We’ve all been in this scenario: you meet someone, go out with them for a while, and realize that you might be compatible. You’re having a good time. And moving to the “next” step is clearly on the horizon.
However, the thought of “is it better to be single or in a relationship?” is bubbling beneath the surface. According to some people, the grass is always greener on the other side.
So, which is better? Should you remain single? Or should you fall in love?
The choice is yours. There are pros and cons to being on either side.
Now, to help you a bit, let’s look at the features and benefits of each relationship status.
Being single vs being in a relationship: what is the difference?
There are many things single people can enjoy that those in a relationship can’t, and vice versa.
Let’s start by discussing the key differences between these two statuses.
The single life
How do you define being single?
Being single means you are not in a romantic or committed relationship. People are single for various reasons: breakups, divorce, death of a loved one, or simply by choice (not wanting to be in a relationship at all.)
The key aspect of being single is freedom. A single person can do what they want, go wherever they want, meet new people, date whomever they want, have sex with whomever they like, etc.
Some people are “happily single,” while others don’t appreciate singlehood, depending on why they’re single.
Being in a relationship
Most people use the word “relationship” loosely these days as if it has only one universal definition, which isn’t the case. In reality, there are different types of relationships – romantic and non-romantic. But in this article, we’ll focus on being in a romantic relationship.
Being in a relationship means you’re in a committed, long-term relationship with another person.
A romantic relationship has the following features:
- Emotional and physical intimacy
- High level of commitment – meaning you’re willing to do all the work to make the relationship work
- Monogamy- you’re romantically and sexually exclusive to just one person (unless decided otherwise by the parties involved.)
Being in a relationship can constrain you in certain aspects. But those involved enjoy some great features such as love, respect, trust, care, stability, etc.
Being single vs. in a relationship: which one is better?
Is it better to just be single or in a relationship?
The truth of the matter is that it depends on where you are in life and what you want.
The grass always seems to be greener on the other side. But remember when you were a kid and all you wanted to do was grow up quickly, finish high school, and become an adult so you could be happy doing whatever you wanted in life? How’s that going with all the bills and responsibilities now? In retrospect, childhood was so much better and easier than adulthood. But here we are.
The truth is, the grass is always greener where you water it. Some people are happier being single than in a relationship. Others are happier and do better when in a healthy relationship.
We can help you decide which is better by looking at the pros and cons of both statuses.
Single – pros and cons
Being single has many benefits. As with anything nice, it has some downsides as well. Here are the pros and cons of being single.
|You can focus on yourself. Being single gives you more time to learn about yourself. You can discover your hobbies and explore more activities and interests.||It can feel lonely at times. When you’re single, you can often encounter a certain level of loneliness because you have no one to provide you with a physical and emotional connection.|
|Increases the chances of establishing social connections. You have more time to spend with your friends and family and make new friends in the process.||It can lower your self-esteem. Being single for a long time can impact your self-esteem because “why does no one want me?”|
|You live without compromise. You can eat what you want and watch what you want; you don’t have to share a bed or a closet with anyone else.||No shared expenses. You will have to take care of all your expenses by yourself. There’s no one to share your everyday expenses with.|
|Saves you money. Being in a relationship can be expensive because one partner has to pay for expenses such as regular dates or trips. Being single allows you to save more money because you will only pay for your needs.||Social pressures. When you get to a certain age, people can pressure you into finding a boyfriend or girlfriend. It can get overwhelming, especially when these comments are repeated frequently.|
|Brings peace of mind. When you’re single, you have low levels of stress since you have fewer disagreements; there’s no one to fight with or cause petty drama.||Lack of intimacy. Sometimes, the body wants what it wants. It craves intimate touch, cuddles, and sex. When you’re single, you can crave spending intimate time with someone.|
|You can focus more on actualizing your goals. You have plenty of time to focus on your work/career, education, fitness, etc.|
|You can go on different dates. This allows you to meet new people and focus on just having a good time. It’s great for your self-esteem, especially when you’re not physically involved with them.|
Being in a relationship- pros and cons
What is it like to be in a relationship?
Let’s discuss the ups and downs below.
|Someone is always there for you. Being in a healthy relationship means you have a steady companion. You’re guaranteed that the person is going to be there for you. Whether it’s calling or texting to check how your day is going or just being physically present when you’re having a bad day.||It can distract you from your goals. When you’re in a relationship, you can be occupied by the thoughts of your significant other and, in the process, become distracted from the things you’re trying to accomplish.|
|You learn a lot about yourself. Spending so much time with someone else allows you to discover untapped parts of yourself and the kind of person you want to spend the rest of your life with.||You’re answerable to someone. When in a relationship, you have no freedom to do whatever you want, whenever you want. In addition, you must consider the other person before making decisions.|
|Lower stress levels. A healthy relationship creates an avenue where you can talk about anything, from your past and future to your highs and lows. Talking to someone you love can provide stress relief.||Being around someone constantly can be suffocating. If you have a needy partner who always needs attention and leaves no room for you to breathe or even hang out with your friends and family, it can suffocate you after a while.|
|You don’t have to deal with all the stress of dating. Dating is a lot of work, from first-date anxieties to vetting every potential candidate to the risk of settling with the wrong person. Having your person around relieves you of this stress.||It can affect your social life. Your social life can change after getting into a relationship for different reasons, including wanting to hang out with a different group of friends. For instance, you may prefer to spend time with other couples rather than single people. Furthermore, you may find yourself spending more time with your partner, causing your other relationships to suffer.|
|It can boost your confidence. There’s something amazing about having someone who thinks highly of you. You feel seen, respected, and validated, which can improve your self-confidence.|
|Constant reassurance. Having someone who constantly compliments and reassures you is good for your self-esteem.|
|Teaches you patience and understanding. Being with someone from a different background and with a different personality can test your patience. You need to be very patient and understanding to make things work.|
To conclude, whether to be single or in a relationship is a personal choice. Depending on where you currently stand (emotionally and financially), it’s up to you to decide which is better for you.
Single vs. in a relationship: each status has its pros and cons. So, take your time to evaluate each of them and choose the one that makes more sense to you.
Finally, if you’re happily single, by all means, enjoy your singlehood. Don’t feel pressured to be in a relationship. Take your time, love yourself, have a support system of close friends and family, and be self-sufficient. If you’re in an unhappy relationship, don’t stay just because you want to belong somewhere. And if you’re single and seeking a committed relationship, good luck finding your person.