It's no secret that winter can be a tougher season to not be in a couple — they call it cuffing season for a reason, after all. In the summer, the sun is shining, everyone is out on the beaches and sipping drinks on the patio, wearing skimpy clothing and just enjoying life. In the winter, a lot of plans move indoors, and suddenly all you want is to snuggle up with the person you love and binge-watch things on Netflix while nibbling on some snacks and sneaking a kiss or two.
However, let's just take a moment to acknowledge the fact that being single can actually be really, really great. You don't have anyone else's issues to deal with, you don't have to worry about incorporating anyone else unless you want to, and you can basically just focus on being your best self. You can do the things you love and the things that nurture you, you can make time in your schedule to hang out with the people who bring a smile to your face, and you can basically just live your life to the fullest.
Here's the thing though: in order to one day find the right man for you, you have to be able to embrace the times in your life where you will be single. Moreover, there are certain things you should be doing while you're single that will attract a good man. Here's the 15 things you must be doing, according to men, unless you want to be single forever.
15 Refusing to settle
Sometimes, it can feel like you're the last single person left on the planet. You're getting wedding invitations on a weekly basis, you're constantly seeing cutesy posts on social media gushing about engagements or date nights, and you've just had enough. You're so, so tempted to simply couple up with the next person you see, just so you can say you're no longer single. Real talk? That's insane. You're a fierce, fabulous woman and you do not need anyone in your life unless they are the exact right person for you, a person who makes you feel good and happy and head over heels in love. No matter how long you've been single, and how long it's been without a date, don't you dare settle because you're way better than that.
14 Keeping that self-care routine going
It can be tempting, especially if you're in that cycle of dating, to focus a ton of your time and attention on your potential partner. You're willing to cancel that spin class you signed up for in order to meet them for a drink after work, and you find yourself spending your weekend hanging out with your guy doing what he wants to do rather than taking some time for yourself. News flash — you need to take care of yourself, always, and it's not selfish to do so. You should never be giving up everything that nurtures you in order to please a potential partner — carve out time for that bubble bath and home spa night, buy yourself that tasty treat you adore, have a glass of wine and just relax a little. We all need to practice self-care.
13 Working on your career like a #boss
Back in the day, many women went straight from their parents' house to their husband's home, and never worked outside the home at all. Or, they worked in certain positions while they were single, and gave that up once they found a partner who would become the breadwinner. Well, those days are long gone — nowadays, women are embarking on incredibly inspiring careers and absolutely slaying in the workforce. They're climbing their way up the ladder and making their own career dreams come true, and that's amazing. No matter what your relationship status, you should always be chasing your career goals, whatever they may be — after all, who wants to wait around for a hubby when you can create your own best life and score success after success in the workforce?
12 Hooking up (if that's what you're feeling)
We are officially team 'you should do whatever you want with your body and no one has any right to make you feel badly about your decisions.' If you're the type of person who really doesn't like to get intimate unless you're in a serious relationship, then hey — show yourself some self-love and just wait it out until you can get that itch scratched by a partner. However, if you just want a little loving in your life, there's absolutely nothing wrong with turning to someone for a hook-up. It doesn't mean you're going to be single forever just because you're looking for one fun night rather than a long-term relationship, and as long as you're being safe, your number certainly shouldn't matter to any future serious partner. You do you, girl.
11 Making time for your girls
There have been countless movies and television shows that try to drive home this message, but it bears repeating, because women still do it all the time. They're happy to hang with their BFF when they're single, but as soon as they have a guy in the wings, they find themselves ditching their girls for their date night plans — and that's not cool. Yes, you should absolutely nurture any new relationship if you manage to find a guy who gets your heart beating fast. However, your girls are the ones who will be there by your side through anything, so you should never stop making time in your schedule for them. Plan a regular girls' night, send them a spontaneous text, whatever you want — just make sure you're making that a priority.
10 Wearing the clothes you love — not the clothes you think guys will love
When it comes to clothing, every guy has his own preferences. Some guys love women who are totally dolled up, with flawless make-up and an outfit that shows off a ton of skin. Other guys like a more natural look, and prefer women who are wearing minimal make-up and casual clothing like jeans and a t-shirt. At the end of the day, though, there's only one person whose opinion you should listen to when it comes to your clothing — you. Clothes have a huge impact on how we feel and view ourselves, and every woman knows how the right outfit can just give you the biggest confidence boost. So, if your guy loves you in jeans and a t-shirt but you feel your best in vintage-inspired circle skirts and blouses? You rock those circle skirts and blouses.
9 Travelling on your own
When you travel alone, you don't have to take anyone else's plans or desires into consideration. You don't need to worry about whether your partner will be into the excursion you had planned, or whether they'd enjoy the ten-course meal at that fancy spot you read about. All you have to consider is what you would enjoy doing — and that's pretty amazing. So, if you saw someone on social media taking a lust-worthy honeymoon or trip with your partner, and you talked yourself out of booking a vacation because you have no one to go with you? Forget that — take yourself! You are your own best company, and you can create an itinerary packed full of things that make you feel happy to be alive. I mean, could anything be more perfect than that?
8 Being confident enough to make the first move
There's a bit of a double standard in society when it comes to people making the first move — when guys make the first move, they're seen as confident alpha males, whereas when women make the first move, they're often seen as too aggressive or even desperate. We call total bull on that. If you see a guy you think is totally cute, you should absolutely muster up the courage to go over and do a little flirting. And if you've made the first move five times in the past month and gotten shut down every single time? Shake it off, remind yourself that you're fabulous, and try a sixth time. Don't let any guy shake your confidence and make you feel like you can't go after what you want.
7 Pursuing passion projects
Okay, we're not saying that people who are in relationships immediately have to sacrifice everything they love — that would be ludicrous. However, it is true that relationships involve compromises, and you'll often find your schedule filled with a few things that are important to your partner but maybe not so much for yourself. When you're single, you don't have to worry about any of that. You can fill your schedule exactly the way you want to, which means plenty of time for any passion projects. Have you always wanted to learn to take gorgeous photos? Enroll in a photography course. Dream of being an entrepreneur? Buy a few business books and spend your evenings sketching out a plan for your new venture. When you're single, you have all the time in the world to pursue the things that are important to you — and that's amazing.
6 Taking care of your body — for you
Okay, if a guy ever tells you that you need to change your body to make it fit his ideal, you can tell him exactly where to stick it. However, just because you're a single lady doesn't mean you should totally neglect your bod just because you're assuming no one is going to get up close and personal with it on a regular basis. Now, we're not talking about starving yourself to fit your most flirtatious bodycon dress — don't you dare lose weight for a guy. We're talking about fueling your body with nutrient-dense meals and moving your body regularly so that you feel great about yourself, inside and out. When you're taking care of yourself, you feel a sense of confidence, and everyone knows that confidence is an incredibly attractive trait.
5 Splurging on things that make you feel great (hellooooo, Sephora!)
When you're single, there's no one there who will give you the eyebrow raise when you admit that you just spent half a paycheck on make-up, or when you admit just how much you're dropping at your favourite cafe every week (those lattes add up). You should definitely make sure you're not being financially irresponsible or anything like that, but if you want to buy an $80 eyeshadow palette to cheer yourself up, single ladies, do it! If it brings you joy to splurge on a five dollar vanilla latte every morning, and it just brightens your entire day, then do it! You're the only one responsible for your happiness, and if there are certain purchases that just make you feel great, why not indulge every now and then? Treat yo' self!
4 Dating without stressing about where it's going
Okay, let's just get one thing straight — dating can be a ton of fun. Sure, you may have your occasional cringeworthy first date or even blind date, but most of the time, dating is kind of an adventure. You get to know someone, spend a little time doing something fun, and just get to have a good time in that flirtatious stage of a potential relationship. What's not to love? However, dating can be majorly stressful if you keep worrying about where the relationship is going and whether or not he's the right guy for you and all that. Just don't go there. Enjoy getting to know the person you're with, enjoy whatever activity you're doing, and just relax a little bit about everything — things will end up going a lot more smoothly if you approach it that way.
3 Indulging in a little self-love so you can tell any future guy exactly what you like
If you're single and not really a fan of casual hook-ups, sometimes you may find yourself getting a bit of an itch that needs scratching, if you know what we mean. And in situations like that, often the best thing to do is just indulge in a little self-love. Many people find it a little embarrassing to talk about or admit to, but hey — it's healthy, it's fun, and it's a fantastic way to learn exactly what you love (and hate) for when you eventually find a partner to do all that fun stuff with. You're a strong single woman who has taken control of her career, look, routine, everything — why on earth wouldn't you take control of your intimate life with a few solo sessions? There's no shame in it.
2 Being yourself and honoring it
One fantastic thing about being single is that you kind of get to know exactly who you are — what you love, what your priorities are, how your dream life would look, etc. Often, when you're in a relationship, you'll find yourself aligning with your partner a little bit, whether intentionally or unintentionally. There's nothing wrong with that — you wouldn't be with your partner if you were complete opposites with none of the same values and interests — but you should just always make sure to be who you are, no matter who you're with. Take all that time when you're single to develop a strong sense of self so that when you finally find the perfect partner, you'll know exactly what you're bringing to the table, and won't find yourself being influenced by a stronger personality.
1 Celebrating your single status — you're fabulous with or without a partner by your side!
So, so many women are absolutely miserable about being single. They feel like they'll never find the right guy, they feel awful about themselves, etc. And it's absolutely insane! Ladies, if you're single, that's not some kind of indication that you're flawed or that guys aren't interested — you just haven't found your perfect person yet, and that's okay! Instead of feeling down on yourself for being single, you should wholeheartedly embrace your single status. You likely won't be single forever, so why not make the most of your time as a fabulous solo star! Your partner should never be the thing that defines your life or the only thing that makes you happy — you should be a fabulous, fully formed person on your own, and living a life where a partner is just a lovely accompaniment.
Sources: bolde.com, gurl.com, cosmopolitan.com