When you envision the year ahead, what do you see? Plenty of quality time with your squad, a little soul searching and self-development, and grinding your way to professional success — perhaps with a few hot hookups thrown in for good measure? If that’s the case, let’s just call it like it is: You’re single AF, but you’re also single by choice. And if you want to stay single in 2020, there are several things you should keep in mind to make the most of your year.
There are lots of super valid reasons why someone might choose to stay single, too. Maybe you just got out of a serious relationship, and you've decided that you need some space to heal solo before jumping into another romance. Or, maybe you're so focused on your career or education RN that you're far more interested in becoming the next #girlboss than you are with finding "the one." Alternatively, it could be that you need a little time to get clear on what you want from dating before you get involved with anyone.
Regardless of your reasoning, I'm here to tell you that deliberately remaining single is a commendable resolution to make. So, give yourself a pat on the back, and prepare for what will no doubt be an enlightening year packed with opportunities for self-growth. While you're at it, keep the following things in mind — and you'll surely be living your best single life.
Be sure to clarify your intentions.
Just as setting intentions for dating can be immensely helpful, it's also worth establishing them if you want to stay single.
"Intentions are powerful because they takes your thoughts and creates clarity around what you desire," Thomas Edwards Jr., a transformational coach, tells Elite Daily. "But instead of giving yourself a bunch of things to do, set intentions on who you’d like to be."
Start by clarifying why you want to be single in 2020. This will remind you that there's a purpose behind your objective. Then, be sure to define what being single looks like to you. Will you be open to going on dates, but not committing to any relationships? Or will you avoid dating altogether, even in the casual sense? Being as specific as possible about your approach will help you to stay on track. Lastly, make a list of what you hope your single status will help you to accomplish. For example, if you'd like to use this time to rediscover and nurture an old hobby or passion, that's a phenomenal goal to set.
Consider writing all of these intentions down in your phone or a journal — that way, you'll be able to quickly remind yourself of why you adopted this resolution whenever you start doubting your journey.
Share your objective with close friends.
As with any goal, one of the best ways to hold yourself to remaining single is by filling in your besties. Because if they know that you're dead set on riding solo in 2020, they can help you to stay focused.
For instance, they might swoop in and remind you of your goal when you questioning it, or even form a pact with you to remain single that holds you both accountable. Plus, they're far less likely to ask you prying questions about your love life, try to set you up, or otherwise accidentally compromise your plan if they're aware that you're intentionally seeking to stay single.
Be prepared for nosy questions.
Wouldn't it be great if everyone could simply embrace and support your single ways, and stay out of your business? Unfortunately, there's always a chance that someone will ask you a nosy question.
When Aunt Janice approaches you at the fam holiday party to ask, "Why aren't you dating anyone?" you'll probably be tempted to tell her to shut it. Because let's be real — while loved ones may mean well when they inquire about your love life (or lack thereof), their prying can be irritating, invasive, and downright frustrating. So, it's a good idea to think about how you'd like to handle those questions when they come up and you don't want to answer them.
Having a planned response can help you to avoid feeling panicked when those questions come up, or answering anything that you don't want to just because you feel anxious or awkward. It can be as simple as, "I'm really happy with the way things are right now," or "Dating just isn't a priority for me right now," should do the trick. Then, you can change the subject. Marriage therapist Nicole Richardson previously told Elite Daily that she recommends talking about the things in your life that you're most excited about, whether it's a trip you're planning this summer, or a recent career change.
Make sure to take advantage of the perks.
Being in a relationship can be wonderful, but it also involves a boatload of compromising. As a single person, you have no one to answer to, which means you can watch whatever you want, hang with whoever you want, and stay up until whenever you want, and never have to consider a partner's feelings. Suddenly inspired to take a spontaneous road trip with your ride-or-die BFF? Congrats, you can hop in the car without ever having to run it by a partner. Want to hide out for a few days in your leggings to binge watch You? Have at it — the world is your oyster.
“One of the most important things you’ll ever do is enjoy each phase of your life before rushing into the next," Jenna Birch, a strategic advisor for Plum dating app and author of The Love Gap, previously told Elite Daily. "Enjoy being single while that is your season. I promise, one day you’ll be coupled off, and you’ll wish you spent more of your single time building friendships, taking on that extra project at work, or, solo traveling. That’s how you grow the most — taking advantage of every phase of your life."
It’s OK to change your mind at any time.
Setting a goal is a powerful act. If you become too rigid in your goal-setting, however, you may miss out on some of the wild and wonderful curveballs that life throws your way. So, even if you've decided you want to remain single this year, don't beat yourself up if you do happen to meet someone and accidentally catch feels for them, or, during a random bout of loneliness, decide to re-download your dating apps. You're human, and your desires and goals can evolve over time.
Recognizing this will allow you to show yourself compassion if you ever veer off course, and from there, you can choose to hop back on the single track or take an unexpected turn into dating again. Because the reality is, we can only plan so much in life — and remaining flexible and open-minded to any and every possibility allows you to take full advantage of the experiences that might fulfill you in the most surprising ways.
Thomas Edwards Jr., transformational coach
Nicole Richardson, marriage therapist
Jenna Birch, dating app advisor and author