Just because you’re single doesn’t mean you have to be lonely, writes Jo Carnegie.
As Beyonce once memorably sang, there are a lot of single ladies around. But we still live in a society geared towards couples and when we’re on our own, we often stop doing things we love.
This can end up with us leading “shrunken lives”, according to Christine Ingall, solo lifestyle expert and author of Solo Success! You CAN do Things on Your Own.
“There is a fear of being seen as ‘visibly alone’ in society,” says Christine. “Single status needs to be much more valued and respected.”
Whether being on your own is a choice or unwelcome, you don’t have to be lonely.
“Loneliness is a state of mind,” says Christine.
Read on for Christine’s tips on how to have a happy and fulfilling life in your own company.
Make a list of what you’re missing out on
“People can stop doing things without even realising,” says Christine. “Make a list of the things you love doing and ask yourself, when did you last do any of them? Then think about how you can enjoy doing them by yourself.”
Don’t sit at home thinking about your lonely life. “Value yourself by reminding yourself to do things you enjoy and get out and about.”
Set yourself a daily task or goal
“Make doing things you love part of your daily schedule,” Christine says. “If you love going to the cinema, don’t see it as a big thing you ‘have’ to do, but something you can fit in alongside other things, like food shopping or going to the gym.
“Going to the cinema alone is actually a great thing to do, because it gives you something to talk about and there are probably a lot of other people there by themselves as well, who like the same films you do.”
Avoid the couple clichés
“There are things we do as couples, like going for dinner on a Saturday night, which can be a really big one if you’re single,” says Christine. “Instead, think about eating out on different nights, or enjoying solo brunches and lunches.
“Pick new places you want to try and enjoy trying new food. You don’t need to force yourself out somewhere busy and hectic if it’s going to make you feel worse, not better.”
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Try to be a valued customer
Go to your favourite places regularly, both alone and with other people. It helps the people who serve you to recognise you as a person and value your custom.
“Say hello to the staff at your local coffee shop, or exchange pleasantries with someone on the next table to you. It will be worth it,” says Christine.
“Being lonely is actually a choice. You have to value yourself, remind yourself to do things and get out and about. ”