10 Reasons to Be Single For a Year

The last thing you’d expect this article to start with is a list of reasons you’d want to be in a relationship. So let’s be crazy together:

10 Reasons to Be With Someone

1-You like them

2-You want to learn more about them

3-You want to grow with them

4-You don’t want anyone else

5-You’re the best version of you around them

6-They love you back

7-They stick up for you

8-They encourage you when you’re down

9-They inspire you

10-You trust them more than anyone else in the world

These are all great reasons to be with someone. Anyone. Hell, even yourself! But for how much time you’ve spent with you, have you ever actually chosen yourself for these reasons?

Most people enter relationships not out of selfless love, as would be the case in a Jane Austen novel, but for fear of being alone. That fear forces us into rash decisions—which lead to romances we never would’ve planned for. You’ve probably experienced this. And if you’re anything like I was, you probably chalked it up to love:

“Love is a motherfucker!”

But when my last dose of love ended up being nearly fatal, I couldn’t keep choosing other people. They were breaking my heart and driving me insane. So, at 24, and for the first time in my life, I checked myself out of the love game.

My whole life up till that point had been a series of relationships with unintended breaks in between. If I wasn’t in one, I was jealous of every couple I saw, and constantly vigilant for my next vagina. I didn’t really like myself, so I needed someone to make me feel likable. I didn’t stick up for myself, so I needed someone to stick up for me. I didn’t love myself, so I needed someone to love me. But when love left me heart-broken and half-crazy, I was my only rational recourse.

I promised myself that I’d never enter another relationship until I could fulfill all 10 reasons of being with someone myself—until I could be successfully single. And I gave myself a year minimum to figure it out.

I didn’t particularly enjoy it at first. I mean, let’s be real: I wasn’t single because I wanted to be; I had to be! In fact, I was absolutely miserable for the first year. Even though I was single, I still hadn’t chosen myself. I constantly daydreamed about what life would be like “if only things just could’ve worked out,” which made me feel lonely and regretful—the opposite of successfully single. Since I’m exceptionally stubborn, I waited until I was clinically anxious and depressed to choose me. If I didn’t, I was sure I wouldn’t see my thirtieth birthday.

So I picked up my first self-help book, and then my first self-love routine (affirmations), and then journaling. And just with those small steps I found the courage to dream my own dreams for the first time. So I decided to be a writer. And on that path I was forced to improve myself constantly; otherwise I would’ve been homeless. I got focused on goal setting and planning out everything I needed in a day to be happy, joyful, fit, and successful. And somewhere in that self-improvement journey, I chose me for me.

Because I liked me.
I wanted to learn more about me.
I wanted to grow with me.
I didn’t want anyone but me,

Because I brought out the best in me.

I loved me.
I stuck up for myself.
I encouraged myself when I was down,
Because I inspired myself.
And I trusted myself more than anyone else.
In the blink of an eye I had become the man of my dreams, and I wouldn’t trade my relationship with him for anything less than the ever-rare and all-important unconditional love. It feels that good to be chosen for who you really are. And I was only able to discover these things about me when I gave myself a year to find out.

As you can tell, the single year thing is my thing. But because it’s been so valuable for me, I want it to be your thing too.

Here are 10 reasons to be single for a year:

1-You’ve never been single for a year—and if you have, it wasn’t on purpose.

2-You don’t like your career. Second only to love itself, there is nothing more important than doing what you love. If your relationships have kept you complacent, or have distracted you from pursuing your dreams, you need all the time and energy you can get to live your own (damn) life. A single year could make you singularly successful.

3-Being single for a year makes you scared. Barring picking fights with bears inside a nuclear power plant, you should do the things that make you scared. Because if you’re scared of singlehood, that means you don’t know yourself well enough to trust that you’ll make it out alive. Ironically, the only way to build that trust is by being solo!

4-You’re not fully independent—i.e, living with Mom and Dad, or depending on your partner for survival. If you’re like I was, and you’re more concerned about getting a new romantic partner than getting a job, or pursuing your career, you definitely need a year for massive self-improvement. Hard truth.

5-You’re socially isolated. We’re the most social creatures on the planet—we need each other, and we need to feel close. But instead of forging tight friendships to fulfill our social needs, many of us choose romance. It’s easier (like “Netflix and chill” easier), and it makes us feel really connected. But when the romance dries up—as they usually do before you choose you—you’re left with social isolation, which increases stress, anxiety, and risk for heart disease/mental issues. So choose you for a year, and plant yourself firmly in a strong community that supports you and your self improvement.

 

6-…well, in the spirit of unexpectedness, I think I’ll end the article about ten reasons to be single for a year with only five. And if you’re down with that (not that you have much choice), then you’re my kind of crazy.

The end.

 

 

 

 

Written by Daniel Dowling
Hi! I'm Dan, founder of Millennial Success. When I'm not getting six-packed--that's "hit in the face" in beach volleyball--or reading Jane Austen's novels for the fifth time, I'm helping people make every day a breakthrough as a writer and coach.