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Chima Onyewuchi: 6 Benefits of Being Alone

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Over the last few years, reading vastly and drawing inferences from discussions with friends has led me to believe that a lot of people suffer from a syndrome known as “Monophobia”. It is an acute fear of being alone and having to cope without a specific person, or perhaps any person, in close proximity. This fear in my opinion has made a lot of people make wrong decisions, especially when it comes to relationships.

Various psychologists have carried out series of research to determine whether the fear of ending up alone drives people to compromise when choosing boyfriends/girlfriends and even more importantly, life partners. They found the stigma of being single so powerful that many adults choose to be in “sub-standard” relationships, or stick with one that is breaking down rather than be alone/single.

More specifically and further buttressing earlier opinions, a recent research carried out by the department of psychology at the University of Toronto say this profound fear of being single may also explain why many people stick with ‘toxic’ relationships that are going nowhere.

This trend brings one question to mind; why do we have to prioritize relationship status above relationship quality, settling for less responsive partners and remaining in relationships that are less satisfying? While discussing with a friend of mine, I cringed at the types of experiences she has had to deal with and was further perplexed by her choices; for instance, she said that she would rather remain in her unhappy relationship than break up with her most times “absent” boyfriend.

This type of behavior is very common in our society today, and I am quite sure most of us know at least one person going through this or even, are in this situation. Contrary to what many of us think, there are numerous benefits of being single. Please permit me to walk you through six of them.

You can work on yourself
There are higher chances of you seeking to improve yourself when you are single than when in a relationship. When you are single, you realize that you are more interested in becoming a better individual and you focus on developing yourself mentally, emotionally, etc. – You can engage in continuous self-evaluations, identifying and working on your weaknesses and shortcomings.

You can save tons of time
It is fun to send flirty messages back and forth, but you can’t imagine how much time the typical couple spend on their phones – exchanging IMs, tweets, phone calls or even stalking each other (yes I know most of us do this). Of course you could decide to be with a partner who is independent but it would be easier to find a dictionary in Patience’s library than to find such a creature. So you cannot begin to imagine how much time single people have to engage in productive activities.

You can become more self-reliant
Have you ever been through a breakup so bad that you couldn’t function for days, weeks, months or even years. Love is a powerful force that could be both beautiful and damaging. Strong feelings should not be silenced but never let a single person become the single reason for your existence or your happiness. Don’t! Why? Because sadly, few relationships are destined for eternal success and I have been lucky to witness a few in my relatively short time on earth so far. So all I am saying is that when you are single, you learn how to be independent and how to make yourself happy without anyone’s assistance or contribution.

You can stay in touch with family and friends
Most of us know how relationships can become so overwhelming that you have little time for yourself let alone family (mostly extended) and friends. We tend to prioritize that person albeit naturally and forget family or friends who have been with us through trying periods in our lives. So you have more than enough time to spend with your “peoples” when you are single.

You can do whatever the heck you want
When you are single, you can just wake up one morning and decide to take a trip to Paris, Seychelles, Ibiza, okay I’ll stop. Can you do this when you are in a relationship? No. Well except you are dating a mannequin. When single, you can decide to be spontaneous; go fishing on the Atlantic Ocean, cycle from Ikorodu to Lekki without having to explain your actions to anyone.

You can flirt without fear
I am sure many of us will like this one because let’s face it everyone flirts sometimes whether knowingly or unknowingly but only single people have the ‘legal’ right to engage in harmless/innocent flirting every now and then. But is there any such thing as innocent/harmless flirting? Story for another article.

I could go on and on about the benefits of being single but I will stop now because I think everyone gets the point. This is by no means encouraging anyone to turn down the chance of being in a happy and committed relationship; all I am saying is that if you are not happy and it is looking like there won’t be any light at the end of that relationship tunnel, please walk away and you will find your light.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Elenathewise

Chima studied Demography & Social Statistics at Obafemi Awolowo University and currently works as business analyst in a leading online marketplace. He loves music and is a part-time DJ. You can find him on Instagram @chiwuzy and twitter @_wuzy_

25 Comments

  1. Ralph(askralphblog)

    January 29, 2015 at 9:32 am

    The most important thing is to work on yourself and get over that fear. That monophobia. To realize that you shouldn’t settle for anything that would affect you emotionally. People need to stop settling for relationships that aren’t healthy. We have to learn to tell ourselves the truth and realize what’s best for us. In the long run, these relationships that are maintained out of fear only affect us and degrade our self worth. It is okay to be in a relationship, but it is better to be alone than to be in a toxic relationship.

    Make a decision for what’s best for you. Sad part is, people who actually need these messages hardly get to see it.

  2. blow

    January 29, 2015 at 9:39 am

    Oh no!,,,
    You didn’t just take a jibe at “mama peace” in line 5 of reason 2.
    hmmmn… diarisgod ooooooo

    • mz_daniels

      January 29, 2015 at 10:40 am

      Dividends of Democracy, Freedom of speech. Hehehehe

  3. Scared homosapien

    January 29, 2015 at 9:41 am

    I don’t think being alone and being single means same thing and so cannot be used interchangeably.
    If you are alone, you have no friends or family to check on you.
    If you are single, then you are not in a relationship, but you still have friends and family to spend time with.
    I may be wrong sha.

    • TANTRA

      January 29, 2015 at 9:46 am

      You are very correct.

    • HAWTTALKWITHTOSAN

      January 29, 2015 at 5:45 pm

      I love you! You said it all

  4. TANTRA

    January 29, 2015 at 9:45 am

    It is better to be alone than to be in the wrong company. It is better to be in the right company than to be alone.

  5. zain

    January 29, 2015 at 9:59 am

    All I see is LaToya

    • IsThatWhyWeAreHere?

      January 29, 2015 at 12:44 pm

      Like! all along I have been all “is that la toya or nah?”

    • abi

      January 29, 2015 at 5:49 pm

      i thought i was the only one. am like “is that latoya?”

  6. Sugar

    January 29, 2015 at 10:32 am

    I lived alone for about 4 years at some point in my life. It made me less needy, seeking for company and very independent. In this 4 years, I learnt to so much about me, love myself more and enjoy my own company and know what really works for me also.

    When I’m with friends/family I’m alive and have so much of me to give without necessarily looking to get back, and they look forward to seeing me, cos I’m ”rare”, I keep everyone intrigued and at the end of the day, I look forward to my me time cos I’ve got a life built with or without company.

    • nene

      January 31, 2015 at 6:49 pm

      gbam

  7. Queen of Everything

    January 29, 2015 at 10:43 am

    I don’t entirely agree with this piece. Points one to five is not exclusive to single people (six either but out of respect to one’s other half, maybe refrain even if occasionally ;)).
    Anyway, as long as there are two mature individuals involved, a non single person can work on themselves, be self reliant – whatever that means, (I don’t think you have to become codependent because you’re in a relationship) and again with the right mature person as your partner you can also do whatever the “heck you want”. You just need clear communication trust and understanding, shikena.

  8. Salt

    January 29, 2015 at 10:57 am

    I love this article; especially considering this is a guys perspective. Most people will rather remain in a relationship where the partner is ‘absent’ , just so that they can say they are in a relationship. So wrong.

  9. chukwukadibia

    January 29, 2015 at 11:27 am

    Being single sucks!!i want love again o jare ohh!!

  10. Ifunanya

    January 29, 2015 at 12:06 pm

    Nice one. Though I totally agree with scared homosapien. I don’t think being alone and being single mean the same thing. One can be in a rship and is alone while another might be single and isn’t alone. Shldnt be used interchangeably.

  11. Nahum

    January 29, 2015 at 12:10 pm

    TBH, I don’t really agree with this article, apart from the getting up and traveling bit. For example, I don’t know of any married couple with kids that have the time tweeting and texting love messages to each other, or stalking each other on the phone. Those kids will keep you too occupied for such trivialities and I have plenty time to keep in touch with family and friends, I am not stuck to my other half like glue. What you described is a very unhealthy relationship, whereby the couple feel they need to cut off the outside world just to declare their love. Marriage does not work like that.

    I am very self-reliant as a wife and mother, so much so that my hubby complains quite a bit and I work on myself everyday. As for the flirting, nothing wrong in flirting a bit, just don’t act on it, if you are married and don’t flirt in front of your spouse.

  12. Reasoning

    January 29, 2015 at 1:00 pm

    Anyone who doesn’t agree with this piece, in its entirety, needs to read the topic of this post again. Let me help you: it reads “benefits of being alone” and not “benefits of being in a relationship with a mature individual.” sheesh!

  13. iyke

    January 29, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    Alone but not lonely and enjoying it!
    I call it a state of solitude, where I provide myself wonderful and sufficient company which also leads to my self-awareness. It restores my body and mind. No point in being with people and still feel lonely – perhaps the most bitter form of loneliness which depletes you.
    I encourage everyone to try being alone without being lonely for once your mind is restored, you will know what to watch out for, so that you can’t get fooled.

  14. Opinion

    January 29, 2015 at 1:26 pm

    @ Nahum You should NEVER flirt when you’re married. That’s like back biting and its highly unnecessary and dishonorable. Flirt with your spouse and leave the pool of singles to flirt with themselves. You can’t eat your cake and have it.

  15. Dame

    January 29, 2015 at 1:39 pm

    You are saying the same thing this author said though by adding- “apart from the getting up and traveling bit” but heck that’s the purpose of doing whatever you want, no questions asked, no permission sought.. So the “apart from” excuse holds no water.

    Then you talk about flirting, and add a “but just don’t act on it” which is precisely why the author implies you have the ‘legal’ right to flirt, because baby, you can act on it when you are single- no restrictions.

    You’d agree with me that because you are self reliant and you do not stalk your partner, nor tweet all day, and you have kids to distract and keep busy, does not mean you speak for 80% of wives and lovers in a relationship.

    The thing with these disagreements I see here, is people trying to personalise the content of this post, instead of reading from the point of view of diverse personalities, in other words- be open minded.

  16. CoconutPineapple

    January 29, 2015 at 2:11 pm

    I wholeheartedly disagree with this article, as well as this “Pro-Single” vibe that is in a lot of BN articles.
    I was single and alone for 4.5 yrs while pursuing post graduate studies and it was one of the worst periods of my life.

    There’s nothing wrong with loving the company of others abeg.

    I think the writer is very young, when you get to your mid 30s, you’ll view things differently

  17. Kay

    January 29, 2015 at 4:36 pm

    I kinda agree on most of the points raised. Believe me finding yourself in a relationship for the wrong reason(s) SUCKS!!! Even though it might be hard to come out of, reading this piece certainly gives you the courage to.

  18. Tosin

    January 30, 2015 at 9:19 pm

    Alone is best, but it seems it’s not allowed in Naija. I mean, got folks staring up my ovaries now, it’s getting bad. I may actually get married just to kill the noise. Which sort of means getting a divorce. Which is sort of a pain in the ass. So I guess not.

  19. Fifi

    February 4, 2015 at 5:48 pm

    I already told my mum dat if I turn 30, and am still not maarried, I’ll move out of dis country. I have no problem being single, I just dnt knw if I can do it in dis kinda place.

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