Why staying single after a breakup can be the best thing for you - National | Globalnews.ca (2023)

If you were in a relationship last year, it’s probable you’re among the many folks who’ve since become single on or around Dec. 11 – the most popular day of the year when couples call it quits, according to statisticians on InformationIsBeautiful.net.

Why staying single after a breakup can be the best thing for you - National | Globalnews.ca (1)

Being single can seem scary at first but it isn’t something that should be feared, says matchmaker and relationship expert Shanny Tebb. Instead, that time alone should be thought of as a positive moment full of opportunity and valuable growth.

“I call it a dating detox,” Tebb says. “I always convince singles after a breakup to do one, where you just self-assess, do things that you’ve always wanted to do – like set new goals or reach ones you didn’t fulfill when they were in a relationship – and just look at themselves and see if anything needs to change or be improved. It’s taking a time out from everything, being on your own and on the way to feeling good again.”

Story continues below advertisement

According to the latest numbers by Statistics Canada there were 14,357,875 single people in the country in 2016 – 53 per cent of whom were men and 47 per cent women.

READ MORE: Why is it so tough to leave a bad relationship?

Despite popular thinking, researchers at the University of Auckland found that singletons are just as happy as those who are paired up.

“Being single has traditionally been associated with poorer life satisfaction, but this research shows that is not the case for people who try to sustain relationships by avoiding turmoil or conflict,” Yuthika Girme, author of the study, says in a press release. “This study found that people who want to avoid conflict may feel relieved when they don’t have to manage the inevitable ups-and-downs of being in a relationship.”

But if you’ve been in a long-term relationship and out of the dating game for so long, knowing how to be single again can seem like a difficult concept to grasp.

Global News spoke with Tebb who talks navigating the single life and makes a case as to why flying solo for a bit may be the best thing to happen to anybody.

(Video) 8 Signs You And Your Ex Are Meant To Be

The stages of breakup grief

Whether it was an amicable decision or not, the period following a breakup is an important time where both parties must cope with the loss in order to move on, says Tebb. This often includes going through certain feelings and emotions that are completely normal.

Story continues below advertisement

“You go through different stages before you bring it all back to yourself,” Tebb said. “You might ask what you did wrong but really you should be looking at what you learned from the relationship.”

The first stage is denial that the relationship ended, followed by defensiveness – putting up a tough front in an effort to keep your feelings hidden from everyone else – and then anger (towards the other person).

Next is the breakdown where you become emotional and your confidence takes a hit.

Lastly is reflection and acceptance. Once you step back, remove yourself from the situation and see the bigger picture, that’s when you’ll come to the realization that it was all for the best, Tebb says.

“You’ll be able to figure out what worked and what didn’t and learn from it,” she says. “(Reflecting) on the previous relationship allows you to grow and recognize the red flags that were there and then you become more aware of them for future relationships.”

Trending Now

  • Climate change poses ‘long-term’ threat to Canada’s security, spy agency warns
  • Canada’s banks brace for possible wave of loan defaults. Why that matters

One study published in Social Psychological and Personality Sciencefound that repeatedly reflecting on the breakup can help speed up the emotional recovery process.

(Video) What no one ever told you about people who are single | Bella DePaulo | TEDxUHasselt

To help, Tebb suggests writing out your thoughts in a letter to yourself.

“This will help you know why they were in your life and will help you let go and forgive them,” she says.

Story continues below advertisement

The benefits of being single

Those who embrace being single tend to experience more psychological growth and development than married people, University of California psychology professor Bella DePaulosaid at the 2016 American Psychological Association’s annual convention.

One of those strengths is that single men and women are often more connected to their parents, siblings, friends, neighbours and co-workers than their married counterparts, DePaulo says citing a 2015 study published in theJournal of Social and Personal Relationships.

The difference was more prominent for the never married than for the previously married, researchers say, suggesting that marriage extends its reach even after it ends.

Being single also allows you to become more focused, especially in your career, says Tebb.

READ MORE: The number one dating dealbreaker for men and women

“When you’re single you kind of put all your energy probably into your work, especially if you don’t have kids,” she says. “You’re able to focus clearly and have your own agenda. You decide when to do what.”

(Video) What If the USA Broke Up

This is also a great time to focus on your health, Tebb says, and that focused energy is what will help motivate you.

Tebb’s sentiments echo a 2011 U.K. poll by the Department of Health that found married couples exercise less than singletons, The Telegraphreports.

Story continues below advertisement

According to the poll, 76 per cent of married men and 63 per cent of married women were physically active for less than the recommended150 minutes per week.

Independence is another plus of being single along with not having to answer to anybody else. This is the time to take on projects you’ve neglected, travel and try a new hobby.

“There’s no pressure and you’re able to pick up and go,” Tebb says. “You don’t have to worry about a second opinion. This is a time for you to grow into the man or woman you need to be so that when you’re ready for that next relationship, you’re kind of at your best.”

How to know when you’re ready to date again

A 2013 University of Toronto study found that people who fear being single tend to settle for less in their relationships. Because of this fear, people may choose to stay in unhappy relationships or rush into another, says lead author Sephanie Spielman.

“We see men and women having similar concerns about being single, which lead to similar coping behaviours, contradicting the idea that only women struggle with a fear of being single,” says co-author Geoff MacDonald. “Loneliness is a painful experience … so it’s not surprising that the fear of being single seems not to discriminate on the basis of gender.”

Story continues below advertisement

(Video) Cole Swindell - "Break Up In The End" (Official Music Video)

So just because you’re single, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re ready to mingle – at least not yet.

READ MORE: 10 things we learned about relationships in 2016

Don’t rush into another relationship, Tebb says. Take time for you – time to figure out what you want and need, to focus on things other than your love life for a while (like your career for example) and to heal and rebuild to become your best possible self.

“There’s no problem taking a break from dating if you feel overwhelmed,” says Tebb. “If you don’t feel like you’re in the moment then don’t force yourself.”

Tebb says you’ll know when you’re ready to date again when you feel your life and career arein order, you look and feel good and you’ve started to truly feel happy again.

“[People] will feel that everything’s set but they’re just missing that little piece of the puzzle,” says Tebb. “It’s just a feeling you get of being ready and willing to make that commitment.”



Is it healthy to stay single after a breakup? ›

Spending some quality alone time to process your breakup is a critical part of growth process. The longer and more intense the relationship, the more events and feelings you may need to process. Dating is a great distraction from your feelings, and that is exactly why you need to remain single for a while.

Why being single is the best thing ever? ›

Being single frees up your schedule and your mind, creating space to figure out who you want to be and ways to achieve that. There's nobody else around you demanding your attention, so get out there and become that person. Attached people have a tendency to live in relationship bubbles.

How long should a person remain single after a breakup? ›

Wait at least 3 months before you start dating again.

There's no specific formula for figuring out how long you should wait. However, most people need some time to bounce back after a breakup. Try to take at least a few months so that you can heal and move on from the end of your last relationship.

Why do people want to stay single forever? ›

They are simply not interested in being in a serious relationship at this time in their life. Others are single due to the circumstances of their lives. They may have just gotten out of a meaningful relationship or have dated relentlessly and just haven't found someone with whom they're truly compatible.

Do guys handle breakups better? ›

Researchers at Binghamton University recently surveyed more than 5,000 people from 96 countries and found that when it comes to breaking up, no one emerges completely OK. When graded on a scale, men, on average, did feel less pain than women after a breakup—both emotional and physical.

What are the psychological effects of being single too long? ›

This might come as a shock, but research has shown that 54% of people who stay single for a long time end up with health issues that later affect their love life. The most common health issues associated with extended single good include suicidal thoughts, depression, anxiety, and mood disorders.

Why single people are happy? ›

They don't feel lonely. And that's something both men and women share.” Because of this, singles live “psychologically rich lives,” she added. They're able to pursue a variety of interesting and novel experiences that enhance their lives and boost overall happiness and satisfaction.

Why being single is good for mental health? ›

By spending time alone, you have the opportunity to be introspective. Get reacquainted with your core values. Think about all the things that make you smile, the people you love, and the things that make you get out of bed in the morning.

What is 3 months rule? ›

Three-Month Rule: After a Break-Up

Basically, after a break-up, the three-month rule is a rule that says you and your ex are both given 3 months before entering the dating scene again. Just waiting it out, and mourning that your relationship ended. Just go on with your individual separate lives and see what happens.

How long is too long to be single? ›

"There is absolutely no set time frame that counts as 'too long' for being single," says Megan Stubbs, EdD, a sexologist and relationship expert based in Michigan. Part of the reason why is because there's no set definition as what "being single" actually looks like.

How many people stay single forever? ›

What percentage of people stay single their whole life? Other more recent research suggests that the overall percentage could be far higher than 11%. A 2014 Pew Report estimated that by the time today's young adults reach the age of about 50, about 25% will have been single all their lives.

Are some people destined to be alone? ›

Although humans are social creatures by nature for survival, that does not mean we were all meant to pair up for life, or at all. There are some people who are just meant to be alone, and that is okay.

Are some people destined to be single forever? ›

No one is “destined” to be forever alone and single. No one is predestined not to seek love. Then again, some people choose to not be in a relationship and remain single throughout their lives.

Who moves on faster after a breakup? ›

There's a reason for this, according to new data from Match's Singles in America survey: Guys just get over breakups faster. Match surveyed more than 5,000 men and women and found that half of dudes are over a rejection in a month, while the average woman takes four months to get over it.

How do you know if a guy is heartbroken? ›

If he avoids seeing you at all costs even though it is important, it is one of the signs he is heartbroken over you. He knows that when he sees you, the memories will come flooding, and it might be too much for him to handle. Also, he would ensure avoiding places where you are likely to show up.

Why do men move on so quickly? ›

Statistics say that men are more likely to rebound than women because men find it tough to recover from break-ups. And as we know, women often know how to vent out their emotions and share their feelings making it easier to move on, but men are dead-stuck because men do not share their emotions easily.

What is the hardest part of being single? ›

Sleeping Alone.

Many of you noted that having no one to fall asleep next to, or wake up next to is the hardest part of being single. It's completely normal to have that longing for intimacy and to even find yourself imagining what that might look like when you find yourself feeling alone.

Are men happier single or married? ›

Hu found that reported happiness was higher overall among married people than unmarried people. By gender, 56.2 percent of married men said they were “very happy,” compared with only 39.4 percent of unmarried men who said so. Among women, the figure dropped to 44.9 percent and 35.4 percent respectively.

Why do single people feel lonely? ›

“Loneliness comes from feeling isolated and unfulfilled, and often, people who feel lonely get caught up making a habit of doing things that keep those patterns of isolation and loneliness going (such as turning down invitations to go out with friends, etc.).

Who is more happier single or married? ›

Indeed, married people are happier than unmarried people: across nearly five decades of surveys, data from the GSS shows that 36% of people who have ever been married (including divorced, separated, and widowed people) say they are “very happy” while just 11% are “not too happy,” compared to 22% and 15% for people who ...

Will being single make me happier? ›

The Association Between Singlehood Satisfaction and Life Satisfaction. The results showed a “positive lagged bidirectional association between singlehood satisfaction and life satisfaction.” In particular: Higher singlehood satisfaction predicted higher life satisfaction a year later.

What is the benefit of being single woman? ›

Do women in particular benefit from being single? It certainly seems so — assuming they don't have dependents to support. According to a 2017 study published in the Journal of Women's Health, single women tend to have lower BMIs and experience fewer health risks associated with smoking and alcohol than married women.

Why do men pull away? ›

Men pull away due to multiple reasons ranging from fears, insecurities, or anxieties to desperation or loss of love. It is crucial for you to figure out the reason behind his pulling away to protect your relationship. And probably the best way to deal with it is to give him space.

What are red flags in dating? ›

Red flags in a relationship include excessive jealousy and frequent lying. You should also be wary of a partner who frequently criticizes you or puts you down. Another major red flag is an unwillingness to compromise — relationships shouldn't be one-sided.

How long should I wait before dating again? ›

While there is no “magic number” for how long to wait before beginning a new relationship, think in terms of months rather than weeks. Some experts suggest that you should wait a month for every year that you were in the relationship before jumping back into another one.

Why does it hurt so much to be single? ›

Since no one can foretell the future, a single person cannot know for sure whether they will find someone who meets their expectations and subsequently marry them. It is this lack of clarity about the yet-to-be spouse that makes the loss ambiguous, and in turn difficult to manage or come to terms with.

What percent of people over 30 are single? ›

The youngest and oldest Americans are the most likely to be single – 41% of those ages 18 to 29 and 36% of those 65 and older say they are single, compared with 23% of those 30 to 49 and 28% of those 50 to 64.

What percentage of men are single? ›

As of 2022, Pew Research Center found, 30 percent of U.S. adults are neither married, living with a partner nor engaged in a committed relationship. Nearly half of all young adults are single: 34 percent of women, and a whopping 63 percent of men.

What makes a man choose one woman over another? ›

Sexual Compatibility

Sexual compatibility is one of the top reasons a man chooses a woman over another. Many men prefer a woman that matches their sexual styles. These styles may include her moves, the way she kisses, the way she dresses, and so on.

How do you accept that you'll be alone forever? ›

How to Accept Being Single for the Rest of Your Life
  1. 1 Immerse yourself in things you enjoy.
  2. 2 Pick up a new hobby.
  3. 3 Foster a pet or volunteer if you feel lonely.
  4. 4 Travel somewhere new or somewhere you enjoy.
  5. 5 Focus on quality self-care.
  6. 6 Connect with your friends and family.

How do I know if we're not meant to be? ›

If you develop a strong dislike for the other person over time despite loving them, that's among the bold signs you're not right for each other. It's time for things to change when you don't want to be around someone and do everything to avoid going home when the day is done.

How do you know who is destined for you? ›

7 Signs You And Your Partner Were Destined To Fall In Love
  • They're In Your Life Right Now. ...
  • Your Relationship Is Helping You Grow. ...
  • People Notice The Spark Between You Two. ...
  • You Never Felt The Need To Pretend Around Them. ...
  • You've Chosen To Love Your Partner. ...
  • You Feel Deeply Connected To Them.
Feb 1, 2019

Is it true that we only love once? ›

A study has shown that a person can fall in love at least three times in their lifetime. However, each one of these relationships can happen in a different light from the one before and each one serves as a different purpose. Ahh your first love aka the fairytale ending.

Why is it so hard to find a partner? ›

The most common reason why it's so hard to fall in love is a fear of commitment. Labels can terrify some people, but for others, the uncertainty of where the relationship stands is also terrifying.

What percentage of couples stay together after a break? ›

A study of 3,512 people found that only 15% got back together with their ex. Another 14% briefly reunited only to break up, and a whopping 70% called it quits for good after their break-up.

Is it normal to be single for a long time? ›

Being Single For A Long Time is Not Baggage.

Being single and being in a relationship are simply two different states of being. There are upsides and downsides to both. Being single for a long time can mean that you maintain your standards and refuse to stay in bad relationships, and it's a great thing.

Do relationships work out after a breakup? ›

Many couples who have called it quits end up getting back together. In fact, a 2013 study found that over one third of couples who live together and one fifth of married couples have experienced a breakup and gotten back together.

Are relationships stronger after a breakup? ›

"Sometimes a breakup can make a relationship stronger than it was before," says relationship expert Mara Opperman in an email to Bustle. Of course it's by no means guaranteed to work. A true breakup (like, the kind where you fight and leave and that's that) is really hard to come back from.

What destroys most relationships? ›

Here's the No. 1 thing that 'destroys' relationships, say researchers who studied couples for 50 years. As a psychologist and sexologist, we've been studying relationships for more than 50 years combined, and we've found that no matter how you slice it, most of them fail because of poor communication.

Do exes ever get back together years later? ›

Research finds that 40-50 percent of people have reunited with an ex to start a new relationship. On-again relationships tend to suffer lower relationship quality and worse functioning than never-broken relationships. People often resume relationships with ex-partners because of lingering feelings.

Does getting back together with an ex ever work? ›

The results showed just 15% of people actually won their ex back, while 14% got back together just to break up again, and 70% never reconnected at all. But although it sounds like a small number, a few success stories showed how it is possible to work things out if you put the time and effort in.

Does being single make you happier? ›

A 2022 study published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science found that coupled people tend to be, on average, happier than those who are single, but “that effect is not as large as people make it out to be because there's actually a lot of variability,” lead author Yuthika Girme, an associate ...

Is being single more attractive? ›

Research shows that self-conscious single people are still attractive to others. While some people are happy being single, others are anxious about their status and how they come across to other people. Research suggests that people do not perceive those who fear being single as any less attractive than they are.

How long after a breakup is it oK to date? ›

"Most people need a month or two to process the breakup, to mourn, and to integrate lessons before jumping back in if they were in a fairly serious relationship," she says. If you dated someone for a year or more, you may need three to four months.

Does your brain change after a breakup? ›

They actually occupy nerve cell pathways and physically live in the neurons and synapses of the brain. When we lose a lover through a breakup or divorce, our brain gets confused and disoriented. Since the person lives in the neuronal connections, we expect to see them, hear them, feel them, and touch them.

Are men more heartbroken after a breakup? ›

Despite the age-old stereotype that men are less emotionally invested in relationships than women, a new study has found that men are in fact more likely to experience more emotional pain than women following a breakup.

Does true love come back? ›

True love always has a habit of coming back and because of that, you really need to keep faith in your relationship. When times are rough and hard it can be difficult to keep this belief in mind. However, if you really can keep faith in a strong, healthy relationship then love will always work out in the end.

Is a 2 month break too long? ›

"A break could be any length of time, but past a point, it becomes a 'breakup,'" says Dr. Steinberg. "If you don't want it to be considered a 'breakup,' then the break shouldn't be more than a season, or three months long."


1. Brett Young - You Didn't (Official Music Video)
(Brett Young)
2. Carly Pearce, Ashley McBryde - Never Wanted To Be That Girl (Official Music Video)
(Carly Pearce)
3. If You Think Your Ex Will NEVER Come Back, WATCH This (Part 2)
4. Bruised Love! - Bishop T.D. Jakes
(T.D. Jakes)
5. Bailey Zimmerman - Rock and A Hard Place (Official Music Video)
(Bailey Zimmerman)
6. Chris Young - The Man I Want To Be (Official Video)
(Chris Young)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Errol Quitzon

Last Updated: 03/03/2023

Views: 6526

Rating: 4.9 / 5 (79 voted)

Reviews: 94% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Errol Quitzon

Birthday: 1993-04-02

Address: 70604 Haley Lane, Port Weldonside, TN 99233-0942

Phone: +9665282866296

Job: Product Retail Agent

Hobby: Computer programming, Horseback riding, Hooping, Dance, Ice skating, Backpacking, Rafting

Introduction: My name is Errol Quitzon, I am a fair, cute, fancy, clean, attractive, sparkling, kind person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.