The Thriving Single Life | What Does It Look Like and How Do I Get There?


What does thriving as a single person look like

I have been writing and podcasting for the last year about how to thrive as a single person. Hopefully, you have found these blog posts and podcast episodes helpful.

To begin this year, I want to get back to basics. I want to start this week by defining what it means to thrive as a single person and giving you a few tips on how to get there. So, what does a thriving single life look like? Let me paint that picture for you.

You Don’t Feel Pressured to Marry

A thriving single does not feel pressured to get married. That is not to say that people don’t try to pressure you. It means that you have become immune to the pressure that society and your friends and family try to put on you. You will get married if and when you decide you want to.

How to Get There

You get to that point by becoming complete within yourself and not being needy. If you are financially stable, emotionally strong, and you have your sex drive under control, what’s the rush to get married? If in the course of getting to know people you find one you want to spend the rest of your life with, then you’ll get married. You’ll marry because it’s what you want, not because of external or internal pressure.

If you are feeling pressured, my post about dealing with the pressure to date might be helpful.

You Date as Often as You Like

Some people like to go out a lot. Others are more introverted and don’t need as much interaction. But, to be healthy as a single person, I believe it is important to spend some purposeful, quality time with people of the opposite sex.

Learning to relate to people of the opposite sex is essential to thriving as a single person. I believe it’s also an essential part of finding a spouse if marriage is something you desire.

How To Get There

There are two sides to this. If you are feeling pressure to date and aren’t ready to or just have zero desire to, check out the post I referenced above. It may be time to give some people in your life a little “just stop it” therapy.

On the other hand, most singles have the opposite problem. If you do want to go on more dates and can’t seem to make that happen, there are things you can do. Doing the same things you have been doing will get the same results you have been getting. Basically, if you want different results, change some things.

Change your self. Grow as a person. Become whole and confident. Start exercising. Read more. Dress better. Make yourself into that interesting, attractive person that the kind of person you would want to marry would be interested in.

Change your perspective on dating. Rethink why you want to date, what the purpose of dating is, and what kind of people you want to go out on dates with.

Change where you look. Maybe clubs and bars aren’t the places to find the kind of people who are worth marrying or even spending time with. Maybe you need to go to the places where the kind of people worth dating go.

For more on those things check out this post and this post.

You Are Growing as a Person

Thriving as a single person begins with thriving as a person. It begins with growing into the person you want to be. As Andy Stanley taught me, become the person the person you are looking for is looking for.

How To Get There

Never stop trying to become the very best version of you. Try taking some of the time and money you spend on frivolous things and investing it in things that help you develop as a person.

What would happen if you took the money you spend on your cable bill or even your Hulu subscription and you spent it on a few self-help books instead? What if you spent less time watching “reality” TV and read a book, attended a webinar, or took an online course instead?

You Are Attractive

Perhaps you are like me. Maybe you were not blessed with the type of body that gets featured on magazine covers or a face that gets fawned over on TV talk shows. That’s okay. Neither were 99.9999% of the other people in the world. But, thriving as a single means that you have put in the work to be the most attractive you possible.

How To Get There

There is no way anyone can possibly teach you to be attractive in two or three short paragraphs. But I can tell you this, spend some time working on all the different aspects of your self.

There are things you can do to look your best. Get in better shape. Dress appropriately for the occasion. Adjust your makeup, hairstyle and hair color. Improve your posture and your body language. Smile.

But, you also need to make sure you are attractive in other ways too. Learn to act more confident, be a better conversationalist, and, to generally make people feel good when they are around you. Those things go a long way toward making you more attractive.

I have several posts you can check out on that topic.

You Have a Lot to Offer

When I found myself single again in midlife, I didn’t think I had a lot to offer. I wasn’t the best looking. I certainly wasn’t the most financially successful. And yet, a fair number of women were attracted to me. Apparently, I did have something to offer.

Kindness. A listening ear. Honesty. Genuineness. A talent for making people feel special and good about themselves. Maybe you can’t offer someone a life of leisure free of financial stress. But, maybe that’s not the most important thing that people look for. Maybe you already have more to offer than you realize.

Thriving as a single person means you are not out to see what you can get from other people. Thriving means you are a giver. It means you bring positive energy, a good attitude, and a giving nature with you into every situation. It means being a force for good in this world.

We’ve all been around people who drag us down and suck the life out of us. Not only do they not thrive, but they seem to drag you down with them. Don’t be that person. Never be that person.

How To Get There

You cannot give from an empty vessel. The aim is to fill yourself with so much good that it overflows onto the people around you.

Also, instead of always dwelling on what you don’t have to offer, take stock of what you do have. You might have more to offer than you realize.

Your Sex Drive Is Under Control

It is hard to thrive when you cannot control your sex drive. Some people equate thriving with sexual conquests. I reject that point of view. Letting your appetite for anything run wild is not healthy. It doesn’t matter if it is your appetite for chocolate, beer, money, fame, possessions, power, or sex, too much of a good thing is a bad thing.

The drive for sex is one of the most powerful forces within a human being. Unchecked, it will lead you to do things you never thought you were capable of – from pornography to one-night stands to God only knows what.

How To Get There

The sex drive is so powerful and so much a part of who we are that it is very difficult to control. But, we can at least control it to the extent that we don’t let it dictate our actions.

An out of control sex drive is not a good reason to get married. You just become a married person with an out of control sex drive. The time to get it under control is now, while you are single, before you do something stupid.

Here again, as I said about being attractive, this can’t be solved in a few short paragraphs. I do have some advice in this post and this post that might help.

Your Finances In Order

At first glance, this may seem a little out-of-place, but think about it, it’s hard to thrive when you are always worried about money. If you are floundering financially, whether single or married, you are not thriving. And, financial problems tend to follow you into marriage. Here again, get it figured out while you are single.

How To Get There

To get your finances in order track every dollar. Know how much you have coming in and where it is going. Or better yet, have a budget that in advance tells each dollar where it has to go. Take classes, read books, learn to manage your money.

You Are Healthy Physically

Never underestimate the importance of your physical health. It is hard to thrive when you are not feeding and exercising your body like you should.

How To Get There

I’m not saying you need to be a size 0, go Vegan, or train like a triathlete. But, if you want to thrive, you should probably get some exercise and cut out some of the junk food.

Maybe you could schedule a half-hour walk every morning before work or in the evening after work. You could even join a gym if your finances and overall health permit.

There is a lot of disagreement as to what exactly a healthy diet looks like. But, in general, eating more whole, home cooked food, less fast food and pre-prepared food, and more fruits and vegetables is a pretty good start.

By this point, you must think I sound like a broken record, but take the time to do some research. There are countless blogs and YouTube videos about healthy living. A lot of them contradict each other and many of them are a little extreme. But if you do enough research you will find some things you can do to improve the way you look and feel – and live longer and healthier too.

You Are Healthy Emotionally

If you are clingy or needy or driven by other negative emotions, you are not thriving. Truly thriving means getting over your ex, learning to enjoy and find meaning in single life, and having a positive attitude.

How To Get There

It could be as simple as reading a few good books or taking a few classes. Maybe you just need to spend more time around emotionally healthy people and less time with the people in your life who drag you down into their dark world of negativity and dysfunction.

Or, maybe you need more than that. Maybe it’s time to go talk to your pastor or a professional counselor. Don’t let your feelings of shame or embarrassment stop you from getting the help you need to get emotionally healthy. For many years I let that stop me and that was I huge mistake. There is value in getting help.

And of course, take advantage of resources like this blog and the Thrive Singles Podcast. A weekly dose of encouragement and sound advice from someone who’s been there can go a long way toward helping you to thrive. Be sure to subscribe so you get your weekly dose.

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