in a reasonable amount of time, you can’t use up all the hot water in the shower, and you can’t splash out on a shopping spree if you’ve agreed to save for a holiday. Remove the source of guilt from the equation and you are free to be as utterly self-indulgent as you fancy.
Indulge in weird habits
From embarrassing work out videos to plucking the hairs on your legs, everyone has some sort of unconventional pastime that they get an unusual amount of pleasure from and that’s best done alone. Jayne, 28 from Birmingham says “I love putting on cheesy power ballads and standing in front of the mirror pretending I’m in the video. Before I split up with my boyfriend I found it really frustrating to not be able to act on the urge when it took me!”
Wear comfy underwear
Sexy undergarments look nice but they’re not a patch on your favourite loose-fitting M&S cotton numbers, and it doesn’t matter what they say, uncomfortable underwear just doesn’t make you feel as good as your trusty old, slightly off colour, pair. Not having to care about what you look like with the layers off is hugely liberating, make the most of it while you can.
Watch your programmes on TV
When you’re in a relationship, coordinating conflicting TV schedules and accounting fairly for varying tastes is near impossible and inevitably results in one party feeling hard done by. Catch-up TV might have gone some way to salvaging fractious couplings but there’s nothing like an evening of total uninterrupted back-to-back televisual indulgence.