Step 1. Let personal upkeep degrade to senior-during-exams level.
Here’s the thing: we really shouldn’t be judging each other based on appearance, but we are incredibly simple animals, so we do. If you want to minimize the chances of having to deal with people on even a semi-regular basis, you’re gonna have to get grody. If you’re a guy, let’s see that neck beard. Combine it with a barely-there mustache and overgrown sideburns if you can. Just basically let your facial hair say, “I have retreated from society.” Also, stock up on cargo pants, dirty running shoes, and promotional tee shirts. Do you have a Mountain Dew shirt? Now is the time to wear it for an entire week. Ladies, there are only two things in your future: Uggs and sweatpants. They should essentially blur together in one slouchy, puffy, ill-fitting mass surrounding your legs. Combine it with a hoodie, and you’ll essentially become the Michelin Man with a messy bun on top of its head. Also, everyone should keep showers to a minimum. You’re not going anywhere, why do you need to stand around under hot water for twenty minutes when you could easily be laying in bed watching Netflix? Think, people, think.
Step 2. Scowl, scowl, scowl.
Some call it bitchface. Some call it “having a puss on.” Some call it “sucking on lemons.” Whatever you call it, it is essential that you permanently wear the expression of someone who just realized they got short changed at the store but are too far away to go back and get their money back. The world is constantly wronging you, and thus it is your job to remind everyone you walk by that you are not taking it well. Children making daisy chains and chasing butterflies in the park? Those assholes. Little old lady knitting on a quiet subway car? Way to be a walking cliché, you old bag. Get a free appetizer at your favorite bar just for being a good customer? You don’t need their charity. You just want to get through your day without being bothered by all those irritating “other people” who won’t stop existing right in your face. Is that so much to ask?
Step 3. Learn to love food more than you love people.
While I am not advocating obesity or unhealthy eating habits, it is essential that you begin to see a giant bowl of macaroni and cheese for what it is: preferable to any possible night out you could experience. Going to the bar with friends? Not better than a pepperoni pizza. Possible first date? How about taco night for one? Family gathering? If it is not centered around the carving of a honey-baked ham, it is not worth your time. You should lose entire afternoons scrolling through food porn and recipe blogs, ogling at the dripping jus with a look you used to reserve for sexual attraction. Your vocabulary, when it comes to all things edible, should be reduced to two key phrases “GET INSIDE ME,” and “DO WANT.” Nothing more is necessary. And the sooner you learn the ultimate truth, the better: People will come and go, but extra crispy french fries are for life.
Step 4. Get a Tumblr.
I am really not sure what I did before I had a Tumblr, which is strange, as I had about ten additional free hours per day. I think I probably went outside sometimes, maybe went to the movies or did some shopping, and occasionally cracked a book (okay, okay, a magazine — maybe). But now all that suffering is over, because I have an endless scrolling page full of everything I could ever dream of. What do you want to see? Fandoms? Porn? Food? Social Justice? Humor? All of the above? Great. Now you no longer even need to click around to multiple websites to occupy yourself with all the things your brain has been craving this week. It is all here for you, and your only forms of communication will now be reduced to “liking” and “reblogging,” with perhaps the zesty addition of a “THIS!” or a pertinent Glee gif. Tumblr is the black hole of all things socialization, and there is no such thing as “recreational use.” You will be blessed with all the Dr. Who and Supernatural screenshots you could ever dream of, but you will pay with your soul.
Step 5. Redirect all emotional investment toward celebrities/fictional characters.
This one kind of goes hand-in-hand with Tumblr, though it deserves its own focus on development. You should grow your unhealthy celebrity/fictional love with the tenderness and patience that you would give your own child. You should stare endlessly at pictures, hunt down every last interview available on the internet, imagine what they’d be like as a partner, and (shudder) read fan fiction. If you’re really ready to cross over into Forever Alone territory, you can even start writing some. I’m not a professor on the subject, but I’m pretty sure all you need to do is write about 2 paragraphs of plot to make way for 50 pages of gay porn. Once you have your imaginary lover, you will never need real romance again. But you all stay far, far away from Armie Hammer — he is mine.
Step 6. Eschew any actual conversation for obscure blog entries, tweets, and status updates.
Have a problem that needs to be addressed? Still have feelings for someone who used to be a big part of your life? Want to let a new prospect know that you may be interested in them? Talking to people is hard, and it might not go the way you want. It’s much better to just write something along the lines of “Some people really need to grow up,” “And if I could only stop thinking about you,” or “Where are we even going anymore?” It’s cleaner, simpler, and clearly gets the point across. Writing blogs like that are like lasers, guaranteed to shoot across the internet and into the eyes of the person you’re secretly trying to address. Just imagine when they stumble across your cryptic words, imagine the shame and urgency to respond they’ll feel when confronted with a few vague lines that may or may not have something to do with that argument that transpired a few weeks ago. It’s the internet equivalent of a cold slap in the face, and you should settle for nothing less.
Step 7. Start getting really into a television show.
Just to be sure to seal your fate and know that you will never again risk leaving the house on a Friday night, get into an awesome TV show that you’re way behind on. It could be Mad Men, it could be Game of Thrones, it could be Shameless, it could be anything. Just know that from the time you start the first episode from the time you’ve seen everything, including the DVD extras, you will want to do literally nothing else. You will finally realize how incredibly overrated leaving the house is, and appreciate more and more how forgiving the elastic waistband on your pajama pants are. There is nothing better than curling up with 7 episodes of an incredible show, the pitter-patter of rain against your window, and a pan of cinnamon rolls in the oven. And if you don’t have a new show to catch up on? There are always 1201274928374239874 episodes of Law and Order at your disposal for an impromptu marathon.
Step 8. Begin to identify, on a spiritual level, with cats.
You won’t know that you’ve truly crossed over into Forever Alone territory until your love for cats, whether or not it even existed before embarking on this 8-step process, has crossed into the existential. You should appreciate cats for their hatred of society, their distrust of humans, their aversion to physical contact, and their general cruelty when interacting with children, other animals, and strangers. You should get a small rush of joy every time you see a cat — especially your cat — acting like an utter asshole to someone, and deeply wish that you could exercise the same open disdain for people you come across in daily life. Essentially, you should just join the Egyptians in their worship of all things cat and cat-related. They are your idols, and you can only attempt to learn how to hate as deeply as they do.
So as you see, being Forever Alone is utterly awesome, and with just the minimum amount of effort, all of this can be yours. Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t become a scraggly hermit who only opens the door to get the pizzas from the delivery man, I believe in you.