Surviving Single Life: 10 Tips

Single LifeOnly child, divorced parents, single forever, yep, you could say I know a thing or two about being alone and on my own.

Been there, done that, lived it, and survived.

So can you. Whether you’re just entering singledom for the first time, or been there forever, single life is a journey– a beautiful, amazing, tough motherfucker of a slog.

Being single was the best of times and the worst of times. I loved it, I hated it, and I always learned from it. As Winston Churchill once said: “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” And I did. Whether it was navigating the world alone as an only child or constructing it as a single woman, I kept going.

Going solo isn’t always easy, but it does show you what you’re made of.

The following isn’t dating advice; it’s practical wisdom and survival tips that kept me sane when I was single, and continue to come in handy even as a married person. The wisdom might sound familiar, but it never gets old.

Hopefully as you navigate your own journey through single life (or just life in general), these tips will come in handy for you too.


Having a sense of your own value is what self-worth is all about. It’s the sum total of your principles, character, attributes, and personal power. Knowing your worth protects you from being exploited, becoming a victim, compromising yourself, or selling out.


Once you know your worth, you can start aiming higher – personally, professionally, and romantically. If you know you deserve better, then don’t be afraid to ask for it. Demand it. Especially when it comes to love. Don’t settle for less. Raise your bar and watch the quality of your life improve.


In order to move forward, you’ve got to take a few steps back. I would ask, who hurt you? What’s the source of your pain? What past action or event gave you emotional scar tissue? Don’t take old wounds, grief or anger into your future. Do whatever it takes to heal them now and be free.


No one’s perfect, we all make mistakes – I’ve made plenty. The key is to apply your newfound wisdom to becoming a better person, parent, partner, whatever. Fucking up isn’t the worst thing in the world – repeating your fuck-ups is.


Boundaries are a lifesaver. I’m talking about saying no, standing up, speaking up, and refusing to take on people’s pain and suffering. When you set clear boundaries, you become your own advocate for self-respect.


The quickest way to take the edge off being single is to get busy. Ask yourself what you love, then pursue it with a passion. Stay social, surround yourself with good friends, volunteer, engage with your world. You’ll create new interests, new relationships, and find new purpose in life.


While it’s important to stay busy, it’s also important to know how to be alone without freaking out. Get comfortable in your skin; enjoy your own company; and carve out quality alone time. Learn to savor the stillness and you’ll never be lonely again.


Having goals is great, but having unrealistic expectations can set you up for disaster. Deepak Chopra describes this as “detaching from the outcome.” Remember, there is power in letting go and surrendering control. You can have aspirations, but beware of having expectations.


It’s the hardest thing to do when you’re feeling bad, but taking stock of what you have, instead of what’s missing, speeds up the healing process. Dig deep and find some gratitude every day (“I’m grateful for my family, friends, clients, job, health,” etc.) You’ll feel a shift and a lift.


If anything will keep you from losing your shit, it’s keeping your sense of humor. Whether it’s a bad date, a bad breakup, or some other bad news, let it go. It’s just not worth it. Remember to keep your wits (and wit) about you.

It doesn’t matter if you’re new to the single club or a lifelong member. What matters is that you find what works to keep you sane and empowered.

Like I said, being single isn’t always easy, but should you find yourself going through hell, just remember to keep going. It’s a worthy slog.

Required reading and suggestions for singles and non-singles alike


16 replies


  1. Cam L
    Cam L says:

    Very Interesting Blog. I’m interested to read more. As a new husband at 41 my bride at 36, both of us in our first real relationships, i hope to get a fresh perspective. After 2 years of Marriage, I’ll say compromise is really really hard, i dislike my wife as much as I enjoy her. I love her, but learning to live together is not easy. And for her as well, she rented out her house and moved into mine, she hates asking me for permission for things. Everything is either hers or mine, only a few thins shared. I suppose is supposed to be 50-50 for everything, but it is her bank account, her salary, her car, and vice versa. I have no idea how much my wife earns, just that none of it is shared, which seems fair, since i’m unemployed. I sit at home awaiting our fertility clinic to bring us a bundle of joy, of which I will take care of , while she works her 55 hour week. Except for me owning the house, as the husband, I am playing the role of a stereotypical wife. Getting married after 40 is hard hard hard, and dare I say, probably not worth it.

    • Treva Brandon Scharf
      Treva Brandon Scharf says:

      Cam, my guess is marriage is hard at any age. Especially the compromise part, which doesn’t get easier as you get older. Since it’s the first marriage for both me and my husband, we’re staying positive and hopeful. The road ahead of us is long and interesting, just like it is for you. My advice is to let things roll off you and stay open to the possibilities.

  2. Cam L
    Cam L says:

    Recently I read how we as individuals, need to keep our negative side in check. Anything that doesn’t add to our relationship, is likely damaging them. But the question is how to not feel like a sell out to your own values and traditions. At this very moment my wife is celebrating her brother’s birthday. Birthdays are big events in her family, and there are many of them. In my family, we barely do anything at all, I have 2 member family, she has 9. So here I sit alone. I have honoured my values, which feels good. I drew a line in the sand, I can’t be celebrating a 2 year old’s birthday (her niece) and allowing my 40 year old brother’s to go by with no celebration. So no birthdays. It doesn’t feel like a compromise. It feels against the advice I read earlier, it’s certainly not adding to our relationship. Getting married after 40, likely will cause problems with family traditions. We expects the partner to follow our own traditions. We never had a chance to develop mutual traditions. I spend a lot of time dreaming up ways where both my wife and I can feel validated, that we’re not selling ourselves out completely, and that we stay true to ourselves as much as possible. Tough Going. I just hope the positives out weigh the negatives.

    • Treva Brandon Scharf
      Treva Brandon Scharf says:

      Anyone who’s been married will tell you it’s all about compromise and I totally agree. Especially when you get married later in life, you’ve got to be even MORE flexible, accommodating, and cooperative because you’re older and more set in your ways. With that said, you don’t have to sell out, or give up your principles. You need to respect each other. Her traditions may be different, but you still have to honor them. The best thing you can do is communicate early and often. Be more collaborative. And yes, always accentuate the positives.

  3. Mike
    Mike says:

    Unfortunately just too many very damaged women nowadays everywhere, especially when many of us single men will try to start a conversation with a woman that we really think would be very nice to meet. They will usually Curse at us for no reason at all when we will just say good morning or hello to these women, which doesn’t even make any sense at all why so many women are really like this these days. And i know friends that had the very same thing happened to them as well. A lot of very troubled women out there these days making love very difficult to find for many of us men now unfortunately. Gee Wiz, most women back in the old days weren’t like this at all. That is why love did come very easy back then, the way that our family members had it. What in the world happened to the women today? Oh i know Feminism.

    • Treva Brandon Scharf
      Treva Brandon Scharf says:

      Mike, your observations are correct, but I wouldn’t blame it on feminism alone. Being older and a bit more jaded are the more likely reason, and it’s not just women. Men can be tough too! Dating isn’t easy, so try to be patient and forgiving, and don’t ever stop saying good morning and hello 🙂


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