Although there are more single men and women in the world today than any other time in recorded history, you'd never know that from most media sources. The nuclear family is still promoted as the best option for ensuring endless contentment. Products ranging from peanut butter to bath tissue are typically advertised in settings with the cliché family unit of mom, dad and two kids. As the national divorce rate has hovered around 50 percent for the past few decades, the joys of singledom haven't been proportionately reflected in most sectors.
Single people have gained ground in television and movie roles in this century but usually not in a positive light. Their characters are typically sad and bumbling after a breakup or so immature and unappealing, no one wonders why they don't have significant others. In addition, many storylines perpetuate the myth that if these outcasts could just find the right mate, their lives would be complete, with endless days filled with rainbows and unicorns.
Living solo has so many advantages that are rarely brought to light, ranging from the material to physical and psychological benefits. Of course, like any lifestyle, there are drawbacks, but if you're a self-sufficient, slightly creative person with average or above intelligence, going through life without a steady partner can be fulfilling, fun and even enviable. Consider what you could be missing before you jump on some dating website to find someone to "complete" you; look in the mirror—you're already whole!
15 More Money for you
Flying in the face of the old adage, "Two can live as cheaply as one," single people often have more discretionary funds to spend than couples. They typically live in smaller dwellings than couples, so their rent or mortgage payments are lower. Utility bills are also less based on single-person usage. Food cost savings are significant because when you buy for two, you typically purchase too many groceries and cook more than you need, which is less likely when you live alone. Non-food spending on such necessities as laundry and dish detergent, creams and lotions, shampoo, body soap, and miscellaneous cleaning supplies is less than with couples. Since you only have to haul yourself around town and make fewer side trips to run errands for your partner, you'll use less fuel in your car. Less car use also means less wear and tear on the vehicle, so maintenance and repair costs are less frequent.
14 Freedom to Travel
Ever get caught up in an online travel site and daydream about how exciting it would be to click on that great deal on a round-trip airline ticket to an island paradise that leaves in 2 hours? When you're single, you can turn that dream into a reality. With no one to talk you out of it, a fat bank account, and the freedom to come and go as you please, your options are seemingly endless. Being single also means you can book the most boring tours you like, hole up in a hostel if the mood strikes you or have a whirlwind romance with a handsome stranger you can only communicate with through long, deep kisses and body language. Of course, you might have to clear it with your boss but since all your solitude has made you wiser and cleverer, coming up with a creative reason for a spontaneous vacation should be easy.
13 Stronger Friendships
Remember how good it felt in your youth to have one or two best friends you could always count on to have your back no matter what? As we mature and life becomes more complicated with work and other commitments, including partners, those special friends typically fade from the picture or at least become much less integral to your daily life. Singledom gives you time back to rekindle those friendships or build new ones that are just as strong and important. You have the freedom to plan weekend trips or vacations together or simply go out for a bite to eat or grab an after-work drink. Strong friendships as adults are just as vital to your mental health as they were in your youth, sometimes more so when you're dealing with loss, rejection and other hardships that often become more frequent with age. Nothing beats a strong shoulder to lean on.
12 Less Stress
If you're a natural people pleaser, you may be more stressed out than others. The satisfaction you get from making others happy may give you joy but if only one person takes advantage of this trait, the positive results can turn negative. Since partners are frequently the neediest people in your life, flying solo can cut that stress in half. No more waiting for them to call, come home, take an interest in your job, cook half the meals, share laundry chores, or help out with housework. Although you have do all those things alone when you're single, there's less stress involved because you know what your responsibilities are and can plan accordingly. You also have the advantage as a single person to consider only your own desires when making plans or choices about everything from dinner to vacation destinations, which reduces tension and strain.
11 Improved Self-Sufficiency
One of the first things you learn when you move out of the family home and live on your own is self-sufficiency. Things you took for granted all your life suddenly aren't there: toilet paper, light bulbs, cleanser. As a single adult living alone, you quickly realize there's no one to scratch your back, zip up your dress, put the Christmas tree in its stand and help decorate it, make you soup when you get the flu, take you to the ER when you sprain your ankle, give you a lift home when your car dies on the freeway, cry to when you get fired, or make you laugh at the end of a horrible day. Sure, you can reach out to friends for some help sometimes but there's nothing like a partner you can count on. You have to be creative (claw backscratchers are great!), plan ahead whenever possible (keep some homemade chicken soup in the freezer), and just tough it out when necessary.
10 Physical Fitness
Although regular romps in the hay are great for keeping your cardiovascular system in tiptop shape, the single life can help you stay in shape through changes in personal habits. Single women reportedly exercise more since they have more time for themselves and aren't as tempted to plant themselves in front of a TV for the evening when they're living alone. They are also less likely to eat out; restaurant meals typically have more fat, carbs and calories than home cooked food. And when you're single, you're probably dating, so you're more conscious of your body image and more inclined to keep it looking fit and strong through healthy eating and daily exercise regimes. Regular visits to the gym are easier for single women as they never feel guilty about leaving their roommate or partner home alone and are free to work out as long as they wish.
9 Avoid Heartache
Most people concur that the feeling of being in love is among the best in the world. You feel energized, invincible, beautiful, hopeful – it's one of the most incredible mind-body experiences of life. Unfortunately, the agony of a union you thought would last forever ending is just as intense as the joy of its beginning. The heart is strong and resilient but there's a big advantage in giving it a rest now and then to let the bruises heal and lick your wounds. You can actually date people casually without falling in love. The experience is good for fine tuning your social skills and lets you shop around to see what's available once you're ready to jump back in the game and play for higher stakes. You don't have to go for broke with everyone you meet; just have some fun and expand your circle of friends.
8 Career Advancement
With many career women still making 23 cents less per dollar paid for exactly the same job done by male counterparts, you have to use every skill, talent, connection and ability you have to climb the corporate ladder, many times only to find a glass ceiling at the top. Being single affords you the opportunity to focus on your professional goals without distractions such as romantic arguments, suspicions of a cheating partner, or getting home to be with your mate. Single women are freer to work late, take work home with them, attend company-sponsored seminars and retreats, and hop on a plane for unexpected business trips. And there are no chances for a companion to be jealous or resentful of your work relationships. You're also free to consider relocating for a promotion based solely on your wants and needs without considering the personal and professional impacts the move may have on your partner.
7 Freeform Flirting
Some of the fondest memories women have of their teenage years revolve around flirting and dating. Remember what fun it was to play the field, date two or three guys at a time, or focus on a guy you had eyes for and use your feminine wiles to get him to ask you out? When you're single as an adult, you can recreate those scenarios without fear of ruffling anyone's feathers or instigating a pointless argument over a glance you flashed at a waiter. Alone or with friends, you can coyly toss your hair, sensuously lick your lips, buy a drink for a cute guy you spot in a bar or restaurant, or just strike up a casual conversation and ask him for a date…or something even wilder. Freeform flirting is an innocent and enjoyable pastime you can us in almost any environment except the workplace (it's not worth risking your reputation or job).
6 Time Savings
Since texting is such a pervasive habit, you probably don't realize how much time you spend on it, especially if you have a partner. Besides trading little love quips as you go through each day, you also spend more minutes and sometimes hours than you think texting about work issues, appointments, what's for dinner, who's picking up who or what….some days, it seems like one never-ending conversation. As a single person, your texts are normally reduced to short interchanges with friends and family to confirm or cancel plans or just check on how their day is going. You also have no after-work obligations like attending your mate's boss's birthday party or making appearances at charity events and fundraisers. Figure in the time you save cooking less, washing fewer clothes, cleaning up after only yourself, and running only personal errands and you'll probably have 6 or 8 extra hours a week on your hands.
5 More Rest & Sleep
Sleeping in the same bed as your partner is expected and can be positive in many ways. Snuggling under the covers builds intimacy and trust, not to mention the health benefits and satisfaction of physical coupling. However, sleeping alone is generally more restful and beneficial to your body and soul. There are no distractions like snoring to keep you awake or interrupt your slumber. You don't have to fight to keep the covers on your body throughout the night. When your partner gets up for a glass of water in the middle of the night, your sleep is usually interrupted. Sleeping alone, uninterrupted for a solid, blissful 8 hours, rejuvenates your body like a day at a spa and concurrently refreshes your brain so you're full of natural vim and vigor when you arise the next morning. Even if you eventually partner with someone, it's a good practice to sleep in separate beds every week or so.
4 Personal Development
Every year, most commonly on birthdays, many people reflect on the past year and make plans to better themselves in the year ahead. Like New Year's resolutions, many of the best intentions never come to fruition but if you're single, you'll likely have better results. You can take classes that only have to fit your schedule and learn a foreign language, try your hand at origami, or master the art of clog dancing. Fulfill your desire to make homemade pasta and fill your living space with pasta drying racks without hearing disparaging remarks from your mate. Listen to hours of dolphins talking to each other on CDs while you perfect the most difficult yoga positions without driving your partner crazy. Being single may be the key to bettering yourself for personal satisfaction but it will also add layers of interest to your personality and attract a wider range of friends and acquaintances.
3 Not As Much Housework
Even if you're not a neat freak, living single creates much less housework than cohabitating. There are not only half the dishes to wash, your laundry will pile up half as quickly and if you want, you don't have to wash any clothes until you're down to your last pair of stretched out old underwear. People who don't entertain on a regular basis can skip vacuuming, sweeping, mopping and dusting for a week or two and let the bathtub get a little grungy before scrubbing it. You'll be surprised how easy it is to comfortably live in a place that isn't scrutinized by anyone but you. Live by the old saying, "My home is clean enough to be healthy but dirty enough to be happy." But don't let things go for too long or you'll eventually wake up to a place in such disarray it will take a whole day to make it habitable again.
2 Fewer Compromises
Life is full of compromises in both our personal and professional lives. In fact, compromise is essential to survive in this world, which makes not making concessions a treat, a selfish gift to yourself. When you're single, you can put your feet up on the coffee table, push the coasters aside and set your beverage directly on the surface, and channel surf with the remote like a hyperactive toddler. Have dinner without a green vegetable, or go see a movie in the middle of the day and ask for double butter on your popcorn. Acting like a spoiled brat will likely wear thin after a day or two but the upside of not having to constantly compromise is that when you get back to the "real" world, it won't seem like as much of a concession to meet people halfway for the sake of peace and harmony.
1 Healthier Heart
Not only do seriously single people have significantly less emotional heartache than those in partner relationships, their actual hearts are typically healthier. According to a medical report published in the Journal of Marriage and Family in 2006 which studied 9,000 people for 8 years, those that had never been married had the lowest rates of heart disease. Conversely, those in the same study group that were categorized as remarried, divorced or widowed – all in the couples category at one point – had the highest rates of heart disease. So if you stay healthy through diet and exercise and choose to stay single, you'll likely outlive all your married friends and family members and suffer much less sadness. Not only a fun fact but also a great comeback to all those people – you know who they are – who ask every time you see them when you're going to "settle down" and get married.