3 Reasons Being Single in the Summertime Isn’t Half Bad
By Kelsey McKernie, contributing writer
Singleness gets a bad rap, especially around certain times of year. Being single in the summertime can start to make you feel surrounded by couples: couples posting their adorable vacation photos on Facebook, couples hanging out by the pool, couples frolicking on the beach together. But despite what your Instagram feed may seem to suggest, summer is actually a great time to be single. Here are just a few reasons why.
1. More time for friends, family, and yourself
Being single does not mean being lonely, and summer is the perfect time to connect with friends and family members you might not see much of during busier times of the year. Anyone college-age and younger is most likely done with classes for a few months, and even the folks who don’t get to take the whole season off still tend to have a little more time on their hands. Being single means you have more time and energy to pour into your relationships with your loved ones – and more time and energy to make new friends, too. Take advantage! This is a gift. Platonic and familial relationships can, and should, be just as fulfilling as romantic relationships, but any relationship needs quality time and attention to flourish. Make the most of these longer summer days to tend to these relationships – you won’t regret it.
In between all this socializing, of course, it’s always a good idea to take some time for yourself, too. Summer is the time of year when things tend to slow down a little bit, which makes it a perfect time for some self-reflection. Whether that means a nice evening walk or an afternoon spent reading by the pool, give yourself some space to think and unwind. Singleness gives you the breathing room to grow as an individual, and that’s not an opportunity you want to waste. Slow down a little, and take a moment to check in with your goals and plans. It might be that you find everything is on track – or maybe your goals or interests have changed and it’s time to adjust your plans accordingly. Either way, it’s a good idea to pause every now and then and see where you stand.
2. More opportunities to be active and serve
The days are longer and sunnier in the summertime, which makes it the perfect season to get outdoors and try something new. Rafting, kayaking, hiking, biking, camping, swimming… the possibilities are endless! Even if you’re not much of an outdoorsy person, there are still plenty of ways to have fun and be active. A lot of community centers and colleges offer summer classes in everything from foreign languages to painting to dance. This is a great way to stretch yourself a little, whether that means taking up a new activity or trying something by yourself. Being single should never mean you don’t get to have fun.
Being single should never mean you spend time only on yourself, either. Summer is a great time to get involved in service! Many churches send out missions trips this time of year, as well as local service projects. It’s also easy to find opportunities on your own. Love animals? Consider volunteering at a rescue or shelter. Want some peace and quiet? Public libraries are usually desperate for volunteers in the summer. And don’t forget about coaching kids’ sports teams, joining a clean-up group at a nearby state park, or even just house- or pet-sitting for a neighbor going on vacation. Obviously you can still do these things when you’re in a relationship, but singleness allows you more flexibility to volunteer for last-minute, far away, or long-term projects. It’s also easier to be part of a group as an individual than as a couple – you’re a lot more likely to make new friends that way, too!
It may sound cliché, but singleness really does allow you a degree of freedom you just can’t get in a relationship. Barring constraints like money and work, you are free to go wherever you want, whenever you want. And summer just might be the best time of year to make use of that freedom. Don’t waste these longer, sunnier days sitting around at home with nothing to do – grab a group of friends and take a trip to the beach, or go see a summer blockbuster on opening night. Take up a new fitness routine or hobby. Join a new Bible study. Sign up for a volunteer project. Consciously take time to meet new people and care for your existing relationships with family and friends. Set new goals for yourself and figure out how to reach them.
Whatever you do, recognize the opportunities singleness gives you – and make the most of them this summer!