10 Important, Independent Lessons Every Girl Should Learn While She's Single

by Jen Ruiz

I personally have never believed people who claim they choose to be single.

I mean, you may come to enjoy being single and make the most out of it, but if your idea of Prince Charming shows up one day, you're not gonna be like,

Sorry, Chris Hemsworth lookalike, I'm busy treading a sea of not-so-eligible candidates right now. Please come back after I've had a few more meaningless one-night stands and assh*le encounters.

While being single may not necessarily be a choice, spending your time wisely as an uncommitted 20-something is.

Instead of plotting how to land a man or being envious of your friends who already have, take this time to explore some valuable lessons that every girl in her 20s should know so you'll be ready for Mr. Hemsworth when he finally arrives.

1. Being Happy in Your Own Company

Being alone can be hard, but it's important to not be dependent on the company of others to be happy.

No one likes a clinger, and your future boyfriend will respect the fact that you have other interests besides him and are capable of having a good time all on your own. Read a good book, watch a new movie, pick up a hobby or go jogging.

There are plenty of things you can do all by yourself to stay entertained.

2. Mastering the Art of Self-Soothing

It's great to have someone around to take care of you when you're sick, hug you when you're sad, or just listen to your problems.

For the times you don't have that, however, you should learn to master the art of self-soothing. This is when a nice bottle of wine and a hot bubble bath comes in. It's always good to be able to brush yourself off and keep going.

3. Being Happy for the Romantic Successes of Others

Green is not a pretty color on anyone, and the older you get, the harder it can be to be happy for the romantic successes of others when you're still single. However, being bitter or resentful is not going to attract the kind of energy and attention you want.

Make a conscious effort to be happy for your friends who are getting married or pregnant, even if your romantic life is in the dumps. Your time will come soon enough, and you will want your friends to be happy and celebrate with you when it does.

4. Not Living in the Past

You can't spend your single years thinking about the boyfriends you used to have or flowers you used to get on random Tuesday mornings.

That part of your life is over; the sooner you put it behind you and accept that, the sooner you'll be ready to move on to the next stage in your life.

5. Not Idealizing Your Ex

We all have that one person who got away, and you probably think of him or her from time to time. Don't -- it's useless. The chances of you two being legitimate soul mates are slim to none.

The chances of you perfecting an image of someone in your mind because you're lonely and crave familiarity? Much more probable.

6. Altering Your List Might Surprise You

Being single is the perfect time to reassess what it is you really want out of a relationship. Are you looking for someone to challenge you, make you laugh or live a healthy lifestyle with you?

Be clear on what it is you're looking for, and you might be surprised to find you're more open to things that were previously deal breakers.

You might realize the rich doctor type you've been chasing after hasn't actually worked out for you, and you want to give the struggling writer a shot, instead. Be open to trying something new and it might surprise you.

7. Recognizing the Value of Your Individualism

There's no better time than when you're single to develop and appreciate your own train of thought. No one likes a yes man, and you want to be the kind of girl who can think meaningfully about issues and problems without having to resort to her boyfriend for his opinion first.

8. Settling Sucks

Yes, it's tough to be single, but even worse than being single is being in bad company. If you're doing everything else right, you should actually be having a pretty decent time finding out more about yourself as a person, spending time with friends and family and excelling in your career.

Why would you want to ruin that by adding someone to your life who only half interests you? Don't bother. At no point is settling ever a good idea.

9. How to Look Good for You

It's hard to get excited about dressing up when you go from being in a relationship to being single because you don't have anniversaries or special holidays to celebrate together anymore.

Take this time to learn how to look good for you, not because you have a guy you want to impress. You should take pride in your appearance whether you're in a relationship or not, instead of having a love/hate relationship with Ben & Jerry's every time you're feeling lonely.

10. Developing Other Interests

Alright, so you're single.

This is the perfect time to take that trip to Europe you've been dreaming about or finally go skydiving. Really, what's stopping you? If you're bored, sad or need to put a little excitement back into your life, do something for you.

Do something that makes you happy, for no other reason but that. You'll find that you become a more well-rounded person with plenty of stories and interests to share with someone later on.

Being single is temporary; enjoy it, learn from it and make the most of it. You'll be one half of an old married couple before you know it!

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