Feeling happy being single | Advice for young people | Jigsaw Online

Feeling happy being single

Being single doesn’t seem like something to celebrate. Relationships are the focus of many of the big Hollywood movies.

Our Insta feeds are filled with snaps of ‘happy couples’ and there’s a mountain of advice on how not to be single. You’d be forgiven for thinking everyone in the world is in a relationship except you.

However, that’s not the case. According to the most recent Irish Census, 41% of people over 15 years-old are single. Yet still we can feel the pressure to ‘couple up’ and it can be challenging. We might be content with our life, but dealing with other people’s judgement can affect our sense of happiness and our overall mental health.

Managing expectations

We all have our own inner dialogue and sometimes, we can be pretty self critical. Notice if you are putting yourself under pressure to be in relationship and explore why that is. What would being in a relationship change for you? We can convince ourselves that everyone in relationships is happier than we are. Thinking about this realistically you know that cannot be possible. Try to re-frame your thoughts to “a relationship is not the only way to make me happy”. Read more about dealing with self-criticism here. 

You’d be forgiven for thinking everyone in the world is in a relationship except you.

Positive thinking about being single

Instead of focusing on what we don’t have, it’s a lot more helpful to focus on what we do have. For example, do you have other people in your life that care about you? Are there people that you care about? Is there any way that you can make someone’s day better? These are unique and important parts of who you are, regardless of your relationship status.

Enjoying alone time

Unlike friends, who have to split their time between their interests and their partner’s, you can decide how to spend your time. Think about what you’re passionate about and where you can put your energy.

Some people think time alone means being lonely and find it difficult to spend any time on their own. But actually spending time with yourself and your thoughts can be a good thing for your mental health and general self-esteem. Think of the people you like being around, more than likely they are comfortable in their skin and with themselves. If you are not enjoying your time on your own read about how to feel more connected or check out how to be better spending time alone.

Instead of focusing on what we don’t have, it’s a lot more helpful to focus on what we do have.

Social media cleanse

Scroll through your social media feeds with fresh eyes. Notice your reaction to the images or posts as they pop up. Do certain accounts spark jealousy or make you feel a little ‘less than’ because you’re single? Mute or unfollow these accounts. Find accounts that bring a smile to your face, or remind you of the freedom and happiness that being single can bring.

“Why are you single?”

It’s likely we’ve all been asked this question by someone in a relationship. Unfortunately, you can’t prevent the question, but can have your response ready. Try “I’m happy being single”. Change the conversation to your weekend plans or favourite hobby for example. This way you can steer the conversation, avoiding questions about your private life.

Party prep

Social events can be a brilliant way to meet new friends. The experience can be daunting though particularly to arrive on our own, without a ‘plus one’. We might feel anxious and self-conscious, which is very normal. However, don’t let this be the reason to miss out on something you could enjoy. There are some useful ways to combat social anxiety.

Mates over dates

Feeling connected in your life is important but this doesn’t have to happen through a romantic relationship. Friendships, new and old, can help us find new interests, get out more, and generally feel better. Our friendships can change when one of us gets in a relationship, we might not be able to hang out as much. Try to be open about making new friends and expanding your social circle to include more single people. Watch Jess and Conor chat about making new friends in this short video.