Why you should give yourself permission to love being single

Photography by Haidee Lorenz
Words by Hannah Furst

Change your mindset.

I am giving you permission to enjoy being single. When someone asks, “Sooooo, have you met someone yet?”, feel free to answer “No, because I’m not looking.”

The next time you consider a second date with someone you have absolutely no chemistry with because your mum is saying you’re too fussy, this is permission to not go on the second date.

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When your friends invite you out for drinks on Friday but you just wanna stay home and organise your underwear drawer, don’t feel obliged to go just because you’re single.

I’m giving you permission to stay home and throw out your old undies; it’s also totally okay to buy yourself new lingerie, and not wait until you’re in a relationship to invest in ridiculously overpriced lacy undies.

I recently interviewed Shani Silver for my podcast Single Minded, where I am flipping the script on being single. Shani is a 38-year-old writer from Brooklyn, she’s been single for 13 years and she’s not ashamed or upset about it. In that interview she told me, “You will never be as free as you are right now.

Every time I start to think negatively about my single status, I imagine a screaming baby waking me up in the middle of the night. I imagine having to keep to my side of the bed. I imagine giving up my backpack and beach bungalows, and going to a child-friendly resort.

I imagine having to get up early on a Sunday to a full schedule of errands and activities, and giving up those precious hours alone in bed in luxurious silence, with a large coffee and sticky date pancakes (which I ordered myself from UberEats).

Because being part of a family unit means compromising. And while there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, I plan on savouring every moment of being alone until (or if) that time comes. Because where you are right now, this doesn’t have to be your temporary home.

I recently received a message from a listener, and it made me realise how much we, single women, need to remind each other that life doesn’t start when we get coupled up: “I’m turning 40 soon and have so much shame about being chronically single but I felt as light as air after listening to Shani this morning. I actually called a mortgage broker today – I’ve been putting off buying my own place just in case I meet a guy and need to give up my rental. Lunacy!”

Your life is happening now, so buy the damn house! I have come to accept that long-term single life is as fun and fulfilling as being in a couple. There’s one catch, though: I had to accept this fact first, before I could fully enjoy being single.

Shani suggests reframing your singleness. Instead of saying “I hate cooking for one”, you could instead say, “I get to choose what I have for dinner tonight.”

I’ve definitely felt the shift. Experiences that felt like failures have become opportunities. I recently went on a first date where we had a lot in common, but there wasn’t a romantic spark. I let the guy know how I felt, and instead of that being the end of it, we’re actually going on a hike together… as friends. It’s amazing what my mind has opened up to now that my self-worth isn’t tied to my relationship status.

For a while there, I was putting off life, waiting for a partner to give me the permission I thought I needed to do the things I’ve always wanted to do. I’ve danced alone, I’ve hiked alone, I’ve been to many movies alone, I went on a two-month road trip alone, I’m planning my first overnight camping trip (which I never thought I’d do without a partner), I even started looking for my first home.

So if you’re waiting to do all the things you ever wanted to do, like to just date for fun, to actually enjoy the luxurious silence of being alone, to tell people you’re happy being single, you don’t need to wait anymore. This is permission to get out there and do it all.

Hannah is a content creator from Melbourne. She works in the beauty industry, and in her spare time hosts Single Minded, a dating podcast that’s flipping the script on being single. When she’s not creating beauty content, you’ll find her somewhere remote backpacking overseas – preferably with no WiFi to get a much-needed break from Instagram. Follow her addiction to serums and travel on Instagram here.

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