Being single and being lonely don’t have to go hand-in-hand. Just because you don’t have a significant other, doesn’t mean you aren’t surrounded by wonderful people who love and care about you. But once in a while (especially if you’ve been single for an extended period of time), it’s normal to feel a little down in the dumps. If all of your friends are coupled up, or you just really wish you had someone to hold hands or cuddle on the couch with, it’s easy to dwell on your singledom, look at it negatively, and wonder how to not feel lonely if you’re single. Thankfully, with the help of your friends, your phone, and a really good playlist, it’s totally possible.
First off, it’s important to know that you are perfectly capable of being single and feeling just fine. Single doesn’t always mean lonely, because you don’t need to be in a relationship to have fun or be social! Loneliness doesn’t always hit, but it can, and it when it does, it can feel like a ton of bricks hitting you. The good thing is, there are ways around that icky feeling, and the solutions are easy, rewarding, and fun.
1. Swipe On Dating Apps
If you ever feel like “you don’t got it,” download a dating app and start swiping. Trust me, you’ve got it. While the ego boost you get from knowing that a bunch of people think you’re attractive might be a temporary fix, it’s still a good feeling. Own it! Don’t hesitate to message people first! Strike up a conversation with someone who catches your eye and see where it goes. If the conversation flows, and you know the person isn’t in it for the wrong reasons, try to go on a date! Even if it doesn’t work out romantically, at least you can say that you put yourself out there and tried it. You filled your time with the company of someone else, and that’s a great way to feel less lonely.
2. Actually Let Your Friends Set You Up On Dates
I know. Everyone thinks they have the perfect person for you. It’s annoying and repetitive and can sometimes make you feel worse. A secret? Say yes anyway. Your friends know you well, and — newsflash — your friend group may not be the only one your friends are part of. They have the potential to set you up with someone else they know with whom you could be really compatible. Take their suggestions seriously and give them a chance.
3. Say Yes When Someone Asks You To Dance
There’s a difference between being asked to dance and being forced to dance. Being grabbed by some rando at the club and grinded up against is not being asked to dance. It’s disrespectful, rude, and you are under no obligation to dance with that person if you don't want to. Being asked to dance, however, is a whole different story. When someone asks you to dance, they’re (hopefully) approaching you politely and offering a hand. They’re verbally asking you to dance, they’re making you laugh, and they’re trying to get close to you. They may not even be romantically interested! They might just want to dance! Say yes.
Even if you don’t know how to dance and you look like an awkward penguin, say yes. Get out of your comfort zone, because nothing truly amazing ever happens there. Who knows? Your dance partner might turn into something more.
4. Do Fun Activities With Your Friends
Plan a movie night, or hit up a cool new museum together! If you’re the only single friend, it might be up to you to do the planning, and that’s OK. Make it a friends-only type of activity, no SOs allowed. Call it quality time. Surround yourself with positive people who bring you up, not people who give you condescending advice and never ask about how you’re doing. It’s so important to have a good circle of people in your life, and they shouldn’t be taken for granted. They’re your friends because they like you, and they want to spend time you. Utilize that resource when you're feeling lonely.
5. Spend More Time With Your Family
Trust me, your mom is dying to give you advice, especially about dating. Family members can be tough, because they want what’s best for you, but they tend to think that only they know what that is. Take what they tell you with a grain of salt, but spend time with them anyway. If being around your family makes you feel worse, then maybe skip this step. But if they’re supportive and loving, take a weekend off and go home. Sleep in your childhood bed. Let your dad make you breakfast. Play with your dog. It’s nice to get away from the hustle and bustle of reality, and when you stop and reflect on the amount of people who love you, you’ll realize there’s no reason to feel lonely at all.
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