Are you ‘Single at Heart?’ Here’s How You Can Tell

Happy new year! My January reading has arrived, and I couldn’t be happier to be diving into ‘Single at Heart,’ the ground-breaking new book by internationally renowned scholar of single life, Bella de Paulo. As a lifelong single, Bella is brilliantly placed to tell a story that weaves her own experiences together with those of hundreds of other people. People who’ve realised that they not only don’t want to be part of a romantic relationship, but that there is a way to live a joyful, fulfilling, psychologically rich life* without one.

(*I love the concept of a ‘psychologically rich’ life. It’s a life of curiosity, novelty, adventure, openness, and exploration. It’s fun and exciting, and characterised by a variety of interesting and perspective-changing experiences).

Being ‘single at heart’ means being drawn to the freedom, excitement and psychological richness of single life. It means prioritising building meaningful relationships with friends, family, neighbours and even co-workers, over romantic ones. It’s about feeling at our most fulfilled and happiest outside of a romantic relationship, enjoying our solitude, and being unafraid of spending time alone (in all ways – at home, eating out, travelling and so on).

Contrary to popular belief, people who are ‘single at heart’ are far less susceptible to loneliness than others. Their secret? Building fulfilling social connections with a wide circle of people, and learning to be comfortable with themselves ‘as they are.’

As the author explains, being ‘single at heart’ is not about being anti-couples or anti-relationships. It’s about living the way that feels most natural and fulfilling to you – even if it bucks powerful social norms.

(Much to my current partner’s relief, I’m not fully ‘single at heart’ according the Bella’s checklist at the end of chapter 1 – apparently it’s a spectrum! But I do have deep sympathy with those who are, and recognise how much richer my life is for the years I spent unpartnered).

How ‘single at heart’ are you?

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