A lot of people are afraid of being alone. Being on your own isn’t a bad thing though, did you know there are a lot of benefits to it? Like, actual benefits that are more than just the learning to love yourself blah blah blah that we get fed by society.
Avoid bad relationships
This is the most common thing people get caught in when they’re afraid to be on their own. We’ve all stayed in bad relationships when we were afraid of being by ourselves. That extends to friendships too, I know I’ve swallowed my feelings to stay friends with people because I was afraid of what would happen if I cut ties with them.
Staying in a bad relationship isn’t very helpful. If you stick around people who are bad for you or lie to them about how you feel, all it does is prolong the painful process of breaking up that will inevitably happen. Worst case scenario, you don’t break up and end up miserable with them for the rest of your life. Don’t do that.
Ease into it
Being by yourself isn’t something you have to do cold turkey. If you’re new to it, you can set aside a small amount of time to dip your toe in. Do things by yourself and slowly carve out some time just for you. During that time, you can learn to enjoy it and learn to reflect and relax without being around anyone else.
Being alone makes us feel more independent. It can even improve our memory! There are tons of benefits to doing things by ourselves and not relying on others. The least of which is when you can’t be around other people or find yourself on your own, you won’t feel as lonely. You’ll know how to occupy yourself, and you’ll understand that it isn’t so bad.
You can focus on you
When you’re in a relationship, you have to factor in that relationship when making big decisions. If you’re deciding to move or what kind of career you want, whether to get a pet, even going on vacation means checking in with someone else. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing! You can’t tell me it isn’t freeing to make those decisions all on your own, though.
When I was still single, I could decide on the fly to take a trip any time I wanted. Being around other people was nice and all, but it was also really nice to just decide spur of the moment that I wanted to plan a trip to Canada or another state. In a relationship, it’s a lot harder to do that; you have to work around your partner’s schedule (which, of course, you’re happy to do).
The more time you have to yourself, the more time you have to occupy without anyone’s help. That means figuring out what you like. Maybe even picking up a new hobby. When you’re on your own, you have the freedom to try out new things that you may be bad at without anyone else watching.
You also learn how to do things without seeking validation from anyone else. Everything you do on your own is because you want to do it, not because you want a pat on the back from someone else. As nice as pats on the back are, it’s also a good idea to learn how to do things for yourself without expecting a reaction or reward from someone else.
It’s a lot easier to figure out what you want to do when you are the only factor you’re considering. The things you care about, where you want to live, the kind of industry you want to work in, all of that is easier to flesh out when you don’t have to consider someone else’s opinion.
Sure, most healthy partners will just support you, but what happens if what they want differs from what you want? Either you compromise, or you break up. Both options honestly kind of suck. Even if they are the only one compromising, it sucks to think about what they’re potentially giving up for you.
I can barely ask a Taco Bell employee for extra sauce packets. Do you think I can easily ask someone to alter their life for me? That’s a big fat NO.
Learn to value yourself
The more practice you get being on your own, the more you’ll learn to value your thoughts and opinions. You can’t cop out and wait for someone else to decide things for you if you’re the only one there. It’s a bit like getting thrown into the deep end and learning to swim, harsh but effective. (Please don’t teach anyone to swim by throwing them into deep water).
When you value yourself and your wants, future relationships become a lot healthier too. You can nip any dependency issues in the bud before they become a problem, and you get to be an equal partner with your significant other. It’s easier to learn how to respect yourself when you’re alone.
There’s a difference between being alone and being isolated
When people are afraid of being on their own, what they are actually afraid of is being isolated. That’s the feeling of involuntarily being separated from those around you. On the one hand, some research shows that being on your own can be good for you. On the other, it also shows that being isolated can be really bad for you. The line between the two can be very thin if you aren’t careful.
The big difference between flying solo and being isolated is that you chose one and feel forced into the other.
What I’m trying to say is that you can make an opportunity out of being single or taking short breaks from social activities. You have a lot of potential, and it’s a whole lot simpler to figure things out when you’re alone.
If you did just get out of a bad breakup, though, we’ve got some advice on how to be happily single or if you’re interested in looking at some medically reviewed benefits to doing things on your own, check out this article from verywellmind.com.
What’s the hardest thing about being alone for you?