Single? Here’s How You Should Enjoy It Now.

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I spent a lot of time single fantasizing about what my life might be like with a partner. Specifically, how much better everything would be. I thought about road trips and vacations we’d take, driving up the coast - or settling into a bungalow in Bora Bora, sipping cocktails as we watched the sunset.

I thought about how having a partner would be an answer to the problems I was grappling with. I thought it would make me happier in my career, feel more secure financially, and give me companionship (not to mention sex on demand). Of course I knew there would be problems, but with the right person, we could address them.

Because of my “grass is greener” approach to being single, I missed out on a lot of opportunities. Thankfully, a couple of years before meeting my partner, I decided to take a different approach – to embrace my single status and to really enjoy the moment. It made me a happier person, and as an added bonus made me more attractive to the men I did meet. Dating became fun.

Here’s how you should enjoy being single and embrace the present now:

Pursue your passions while you date. I could have done a lot more with my time than binge-watch Real Housewives or sip cocktails with friends. I love hiking, and thankfully, I started to do more of it on my own until it became part of my routine. Do you write, play volleyball, ride horses, or garden? Are you looking to start your own business? Use this time to begin now – because in a relationship, you won’t have your schedule all to yourself.

Travel on your own. There’s nothing more liberating than being in a foreign country on your own schedule, and seeing what can happen. If that is too adventurous for you, then try a smaller trip – a drive up the coast or a weekend getaway. When you travel alone, you are more likely to strike up conversations with strangers and act with more spontaneity – not to mention making new friends to visit again.

See a movie or have dinner by yourself. Again, it can be liberating. Plus, you get to eat desert for dinner and watch an avant-garde art film if you want, no judgment.

Do something spontaneous once a week. When you’re in a relationship, you tend towards routine. Mix things up when you are single by trying a new coffee shop, exploring a new neighborhood, or trying your hand at surf lessons. It doesn’t matter what it is – trying new things keeps us curious and engaged (and happy).

Own your schedule. One of the perks of being single is that you can do what you want, when you want. Make plans with your friends. Work on that novel. Go hiking. It doesn’t matter what you do, just enjoy the fact that you have choices.