WebMD BlogsRelationships

Being Single Has Advantages

woman smiling sun
Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD - Blogs
By Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhDPsychologistOctober 14, 2020

Whether you are single by choice or by chance, there are many benefits to not being in a committed, intimate relationship. Those who recognize it as an opportunity to connect deeply with themselves and others often find much meaning and fulfillment in their lives.

Single people (as well as those in committed relationships) are happiest when they appreciate what they have and engage meaningfully in their lives. They do best when they focus on:

Developing and maintaining close relationships: Most people find that having deep, meaningful relationships is fulfilling, but having a partner is not the only way to achieve this. As a single person, you can devote your resources to nurturing your connections with family and friends. Regularly chat with friends; visit or talk with siblings, parents, or grandparents; and reach out to nieces or nephews. (Shout out to my nieces and nephews: Max, Jake, Kyle, Cali, and Casey!)

Pursuing self-development: While healthy intimate relationships can be wonderfully fulfilling, they also require a significant investment of time. When you are single, you can use that time for your personal growth. You can invest effort into exploring, developing, and living your values and interests. These efforts are worthy by themselves and can help you develop a stronger sense of yourself. If you are interested in a committed relationship, having a stronger sense of self will enhance your ability to collaborate with someone else in developing a shared life together -- one that can create a sense of well-being for both of you that is more than either of you can do alone.

Following your passions: As a single person, you do not have to worry about attending to the needs of a partner. You are free to pour all of yourself into any pursuit that you feel passionate about.

Finding ways to give: You may find it fulfilling to use your free time to give to others. You might volunteer as a literacy teacher or at a local food bank. Or, you may decide to set up a charity based on personal experiences, as Nancy Brinker did when she began the Susan G. Komen organization in honor of her sister.

Becoming self-reliant: Many people in relationships pass off to their partner what they are uncomfortable doing. By contrast, when you are single, you may find that you grow more by learning to do more for yourself.

Being single affords opportunities that you may not choose to -- or be able to -- pursue if you were part of a couple. When you use your time and personal resources to create the life you want, singleness can be a wonderful path.


WebMD Blog
© 2020 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.
Blog Topics:
About the Author
Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD

Dr. Becker-Phelps is a licensed psychologist in NJ and NY, and is on staff at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, Somerset. She is dedicated to helping people understand themselves and what they need to do to become emotionally and psychologically healthy. She accomplishes this through her work as a psychotherapist, speaker and writer. She is the author of Bouncing Back from Rejection and Insecure in Love.

More from the Relationships Blog

  • giving advice

    Think Twice Before You Give Advice

    If only we were as good at solving our own problems as we are at solving other people’s. But like so many great ideas, our solutions for others often become less perfect the more we learn about the problem ...

  • photo of couple arguing in bed

    How to Keep Your Emotions From Overwhelming You

    If you’re someone who gets emotionally overwhelmed, relationship conflict can be difficult to manage. When you get upset with your partner, you don’t handle it well. You are too upset to think clearly. So you ...

View all posts on Relationships

Latest Blog Posts on WebMD

View all blog posts

Important: The opinions expressed in WebMD Blogs are solely those of the User, who may or may not have medical or scientific training. These opinions do not represent the opinions of WebMD. Blogs are not reviewed by a WebMD physician or any member of the WebMD editorial staff for accuracy, balance, objectivity, or any other reason except for compliance with our Terms and Conditions. Some of these opinions may contain information about treatments or uses of drug products that have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. WebMD does not endorse any specific product, service or treatment.

Do not consider WebMD Blogs as medical advice. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your care plan or treatment. WebMD understands that reading individual, real-life experiences can be a helpful resource, but it is never a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a qualified health care provider. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or dial 911 immediately.

Read More