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3 Things Every SINGLE Gal Should Remember

Just because your friends are taken doesn't mean you should be moping. Think of these reminders when you feel "singled out."

So you're currently without a main squeeze—big freakin' deal. While seeing all your coupled-up friends canoodling can make you feel down about your solo status, the reality is that there's a lot to enjoy about singlehood.

"Many women see that time as just a waiting period between boyfriends and don't allow themselves to make the most of it," says therapist Karen Gail Lewis, author of With or Without a Man. "But there's no better time to learn about yourself, explore opportunities, and finally do all the things you were too busy to do with a boyfriend." All it takes is the right mindset, so follow these strategies for feeling fabulous solo:

1. Indulge your desires.

When you're single, you can live life on your own terms. Meaning, you can move to a new city to advance your career or jet off to Palau for a week without having to take someone else's wants or needs into account. "Single women have more freedom, often see more of their friends, and have more opportunities to do what they want, when they want," says Bella DePaulo, PhD, a social psychologist who studies singles and their place in society.

You also have the time to pursue interests you may have put on the back burner when you had a beau. Let's be honest: It's hard to squeeze in me-time when you've got a man. So take advantage of this free period to travel, take a new class, or get on a self-improvement kick.

2. Savor the small, sexy encounters.

Cruising into a social sitch—like a dinner party—in which you know you'll be surrounded mostly by couples may sound a bit scary. But if you're armed with the right attitude, it's a golden opportunity. See, unlike your already-attached friends, you're a sexy, free agent, able to flit around the room and flirt up a storm without worrying about pissing off a watchful partner. In fact, it's those guilt-free, ego-boosting moments that make the single life so fun. (Especially when you know you're the envy of every ball-and-chained chick in the room.)

"Single women are often so caught up in getting a boyfriend that they don't appreciate the carefree, coy encounters that can make being unattached exciting," says psychotherapist Judy Ford, author of Single: The Art of Being Satisfied, Fulfilled, and Independent. "Even though you may crave something serious, train yourself to stop and revel in those opportunities." Once you're in a relationship again, you'll miss that anything-can-happen rush you get from meeting new men.

3. Don't buy into the boo-hooing.

Ask yourself this question: What's so bad about being boyfriend-free? Have you somehow been brainwashed into believing it's supposed to be unbearable? "We live in a society that sends out double messages to women: While the media have glamorized being single and made it seem desirable, there's still that subtle, old-school message you get from friends and family suggesting it's sad and pathetic to be partnerless," says Lewis.

So don't let your coupled-up friends' pseudo-concerned "Don't worry, we'll find you a great guy soon!" comments creep into your psyche. Tune them out and you may realize that you (gasp!) are actually having a good time.

"People will only continue to bug you about getting a boyfriend if you give them reason to," Ford points out. "If you're enjoying the single status—going out with girlfriends, pursuing your own interests, dating around—let others know it." That way, they'll quit obsessing about your uncoupled state and you can get back to the task at hand: flirting with the hunk beside you in the MRT.

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