Shh, don’t spill the beans, but single women are actually, secretly, living the life.

Well, not all of us. Some of us are married women deep down who just haven’t found their husbands (or properly wrangled their boyfriends). That segment of the single population is trying to live the married life in a single status, and that’s usually a recipe for unhappiness. But for all of the intentionally single women, life can be amazing.

So if you’re a single lady and you aren’t enjoying yourself, it’s time to start really living the single life. How? I’m glad you asked.

1. Adopt a pet.

10 Things Every Single Woman Should Do - Adopt a PetNo, it doesn’t have to be a cat (but really, why wouldn’t you want a cat?). Rescuing a pet from a shelter is an incredibly rewarding experience. Yes, they’re messy, costly, and time-consuming, but the cost-benefit ratio is generally pretty high. You may not want a hoard of screaming kids or a nagging spouse, but it can be nice to come home to a warm, furry critter who wants nothing more from life than a bowl of food and a tummy rub.

2. Keep your home (relatively) clean.

10 Things Every Single Woman Should Do - Keep Your Home (Relatively) CleanThis isn’t to please your mother or impress your neighbors, it’s to keep your home an enjoyable place to be. When you live by yourself, you reign in your own castle. Piles of dirty dishes and unfolded laundry kind of diminish that. Make your home a sanctuary by keeping it as pristine as possible.

3. Play music you enjoy.

10 Things Every Single Woman Should Do - Play Music You EnjoyYou want to know one of the best things about living alone? You can listen to whatever you want, whenever you want (as long as it’s not loud enough to annoy the neighbors). Remember what I said about your home being your castle? Strike up the chamber orchestra as you do your daily chores. You’ll be amazed at home much more comforting your home becomes.

4. Eat your favorite foods.

10 Things Every Single Woman Should Do - Eat Your Favorite FoodsI knew a woman once who lived by herself, but still felt compelled to eat the traditional breakfast and dinner foods she was raised with, even though she didn’t really like them. Why? It wasn’t an issue of money or nutrition, she simple felt like she was supposed to.

Don’t let that be you. You are your own boss when it comes to meals, so eat whatever you want (as long as it won’t send you to an early grave).

5. Drink your favorite drinks.

10 Things Every Single Woman Should Do - Drink Your Favorite DrinksThis includes wine all by your lonesome or Mondo Blast Chillers if that’s your thing. Nothing is ‘for kids’ or only for certain social occasions. So what if your roommate thinks it’s strange? You don’t have to work around anyone else’s tastes, so just work with your own. While you’re at it, drink right from the carton. Because you can.

6. Respect your time.

10 Things Every Single Woman Should Do - Respect Your TimeIf you don’t respect your own time, no one else will. So if your boss tries to tell you that you can work late, “Because it’s not like you have anyone waiting for you,” tell them that you had plans anyway. (Unless you want to work late and get that extra pay – that’s up to you.) Contrary to popular belief, being single doesn’t mean you’re available for everyone else’s convenience.

7. Decorate your home

10 Things Every Single Woman Should Do - Decorate Your HomeThis goes back again to your home being your castle. If there’s one thing single, childfree women do that gets on my nerves, it’s staring longingly at Pinterest, gazing at nurseries, playrooms, or even kitchens and thinking, “If only I could do that.”

Hello? You can. If you live alone, you don’t even need to get anyone’s permission. If you like the toy display, dig out your old stuffed animals and make the toy display. If you like the 50s kitchen theme, do it. It’s not actually 1950, so you don’t need to cook for a husband to have a nice kitchen.

8. Have a hobby.

10 Things Every Single Woman Should Do - Have a HobbyI’m all in favor of getting home and turning on Netflix, but without the familial responsibilities that married women and moms have, it’s easy to spend the entire night wrapped up in a Dr. Who marathon. Use some of that extra time to work on a new skill or craft. Take up an instrument. Start a garden. Give yourself more variety on your after-work hours, and you’ll probably enjoy life a lot more.

9. Volunteer.

10 Things Every Single Woman Should Do - VolunteerNot to sound preachy, but we single women should be putting some of that free time toward improving the lives of others. You’ve already done well by not popping out more babies, but the babies irresponsible parents already dropped off still need help. Consider sharing your time with a disadvantaged girl through Big Brothers Big Sisters, or doing something less long-term like volunteering at a soup kitchen. Truth be told, we have the time that moms and married women don’t, as well as a social obligation to contribute.

10. Date only if you feel like it.

10 Things Every Single Woman Should Do - Date Only If You Want ToAnd finally, one of the most important things for a single women to do is to only date if she wants to. If you do want to go out, great! It’s not too difficult to have some enjoyable relationships once you say, “I’m not looking to get married,” so have fun. But if that’s not what you’re looking for, don’t let anyone pressure you into it. You’re single because you want to be, and if anyone thinks you’re lying or tries to hook you up, just thank them for the effort and carry on.

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