Not being in a romantic relationship is lonely and sometimes depressing. And, trying to find ways to be happy single when you wish you were married can feel futile. I have a few practical tips for coping…but first, here’s a comment from a reader that has stuck with me for a long time.
“Once you get older and are no longer in college there are long stretches of time when you aren’t meeting anyone,” says Claire in response to my tips on how to be happy when you fear you’ll be single forever. “Or the people you do meet, you’re not interested in or, unfortunately, vice versa. Instead of sugarcoating it, the writers of these ‘singles self-help’ articles need to establish from the outset that, yes, being alone stinks and no amount of friends or family or career success can fill the void that results from a lack of a romantic relationship. Then, give us some thoughtful and practical tips for ‘making the best of it’ during those lonely times (now, for example, because as I write this comment, Christmas is three weeks away). Let’s face it: Nobody who wants to be in a relationship is ever TRULY happy or satisfied as a single. Everyone is just plodding through with a fake smile, simply trying to be ‘okay.’ What I would like is real advice on how to make ‘okay’ a little better while I’m putting myself out there in hopes of meeting the right guy.”
The most practical, helpful, and healthy tip I have on how to be happy single when you’d rather be married is this: connect with God. Find spiritual freedom, emotional healing, and a wellspring of joy in His love. God is the engine of this universe, the source of all love, joy, strength, and hope.
You will never be fully joyful, peaceful, or happy unless you learn how to fill the pit of emptiness in your heart and soul with His love. A man can’t make you whole, but God can. A man doesn’t make you happy or fill all your needs…but God can.
How to Be Happy Single When You Wish You Were Married
“Long before my husband left me, I knew our marriage was ending,” says Terrilyn on 6 Signs Your Marriage is Over. “I couldn’t accept it, though. I never wanted a divorce. The thought of being a single woman after 14 years of marriage was so depressing even though I know deep in my heart that I’m better off without him. Now that our divorce is final and I am officially a single woman I want to find ways to be happy. How do you be happy after a divorce, when you’re single and you wish you were married?”
Being single doesn’t mean nobody wants you; it simply means you’re waiting for the right person. These tips on how to be happy when you’re a single woman will help you find peace, joy, and freedom…even if you wish you were married.
“I enjoy and love my own company but being a single woman does make me sad at times,” says Barb on What to Do When You’re Tired of Being Single. “I love cooking and it would be nice to have dinner with someone several times a week. But I’ve lived with people all my life and I need my space to be alone, I can’t have some man around me every single day expecting me to make his life whole.”
But wait, it get’s better! Here’s my favorite part of Barb’s comment: “A relationship should be a complement to what you already have going on in your life. You should love yourself and learn how to be happy as a single woman even if you’d rather be married because you can do things you love. Being in a marriage with an imperfect man is not easy!”
Enjoy this season you’re in, for it too shall pass. Blossom. Reconnect with yourself. And, know that you are not alone. Read the rest of Barb’s thoughts on the single life:
“I’m a neat freak and my last boyfriend cleaned whenever he felt like it,” she said. “He tried to treat my place like his which was not good. He wasn’t good with money at all and his plans in life only included him and his other family he had. I never wrote when I was with him, I would play music and he would turn it down. He hogged the computer and tv and was using everything I had. The only thing he didn’t use was my tampons and underwear and toothbrush. He ate and drank my stuff and never replaced anything, he broke my new bed by jumping on it and never replaced it. I never got a chance to decorate my own home the way I wanted to.”
There, my friend, is one of the best tips on how to be happy when you’re single: remember the irritations of being in a relationship with a man you don’t love or belong with. Don’t settle for the wrong man just because you haven’t learned how to be happy single.
6 Ways to Be Happy When You Wish You Were Married
“Being single used to mean that nobody wanted you. Now it means you’re pretty and sexy and you’re taking your time deciding how you want your life to be and who you want to spend it with.” – Carrie, from Sex and the City.
Being single is one season of your life. It’s one chapter, one stage. You can learn how to be happy single – especially if you remind yourself it’s not a punishment or a curse. Even if you wish you were married, being single can actually be something to be grateful for and enjoy.
You have two choices:
- You can chose to see being a single woman as a lonely time spent anxiously waiting for “Mr. Right.”
- You can chose to view being a single woman as an opportunity to have a love affair with the most important person in your life…you. Or God, if you’re a believer.
Have you ever noticed that some single women think they’d be happier married, while many married women secretly (or not so secretly) think they’d be happy single? This may be hard to believe – especially if you recently broke up with someone you love. You may feel confused, angry, anxious, and fearful about what lies ahead – especially if you really want to get married. Maybe you never learned how to be happy as a single woman. Take heart! Blossom where you are planted now, in the single season you’re in.
If you want to get married because you want children, read How to Be Happy as a Childless Woman – Single or Married.
1. Trust that this is the right season at this time in your life
Even if you didn’t choose to be single, this is where you are meant to be right now. This is who you are supposed to be – and you will be a lot happier if you embrace your single life. Even if you wish you were married, even if your husband left you high and dry, broke and broken.
Everything belongs. This season of being a single woman belongs in your life right now. How do I know? Because it is happening! It is here and now, which means it was meant to be. Don’t fight this stage of your life, or you will never be happy. Don’t just accept that you are a single woman…find ways to embrace it. Drink the blessings of this season you’re in. You have the power to choose to learn how to be happy single even if you want to get married. You have more power than you think. You can choose which thoughts you dwell on, and what emotions you entertain and allow to grow.
2. Enjoy your freedom to be yourself
One of the best tips on how to be happy as a single woman is freedom. Your time is your own. So is your money and your home, your car and your dog! With no one to answer to or be responsible for, you can come and go as you please. You can schedule activities in advance or you can act on impulse. You can come home after a bad day and made a huge bowl of hot buttered popcorn for dinner! Yum. You can paint, write, or redecorate your home any way you want.
If you’re just coming out of a long-term relationship, it may take a while to appreciate your newfound freedom. If you are not happy single, make a list of things you wanted to do but couldn’t when you were in a relationship. Do the first thing on your list before the month ends. If you don’t have the energy or motivation, ask a friend to be your accountability buddy. Force yourself to get out there and start living your life. You will gain momentum.
3. Use your time to re-evaluate your relationships
Sometimes we allow our love life to overtake everything else. We may let our friendships go, or associate with people we don’t really like (eg, an ex-boyfriend’s or ex-husband’s relatives or friends). If you had good relationships with your ex’s friends and family, you were fortunate. But if you didn’t enjoy spending time with his friends or family, now you can re-evaluate who you spend your time with.
If you have a big family, here’s how to be happy single even if you wish you were married: imagine spending your holidays and vacations doing what you want where you want without negotiation. No more arguing or compromising about which family to visit for Christmas or Thanksgiving this year. You don’t have to host drunken football parties or weekly poker nights (unless of course they were your idea in the first place!). This tip on how to be happy single will help you re-evaluate how you spend your days – and your life.
4. Surround yourself with joy, peace, and beauty
At home when you walk around, what do you see? How do you feel? If you don’t feel at peace, at home, in love, and happy, then find items that make you feel good. Learning how to be happy single even if you want to get married involves surrounding yourself with things of beauty, warmth, and love.
A Woman’s Prayer – Oil Warmer Burner and Diffuser of Fragrance is a beautiful way to keep your home smelling of whatever scent makes you feel happy. I love vanilla and musk essential oils – my bathroom makes me feel good just because it smells warm and beautiful.
Pay attention to and be grateful for those small things in life: softly flickering candles, your favorite meals, enough money for shelter and food, a friend. Be grateful for every breath you take, for it is a gift from God. Joy is a habit you can actually learn to cultivate. Happiness isn’t just a feeling, it’s a choice you can make.
5. Say good-bye to those annoying habits! (one of the best tips on how to be happy single)
Did your ex snore like a freight train? Did he leave dirty clothes and wet towels on the bathroom floor waiting for you to pick them up? Are you a neat freak who somehow ended up with a slob who couldn’t ever seem to throw anything away? Do you love scented candles while your ex found fragrances annoying? Did you give up on watching TV because the channel-switching was driving you crazy?
Now that you’re single, the only annoying habits you’ll have to deal with are your own. And your dog’s. When you find yourself wishing you were in a relationship or wanting to get married, remember that both life as a single and life as part of a couple brings struggles and problems. Your happiness depends on what you focus on.
If you’re struggling with grief after a breakup or divorce, read How to Overcome Depressed Feelings After Breaking Up.
6. Invest in yourself and reinvent your life
One of the best tips on how to be happy single – particularly after a bad breakup or nasty divorce – is the chance to reinvent yourself. Who do you want to be? Where do you want to go? How do you want to get there? Spend money on getting healthy and happy, on educating and growing yourself. Plant seeds in your future. Invest in yourself by taking courses, getting healthy, growing stronger physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
You’ve had a chance to learn more about what you don’t want in a boyfriend or husband, and chances are you’ve learned a lot more about yourself, your needs, and your desires. Some of these revelations may have come from lessons learned during the course of your relationship, but many others will become clearer as you spend more time being single.
To be happy, view dating as an adventure. Spend time with men whose values and temperament are more aligned with the woman you are. Know that you are valuable, lovable, and worthwhile.
Blossom where you are planted now. This season, too, shall pass.
Resources on How to Be Happy as a Single Woman
Read The Single Woman: Life, Love, and a Dash of Sass by Mandy Hale if you’re finding yourself unable to be happy. She tackles the stigma of being a single woman and shares her tips for happiness, fulfillment, and meaning in life.
Talk to God. Ask Him what dreams He has for you…and start allowing yourself to dream His dreams. God’s plans for you are bigger, bolder, and more powerful than anything you could imagine for yourself.
And finally – learn how to let go of the past
Even the easiest breakups can be stressful. Relationships often take weeks, months, and even years to end – and you may have been unhappy for a long time. Once you’ve given yourself a chance to cope with the breakup, you’ll welcome the serenity that settles in. Perhaps you were feeling confused, used, taken advantage of, or abused by your ex-boyfriend or ex-husband.
If you believe you’ll never learn how to be happy as a single woman because you want to get married so badly, give yourself time to grieve the end of your relationship. Remember that being single can be a wonderful season of your life. You may not remain single forever; learn how to love yourself now.
Are you having trouble moving on from your past? Read How to Let Go of Someone You Love.
I welcome your thoughts on how to be single even if you wish you were married. Feel free to vent, cry, stomp your feet, and even be bitter or depressed. You are welcome here! I can’t offer advice, but I read every comment. And, writing will help you process how you feel about being a single woman when you’d rather be in a relationship…
Your thoughts are welcome below! I don't give advice, but you can get free relationship help from marriage coach Mort Fertel.
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