Did you know there are psychological effects of being single for too long? We bet you didn’t. Being single for a long time affects you in more ways than one, and not all of them are positive.
This article will take a quick look at the negative effects of being single for a long time. Then again, we will also see if there are positive effects associated with singlehood.
Who knows? Maybe by the time you’re done reading this article, you might be inspired to go out there and find the one for you so that you can commit to a relationship with them. But remember, no pressure!
What being single for a long time does to you?
It is easy to admit that being in love changes you for the better. Your life can change when you meet and fall for someone who feels just the way you feel for them.
However, we haven’t been told enough that there might also be negative effects of being too single for too long.
For example, the Scandinavian Journal of Pain reports that fond memories of the loved one can help you get through negative moments without breaking down. What happens when the need arises and you cannot find fond memories?
Because you have been single for years…
In any case, there are many psychological effects of being single for too long. In a subsequent section of this article, we will cover these effects in detail.
Disadvantages of a single life
Being single for too long can be dangerous because it has many downsides. Many of these disadvantages are psychological, while others are physical.
For example, when you are single, you may not know how it feels to have someone who cares deeply for you in your space and is rooting for you.
The next section of this article will examine the psychological effects of singlehood:
Here are the top 10 psychological effects of being single too long. Heads-up, now all of them are doom and gloom!
1. Your chances of being charitable may drop
According to a paper published by the Harvard Business Review, a direct relationship exists between happiness and giving. According to this paper, people who are less self-serving tend to be happier, more satisfied, and lead happier lives.
One of the first psychological effects of being single too long is that you may not fully comprehend the concept of stepping aside for someone else to have something. Healthy relationships are built on compromise, and the result of this is that couples tend to understand how to be charitable.
In summary, you may find yourself being a bit too self-focused when you are all you’ve got.
2. Less empathy
One of the first lessons you’ll learn when you get into a relationship is how to decode what your partner isn’t saying. You’ll learn to look at them and understand their feelings every time. Although this can be stressful, doing this over time strengthens your powers of empathy.
However, one of the psychological effects of being single too long is that you may end up with less empathy since there’s no one you’re primarily focused on understanding and comforting.
Imagine being with someone who has made it their responsibility to tell you how much they love you and what you mean to them.
Although you may have a healthy sense of self-esteem, being on the receiving end of this attention can skyrocket your self-esteem, especially if you are exposed to this love for a long time.
Surprisingly, this has also been proven by science. A recent survey examined the relationship between healthy self-esteem and a happy relationship. It was discovered that lower self-esteem is one of the disadvantages of being single too long.
This implies that there’s a relationship between your mental health and the quality of your relationship. If you are in a happy and healthy relationship, there’s every possibility that your mental health will be stronger than a single person’s.
4. Self-sabotaging your relationships
Have you noticed that breaking out of a pattern is difficult once you have fallen into it? This is also one of the psychological effects of being single too long.
When you finally get over yourself and decide to give relationships a trial, you may soon find yourself doubting everything, including your intentions and that of your partner.
If allowed to continue, you may begin to pull away from your partner because you feel you aren’t worthy of being in that relationship, which can cause the relationship to come crashing down.
In one way or the other, being single too long can affect your future relationships.
Also watch this video that discusses things we do to self-sabotage the relationship:
5. A better social life
We mentioned that it wouldn’t be all doom and gloom, right?
One of the positive psychological effects of being single too long is that it can help you attain a better social life. As revealed by the American Psychological Association, people who have been single too long tend to have better social lives.
For one, they can take off for a get-together at any time and spend much time hanging out with their friends. This makes them generally considered social butterflies (even if they are not).
6. Giving up the safety that comes from solitude can be daunting
Being in a relationship involves allowing someone into your space. It involves opening your heart and trusting that they won’t dash the hopes you’ve placed in them.
While this is a valid fear, one of the psychological effects of being single too long is that you may be afraid to give up the safety associated with solitude. For the longest time, you’ve been okay by yourself.
You’ve not dealt with heartbreak. You have never had to think of anyone but yourself. Right now, you suddenly have to give up all that safety for the unknown.
This fear can keep you tethered to the spot you’ve been used to – the spot of staying single.
7. It is easier to continue with the not-so-good habits you picked up as a single person
Let’s say you were known for flirting when you were single. You took every opportunity to hit on any available person and maybe even enjoy the fun with it.
Now, you are in a committed relationship, and without knowing it, those habits you should be letting go of have started creeping back into your life. This is one of the psychological effects of being single too long.
You may not know when it happened, but you tend to recycle the habits you had as a single person, both good and bad.
8. Adverse health issues
This might come as a shock, but research has shown that 54% of people who stay single for a long time end up with health issues that later affect their love life.
The most common health issues associated with extended single good include suicidal thoughts, depression, anxiety, and mood disorders.
This implies that although being single for a long time may not affect your mind/body right now, it can affect the quality of your life, as we have already hinted in an earlier section of this article.
9. The will to fight for life may reduce
Science has made another shocking revelation. According to this study, you have a 14% higher likelihood of surviving a heart attack if you’re in a healthy relationship. Although it may look like nothing, this 14% can be the difference between living and dying from a heart attack.
This also extends to other areas of life as well. One of the negative psychological effects of being single too long is that your willingness to fight for life (and for a good life) may reduce. Because when you think of it, what’s there to fight for anyway?
10. Focus on the actualization of goals
One of the positive psychological effects of being single too long is that you can channel your energies into other things. Come to think about it.
When you don’t have to worry about hurting another person, letting someone else into your life, or living your life to please another, you have enough space to focus on smashing your goals.
This can improve your career prospects, get you into the big leagues, and set you miles ahead of your peers – if that is what’s most important to you.
Have you now seen why we mentioned that some advantages are also associated with letting go of relationships and focusing on other pressing areas of your life?
As you should be able to tell by now, there are many psychological effects of being single too long. Some of them can be positive, while others are not as good.
As a rational being, it is up to you to decide if you want to remain single for a long time or not. You have to make this decision after considering the nuances of your life and deciding what’s most important to you.
However, ensure that if you choose to remain single, you’re doing that because you want to – and not because you’re afraid to commit because of a past negative experience with relationships.
Then again, if you have found it difficult to get over the past, consider getting professional help from a therapist.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Rachael Pace is a noted relationship writer associated with Marriage.com. She provides inspiration, support, and empowerment in the form of motivational articles and essays. Rachael enjoys studying the evolution of loving partnerships and is passionate about writing on them. She believes that everyone should make room for love in their lives and encourages couples to work on overcoming their challenges together.