21 Surprising Things Married People Secretly Miss About Being Single
Here's what married folks miss most about being single.
When you get married, it can be tough to sacrifice some of your autonomy. As much as you love your spouse, there are bound to be a few things you miss about being on your own. This isn't to say that married life isn't wonderful—it's just… different. Below are just some of the things married folks tend to miss about being single, according to both experts and partnered-up people.
Eating whatever you want for dinner
When you are part of a couple, you often feel obligated to have a homemade dinner or order take-out for the both of you. Back when you were single, cheese, crackers, and a glass of wine was as a perfectly acceptable and delicious dinner for one—and there was no one around to judge.
"A silly thing I miss is being able to eat whatever I want whenever I want it. When I was single, if I decided to skip dinner and have ice cream instead, no one was there to judge. Being married, I feel a bit more like I have to act like an adult," says Sara Stanisz, founder of couples lifestyle blog Our Kind of Crazy.
Things staying where you left them
When you live alone, everything is right where you left it. When you live with your spouse, however, the remote is always getting misplaced, and the cutting board is never where you put it. "When you are single, you don't have to hunt for things or find out someone has eaten the last cupcake or drank the last beer," notes Kevin Darné, author of My Cat Won't Bark! (A Relationship Epiphany).
Coming and going as you please
For single people, a Sunday morning stroll or a late-night run to the store is no big deal. You just run out of the house without having to let anyone know where you're headed. But once you're married, gone are the days where you were on your own time and had no one to answer to. "When you're single, you can go wherever you want whenever you want and stay for as long as you want," notes Darné. "You don't have to take anyone's feelings into consideration before making a choice."
Doing something your partner doesn't enjoy
It's unlikely that your spouse enjoys absolutely everything you do. So, whether you love to watch sports, read books, or jam out to classic rock, it can become difficult to block out time to do these things in your shared space. "There are plenty of things I miss about being single, but one of the biggest would be playing video games with roommates," notes Erik Levi, who's been married for seven years.
Cooking for yourself, changing a lightbulb, and doing your own laundry are all things you oddly start to miss once you're married for a while. "What I miss most about being single is the independence I enjoyed … I decided on my own, for my own," says Brigham Pongyan, who's been married for three years. "The moment you say 'I do,' you symbolically give up that kind of independence to something greater. Any major decisions are always discussed first by the couple."
Honestly, nothing feels better than having the whole bed to yourself. But if you're a married person who misses that feeling, all hope is not lost. There might be a solution, according to marriage therapist Christine Scott-Hudson, author of I Love Myself: Affirmations for a Happy Life.
"Does your partner snore like a grizzly bear? Do you steal all of the covers, then jump and kick like a Rockette? Are you feeling resentful that you aren't getting the sleep you need, night after night? A 'sleep divorce' may be right for you and your partner," says Scott-Hudson. So go ahead and sleep in separate beds, or even separate rooms. If it's what makes you both happy, it could be worth it.
Remember when you were able to sleep past 10 a.m. without answering to anyone? Dreamy. Even if your spouse doesn't wake you up, it's easy to feel guilty lying in bed when they've already begun their day. Plus, it's not nearly as easy sleeping in when the person sharing a bed with you starts to move around. (Just another case for a sleep divorce!)
Staying out late
If your partner doesn't like to stay out late, you may find yourself missing those wild nights (and early mornings) out on the town. "Friday nights were the best, when me and the boys went out to party without a care in the world," says Pongyan. When you're married, "you can't afford to stay up all night every weekend because of your responsibilities and chores the next morning."
Having time for self-care
Time alone to focus on your own needs is likely in short supply if you're married. "What I miss the most about single life is having time for myself," says Becky Beach, who's been married for more than five years. "It's a struggle just to go to the hair salon sometimes. I will go for months without a haircut! I do love my family, but I need 'me' time too!"
Being able to focus on work without feeling guilty
Once you get married, your career isn't the only thing demanding your time anymore. "I am a great poet who writes a lot—something that gives me the utmost happiness. Before I was married, I used to do this at my convenience and with a lot of attention. However, after being married, I am so limited in doing the same," notes Stella Samuel, who's been married for 12 years and counting.
It's harder to be spontaneous when you have a spouse or kids to consider, which is why Simon Nowak, who's been married over four years, says he misses picking up and traveling at the drop of a hat. "When I see a good offer, sometimes I still feel like running for my backpack or going straight to the airport," he says. "Now, even if you can disappear from work for a few days, your wife or husband has to apply for leave. If you have children, it gets even more complicated. The spontaneous, short trip becomes a planned vacation."
Having alone time
Everywhere you turn, there they are. And as much as you love having a shoulder to lean on or a hand to hold, sometimes you just need to be alone, which proves challenging when you are living with your other half.
"I ended up marrying into a big family. They have so many family events and gatherings that it is exhausting … I think at least nine of my summer weekends were planned before May last year," says Patrick Durkin, who's been married for more than six years. "I miss having nothing to do sometimes."
Watching television with no interruptions or judgment
Some nights you just want to watch mindless television without snarky comments from your significant other. And if the following sounds divine to you, you may be missing the single life. "It's Saturday night, and you're all alone, sitting on the couch, drinking wine by yourself and watching a sappy movie. The phone isn't ringing. You have no one to talk to, nowhere to go, and nothing to do," says Carrie Spaulding, a life coach for people in their 30s.
Having personal space
Having a bathroom or bedroom to yourself is not to be taken for granted. When you're married, your toothbrush and their razor must coexist on the same shelf, which is not always ideal. Oh, and good luck trying to get to work on time when your spouse is hogging the shower.
Decorating your own space
Living alone allows you to decorate your space to your liking without input from anyone else. When your spouse hangs that painting you hate in the entryway, you may long for the days when you had all the power.
Not having to share food
When you order a side of fries, you want the whole thing to yourself. And when you open the pantry looking for a bag of chips to snack on only to find there are just crumbs left, you may yearn for a time when everything was all yours.
Always picking the restaurant
Compromise is key in a successful relationship. But what if one night you want Thai food and your spouse is craving Italian? Back in your single days, that decision was yours and yours alone.
Spending money on yourself
When is the last time you went to a store and splurged on something expensive without thinking about the hit your joint account will take? If you pool your money, it's only fair that you would consider your spouse before making a pricey purchase, but it sure would be nice to just swipe the card without a tinge of guilt, right?
"Married people miss being able to pamper themselves and spend money on themselves without it having an impact on someone else. Really, the biggest thing they miss is living life on their terms. If they want to make a large purchase, they have to worry about the financial burden it may cause for their partner," notes Alok Trivedi, a human behavior expert.
Making decisions on your own
Sometimes you just want to put yourself first and ignore everyone else's needs. But having a partner you care about makes this tricky.
"One thing I really do miss about being single is the freedom that I had to make all of my decisions on the fly. I did not have to consult with anyone before making my choices on sometimes the most simplistic things, like where to go for dinner or whether or not I should buy a new dress," notes Alicia Godmasch, who's been married for 11 years. "That changes when you get married because there is another individual in the mix and you have to take their needs into consideration."
Being courted or courting someone
If you've fallen into a bit of a rut with your significant other, recalling those first dates and sweet gestures suitors would use to try to win you over might make you sentimental about your dating days. "People miss the novelty, the excitement, and the 'chase.' There's something invigorating about the challenge of having to romance, impress, and woo someone," says relationship coach Beth Liebling, author of Love and Laughter: Sexy (Meaningful) Fun for Everyone! "We're presenting the best versions of ourselves."
That new love feeling
If you've been married for years, you may miss that "honeymoon phase" filled with butterflies and nervous energy. The early stages of learning about each other are fun and exciting, so what's not to miss?
"I used to get an adrenaline rush when I met a new girl at the bar. It was the combination of the flirting, the chase, and the unknown of where things will end up that was exciting," says Marcus Answar, founder of dating site OhMy.ca.