Why you shouldn't stress about not being in a relationship
It's that time of year again: the long, wintry stretch between the holidays and Valentine's Day. Especially for single gals, this season can sometimes feel frustrating, lonely or downright stressful.
Maybe you've never ever dated before or maybe you're adjusting to being single for the first time in a while. Your BFFs are already making plans for their lovey-dovey V-day dinner dates, and all your Spotify recs are the sappiest songs you've ever heard. What's a girl to do when it seems like *everyone* around you has a special someone on their arm?
Here's the catch: you definitely don't need a romantic partner to be living your best life in 2023! Even if you aren't crushing on anyone, your days can be just as happy and fulfilling (and possibly even more fun).
We've put together some tips for embracing your independence and advice for opening yourself up to love—and not just romantic love—in the new year.
1. Put yourself first
We've scrolled through those cutesy Insta graphics that preach "self-care", and we've seen the phrase "love yourself" pop up in our feed more times than we can count. These messages are totally important to remember, but when you're feeling down, it can be helpful to have an actionable plan for picking yourself up, rather than relying solely on onscreen affirmations. So, what do "self-care" and "loving yourself" *actually* look like when you practice them IRL?
It could be taking yourself on solo dates, whether you're finally hitting up that adorable indie bookstore or cozying up with your journal in your fave café. It could be spending time learning a new skill (roller skating, here we come!) or baking a recipe you've always wanted to try. Small joys like these, when incorporated into your daily routine, are great reminders that solitude doesn't have to be lonely. When you focus your energy on Y-O-U (instead of on a partner), it can work wonders in making you feel good—all on your own.
2. Make peace with being patient
It's easier said than done, but waiting for the right person is well worth it. When you're nonstop dreaming about finding your soulmate, you run the risk of rushing into a relationship—just for the sake of having one. And there's nothing worse than crushing on someone and then realizing you're not really compatible!
Important reminder: You're never "behind." So many girls experience insecurity about finding love on a strict timeline. But it's 100% okay if you're still waiting on your picture-perfect meet cute. Moving at your own pace with matters of the heart often leads to much more functional partnerships and romances. And you deserve the best.
3. Focus on friendships
You're a girl with lots of love to give. Newsflash: A romantic relationship is only one place to pour that energy! Direct more time, effort and affection into your bestie bonds, and your friendships will only grow stronger. Sometimes it's tough to balance having an S.O. with other important connections in your life, but when you're single, it's much easier to prioritize your BFFs.
And don't forget: Galentine's Day is just around the corner, too. Get your crew together and brainstorm creative ways to celebrate—we can help!
Again, it's completely normal to experience a little bit of single sadness. But just because you don't have a relationship rn doesn't mean you're stuck feeling lonely. By taking these steps to appreciate your independence, shift your outlook and show your friends some extra TLC, you'll find that staying single might be the move for 2023.
Any tips for loving your stress-free, single life? Share with us on Twitter @girlslifemag!