Although single people enjoy greater independence and have more freedom to be spontaneous, being single can also come with profound feelings of loneliness. If you are feeling melancholy about lacking a partner, these tips should inspire you to make changes that boost your happiness.

1) Put effort into cultivating your platonic relationships

Although it’s a cultural norm to derive the most meaning from romantic relationships, you can also find a lot of love and companionships in your bonds with friends or family. Make sure you regularly contact your loved ones to arrange meetings or just swap news, and focus on being grateful for the fact that these people make your world a brighter place.

 2) Practice self care

It sounds like a cliché to say it’s important to love yourself, but you can certainly compensate for some feelings of loneliness by being kind to yourself. Set aside time to pursue your hobbies, rejuvenate your spirit and relax both body and mind. It doesn’t matter what you choose to do as long as it is healthy and helps you to feel good. Even if you have a busy career or lots of other obligations, making time to treat yourself can make a big difference to how you feel about your life.

 3) Avoid idealizing relationships

When you’re not in a relationship, it’s easy to imagine that being in one would make your life complete. However, thinking back to past relationships will remind you that being with someone is hard work and can sometimes be deeply painful. It’s good to be aware of the contributions another person can make to your life, but don’t make the mistake of fantasizing that a romantic relationship is entirely comprised of happy nights, passionate sex and endlessly interesting conversation.

 4) Contribute to your community

As well as filling some of your free time and helping you to feel connected to people, choosing to do volunteer work allows you to bringing meaning to the lives of others. In particular, some volunteer jobs (such as counseling or working in a soup kitchen) are inherently social and are bound to reduce feelings of isolation.

 5) Don’t let being single dent your self-esteem

If you associate being in a relationship with being successful and loveable, the loneliness of being single can be linked to a lack of confidence and purpose. However, try to remember that there are many reasons why people are single. In many cases, luck and timing play huge roles. You are not less valuable or attractive just because you don’t have a partner at the moment.

 6) Attend new events

Finally, every city provides opportunities to join clubs, classes and societies that focus on particular interests. If there’s something that you’ve always wanted to learn, look into night school or a weekly class. If you love to read, take photographs or analyze movies, search for a club of like-minded individuals. In addition to helping you feel less lonely, these types of events can even spark new romances.

Feeling a sense of loneliness when you’re single will happen from time to time, however if you can apply one or more of these tips you can reduce the loneliness feeling.