NEW START: Make contact with your neighbour. It could be the start of a lasting friendship. Picture:
Branch out and make new friends while discovering exciting, novel things, writes Marchelle Abrahams.

You're single and loving it! Who cares that family members instantly give you the side eye when you turn up at functions on your ace.

The good news is you can veg in front of the TV and watch the 7de Laan omnibus the whole weekend.

Yes, romantic couples have so much to look forward to, like planning their weddings, fretting over their other halves and shopping for matching his-and-hers Converse sneakers.

But don’t you just secretly chuckle to yourself when your girlfriends start complaining about how “Roger keeps on leaving the toilet seat up” or “Sipho thinks it’s funny when he farts in the bed”?

Being single gives you the opportunity to go out there and try new things.

We’ve come up with a few ideas that single people over 30 can try, and it doesn’t involve romance or mention dating websites.

1 Make friends with your neighbour

Single people have much fuller lives than their married peers, according to a study last year. The study found that singletons of both sexes are twice as likely to be good neighbours. We live in a country where neighbours are separated by high walls and electric fences. Do you even know your neighbour? Take the first step and introduce yourself – it could lead to a lasting friendship.

2 Join a club

Local columnist and blogger Heather Dugmore says that single people should relish their free time and join a club that they’ve always found interesting, like a book club or hiking club. “There are communities of people everywhere. Find one that suits you and make the effort.”

Picture: Wikimedia Commons

3 Take cooking lessons

Good food and conversation with complete strangers can make for a fun night out. Cooking mishaps can be an awkward, yet funny, icebreaker and, who knows, you could be a gourmand in the making.

4 Find a hobby

Whether it’s fly-fishing or knitting, single people tend to take their hobby to the extreme. The key is not to obsess over it. Find something that you’ll have fun doing, but also know when to let go.

5 Satisfy your wanderlust

“I am not the same, having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world.” – Mary Anne Radmacher

South Africa is “alive with possibility”, as the SA Tourism ad goes. Go off the beaten track and explore your country like a tourist.

HUGE: Visit the giant pineapple in Bathurst in the Eastern Cape.

We have fun, quirky destinations that are begging to be discovered. For example, did you know South Africa is home to the world’s biggest pineapple, in Barthurst?

6 Step out of your comfort zone

Push your boundaries by doing something that is completely out of character, like bungee jumping, pole dance classes or naked yoga.

7 Spoil yourself

Being in a relationship always means having to budget, or realising that it’s not MY money, but OUR money. Guess what, you don’t need to think like that anymore. Had your eye on that 40-inch smart TV, or drooling over that designer hand bag? Just give into the temptation and buy it.

8 Educate yourself

Now that you have all this free time on your hands, maybe consider doing a short online course. It could also be the catalyst for considering a career change by shifting your focus to something that excites you.

9 Spend some time with your married friends

Married couples always wonder what single people get up to, and vice versa. Give your friends some insight into your carefree life, and exaggerate the life of a single person by having weekend lie-ins, binge-watch reruns of your favourite shows and order greasy takeaways. They’ll be eyeing you with disgust, but secretly wishing they could do the same.

10 Do you, boo!

It’s time to celebrate and embrace your relationship status. Discover new and exciting things, meet new friends and enjoy life as a single person.