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We often think of being single as something that we dread and something we must avoid at all costs. So much so, that when we are single, we oftentimes settle for the first person to come along even when they aren’t right for us.

While finding a relationship and finding true love is an admirable goal, and a goal shared by almost the entirety of the human race, love can sometimes come at a cost. Being in love is one of the most beautiful things, however, in contrast to that, one of the worst things is being in a toxic relationship.

You may have noticed I didn’t say the contrast was being single. Because being single is not the opposite of happiness or even love. Arguably, being single is a practice of extreme self-love when it means avoiding a toxic relationship. If you don’t believe me, here are 6 reasons why being single is better than being in a toxic relationship.

1. Improved well-being.

In a study published in Sage journals, researchers observed something interesting. Those who are in unhealthy relationships experience a lower level of well-being overall, than those who chose to be single.

2. You don’t have to sacrifice yourself.

Being in a toxic relationship is like a push-pull that no one can ever win. The very definition of being in a toxic relationship is being with someone that is so extremely different than you that they end up changing you in a way that is detrimental to who you are. When you choose to be single, you choose to maintain your authenticity to yourself.

3. You don’t lose your self-worth.

When you are in a toxic relationship, you never feel like you are enough. No matter what you do, when you aren’t right for someone, and they aren’t right for you, neither of you will ever be satisfied. Eventually, this destroys your self-worth. Staying single allows you to maintain this.

4. You work on finding happiness from within.

Happiness is an inside job. No one else is ever going to fill that hole in you that needs to be filled. That is up to you. Rather than trying to fill that void with a relationship that isn’t right, when you choose to work on your happiness, you will find it.

5. You have more time to focus on your career.

It may sound cliché’ but single people have much more time and focus to use on their career and financial growth. When you aren’t spending time with someone else, or tied down to a toxic relationship, you will have as much time as you need to worry about saving money and stabilizing yourself.

6. You have time to determine what you want from a good relationship.

When you are in the midst of a toxic relationship, your expectations for a happy and healthy relationship may end up shifting. You may become so accustomed to the toxicity, that you lose sight of what is healthy. Choosing to stay single over staying in a toxic relationship gives you time to think about those expectations, and boundaries, so you can stick to them when you do choose to be in a relationship.