Skip to Content

The Top Five Advantages to Single Life

why I enjoy being singleCandace Karu writes over at her website of the same name. Another version of this article was originally published there. 

A few weeks ago I looked at the calendar and realized an important anniversary had crept up on me and taken me totally by surprise. I have been officially single for 16 years.

I’ll admit that it never occurred to my younger self that I would spend the second half of my life as a single person. Not in my wildest imagination did I envision navigating solo through mid-life and beyond.

Honestly, as a much younger woman, when I bothered to think about what my Golden Years would look like, I imagined they would be something like an erectile dysfunction drug commercial. You know, the ones where the mature, but still totally hot-looking couple spend the day doing all the fun things you never had time for as young marrieds. Like them, I pictured us playing tennis, antiquing, sailing, whipping up a gourmet meal in our magazine-worthy kitchen, all the while staring lustfully at each other and sneaking kisses, before ending our day with mind-blowing, if medically enhanced, boinking.

I naively thought that once our children were appropriately educated and had decamped to more inviting pastures, the hubs and I would take advantage of our exquisitely redesigned and decidedly empty nest to recapture the bliss and excitement of our younger years. We’d travel. We’d learn Italian. We’d cook together. We’d finally get a subscription to the symphony. And our sex life would soar to heretofore-unknown heights. We would be that enviable couple, sitting in our backyard claw foot tubs, holding hands and gazing at the sunset.

Sadly, this was not to be. Before both children were officially launched, my marriage ended. I was a single parent for a few years, but since then – for the last 13 years to be exact – I have lived alone, with only silent and alarmingly unhelpful dogs for companionship. This anniversary and what it represents never fails to grab my attention. How did this happen to me?

While it’s true I never thought I’d be single for such a long time, these years have been the most productive and fulfilling of my life. My career has taken me in directions both unexpected and exciting. My now-adult children live close to me and continue to bring me unexpected joy almost every day. I count my siblings among my closest friends and am lucky to hang out with my mother at least once a week. The breadth and scope of my friendships enrich my life beyond measure.

And truth be told, being single has real advantages. Single living isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but if like me, you really like spending time alone and don’t mind extreme independence, charting your own course can be an exciting adventure.

The Top Five Advantages to Single Life

  • Time management – Outside the boundaries created by work, I am entirely the boss of me. I can go to the movies in the middle of the day. Eat dinner at midnight or 5 pm. I’m an early riser. And a restless sleeper. And a sleep walker. I turn on the light to read in the middle of the night. I’m compulsively early for all appointments. As annoying as one or all of these personality quirks might be, it’s liberating to settle into my eccentricities and foibles rather than feel guilty about how they annoy anyone in my wake.
  • Asset allocation – I never have to sweat the arrival of the AmEx bill or sneak shopping bags into the house. I never find it necessary to deploy my former default shoe lie. “What, these? They’re not new, you’ve seen these a bunch of times before.” If I’m saving for a destination vacation, I know the destination will be the one at the very top of my list and not the compromise third choice.
  • Food choices and meal preparation – As a singleton, I can count either cereal or cheese and crackers as legitimate dinner choices. My stash of one perfect Divine Chocolate bar will be always at the ready when circumstances demand its immediate consumption. I am not remotely concerned if the entire contents of my refrigerator consist of a good bottle of champagne and an assortment of exotic condiments. Conversely if my refrigerator happens to be full of expensive perishables and meticulously prepared dishes slated for an upcoming photo shoot, I don’t have to worry about their mysterious disappearance before the first frame is shot.
  • Remote autonomy – You say there’s a Downton Abbey marathon? Count me in. Yes, I’m aware that it’s Super Bowl Sunday/The Final Four/The Stanley Cup playoffs. Pick your sporting event, I’m still gonna have to go with The Granthams and their retinue, turning my back on the plight of the Patriots/Wildcats/Bruins. And you know what? My dog, silent though he may be, never complains. Having total remote control is my idea of heaven.
  • Closet (and bathroom) case – I have a decent sized walk-in closet, a closet filled to overflowing. With my stuff. Ditto my reasonably spacious bathroom. Everything is exactly where I want it. The laundry, when dirty, goes not on the floor but in the hamper. The sink is free of errant hairs and toothpaste globs. The toilet seat is down, the toilet paper roll is never empty, and the paper rolls over from the top, not under from the bottom.

For all these reasons and more, on most days I love being single.

Sure there are times when I think: Maybe that special someone is out there just waiting for me to find him … all indications from Match, eHarmony, OKCupid, and Tinder to the contrary. I admit this freely.

But it’s entirely possible, nay, likely, that I will remain single for the rest of my life. I’m not at all dismayed by the prospect of retaining my unmarried status. I will continue to fill my life with family, friends, dogs, and adventures. But I will always leave the door to my heart slightly ajar.

Just in case.

Come back next week for a list of things I miss most about being married!

Candace Karu

Writer, speaker, seeker, fitness fanatic, digital marketing strategist. Striving to make the world a better place for women of a certain age. More fun than a barrel of monkeys if the monkeys had an iPhone, a dubious past, and an expensive education. Instagram: candacekaru

Read previous post:
mothering a college student
Learn To Let Go: Parenting A College Student

We made it through my son's college graduation. Pomp, circumstance and all. There was some kind of mace scepter that...

Close