Despite what every rom-com says, not everyone needs a partner to feel complete. Singledom shouldn’t be seen as a limbo between relationships. In fact, many people prefer being single. They view it as an advantage, not a source of pain because they know it’s what’s best for them. Whether someone prefers being single short-term or long-term, there are so many opportunities and benefits to appreciate — and many are backed by scientific research. Singledom is not about loneliness; it’s about self-empowerment.
As Kelly Rowland said, “Being single is about celebrating and appreciating your own space that you’re in.”
12 Scientifically-Backed Reasons Why People Prefer Being Single
Everyone has experienced it. A friend gets married or into a committed relationship and goes AWOL. They start focusing all of their energy on their significant other and their friendships suffer as a result. But according to a study in the journal Contexts singles are more attentive to their friends and family members, including strengthening their sibling relationships. They also tend to have a more diverse range of close friends, according to a study in Information Communication and Society. 
Insecurities, trauma, and hardships tend to tank people’s self-esteem. However, being single, short-term or not, is the perfect time to find oneself again. It’s important to take time to work on personal growth and re-discover what you love about yourself. After all, you are the constant person you need to live with for the rest of your life. Partners could come and go, but you need to make sure you love yourself first and foremost. 
Many people prefer being single to pursue a career. They enjoy giving work their all and derive great satisfaction from it. Often these are careers of their dreams, and they worked hard to reach where they are. They also can travel more and take longer, well-earned vacations.
Read: Why I Think It’s Actually Okay To Ignore The Red Flags
Intimate relationships can be stressful. It involves two people trying to fit their lives together, and there are many snags to work through. And then there’s the stress of being in a relationship that’s taking a nosedive. Although being single presents its unique set of stresses, they get to avoid the anxiety and frustration that comes with a partner.
Hobbies and Interests
Solitude provides many opportunities to explore new things. This could be learning a new skill, traveling, or experimenting with different hobbies. There’s no need for “I wish I could… but I don’t have the time.” Singles get to jump into different experiences and learn more about themselves in the process.
A relationship could be mentally consuming, according to relationship expert Susan Winter.
“Emotional discord can be all-consuming as it removes us from the present moment and present situation,” Winter says. “This is true whether the internal turmoil is based on a fight with our mate, or a fear for their health and wellbeing.”
Meanwhile, people prefer being single because it clears their minds to allow for new thoughts and dreams. Instead of focusing on someone else, there’s time to breathe and look inward.
Evidence shows that single people get more exercise than married ones. A study published in the Journal of Marriage and Family showed that divorcees get more exercise than their married counterparts. However, people who have always been single get the most exercise. This makes sense since many single people more easily keep to a routine. They get the opportunity to properly take care of themselves instead of needing to compromise themselves for the sake of a partner.
Read: People who have good relationships don’t have to tell everyone on Facebook
It’s a no-brainer that single people are self-sufficient. Their lives become entirely their own, and they know that no one is responsible for their happiness but themselves. They could choose to adopt a new ambition or way of life, and there’s no one to hinder them. They are the masters of responsibility and whatever else they decide to pursue.
“You’re more likely to take risks and have adventures and have more novelty within your journey,” says Dr. Niloo Dardashti, a New York-based psychologist and relationship expert.
Singles often do a lot to help others and contribute to society. They are active about causes they believe in, and they volunteer at charity organizations. They also tend to spend more time taking care of elderly parents than married people do. These experiences help single people develop and learn more about the world, bringing more meaning into their lives. 
Previous Bad Relationships
Often, people need to heal after a bad breakup or a bad relationship. Or a string of them. It’s hard to jump into another romantic endeavor when their emotions still feel raw. But fear of being alone is never a reason to be in a relationship. When people find themselves in that pattern, they prefer being single to heal and regain the sense of self.
“The best relationships occur when you have a good understanding of your needs, wants, and values,” says relationship expert Andrea Syrtash. “Being single allows you to focus on these things. Having this confidence and self-awareness will ultimately serve you in all of your relationships, not just romantic ones.”
Mental Health Reasons
“Partnership can be wonderful,” Winter says. “We have someone with whom to share our ups and downs, as they do with us. But when we’re single, we’re required to focus on the areas of our lives that need attention.”
And when people struggle with addiction or mental health issues, they need to put themselves first. They don’t need to explain themselves to anyone, and mental issues are often hard for other people to understand if they had never experienced them. Still, singles can get support from friends and family members while working through these struggles in their own time.
Enjoy Living Alone
Being single doesn’t mean being lonely. Instead, many single people have learned to enjoy their own company while becoming more selective about the friends they keep. Since they are not desperate for companionship, they choose a community of people who improve their lives and wellbeing. Many people prefer being single because they enjoy the lifestyle to the fullest. And living alone comes with many perks. 
Keep Reading: What It’s Like to Be in Love With Someone You Can’t Have (And Let Go)
- “7 science-backed reasons why you’re better off being single.” Insider. Lindsay Dodgson. February 15, 2019
- “Singles Awareness Day: The benefits of being single.” CNN. Kristen Rogers. February 15, 2020
- “17 Benefits of the Single Life.” Psychology Today. Bella DePaulo, Ph.D. August 4, 2016
- “9 Ways Being Single Can Improve Your Life.” Time. Candice Jalili. September 20, 2018