With my wedding less than five months out, I’ve spent some time (a few really hot showers and some really long boring car rides when it wasn’t my turn to control the music anymore) reminiscing on my single years. They were fun, they were awesome, and the last few were the best. I found that sweet spot where I discovered I actually kind of liked myself, figured out the shit I didn’t really like, and decided that I was totally cool on my own.
Seriously though… I was the coolest.
It wasn’t too terribly long, however, before my fiancé stepped in and said ‘hey, you’re awesome, I’m awesome, what do you think about being awesome together?’ Okay, he didn’t really say that, but that’s what his eyes were saying to me from across the crowded house party. I refuse to admit alcohol consumption may have played a part, so shut up friend-who-shall-remain-nameless.
I have this fun, admittedly cliché theory about how it wasn’t until I was honestly comfortable with myself… that I found a real and honestly healthy relationship. Gross, right? Vomit….
Anyway, during these very deep and meaningful reflections, I concocted my own personal ‘how to be a fantastic single person’ set of rules that would, of course, universally apply to everyone everywhere. Because you understand that’s what opinion pieces are about, right internet? You, of course, sheesh! Alright, enough with sarcasm that at least three people will misinterpret and on with my profound and insightful logic (I don’t know how to not be sarcastic. Help me?).
1. Don’t Be That Person Who Talks Shit About Everyone in Relationships.
It’s not cute and everyone hates you just as much as everyone hates the people who only talk about how great their relationships are or how awful being single was. Happy, comfortable people don’t legitimately (joking aside here) bitch about happy, comfortable people. And trust me, you can be just as annoying and as obnoxious as the ‘happy couple’ in your own, special way — you beautiful little snowflake.
2. Don’t Equate Your Self Worth With Your Relationship Status.
Alternatively, don’t let people guilt you about being perfectly happy all by your lonesome. Insecure people need to make other people feel insecure, thus, if you are completely happy on your own and they can’t imagine being that happy without someone pushing them along… it’s the product of their insecurities, not some failing of yours. Embrace the shit out your single life and enjoy it for as long as you like. It’s a ticket that doesn’t expire, my friend and there’s no real rush to cash it in.
3. Learn to Be Comfortable and actually Enjoy Doing Things on Your Own.
There is something totally freeing about shamelessly going to your favorite restaurant, enjoying your favorite meal, and then treating yourself to the movies. Embrace the utter awesomeness of enjoying typical ‘couple’ activities on your own and realize that you don’t need another human attached to you in order to appreciate things. You also don’t have to debate over weird first date food ordering pressure, wonder if you’re eating like the secret food monster you are, or be concerned that the other party will hate the movie you’ve selected. Plus you can ugly cry through The Fault in Our Stars without someone there judging your snot and mascara smeared face. Is it obvious that my fiancé refused to see this movie with me yet? IS IT?!
4. Stay Active, Stay Busy, or Just Perfect the Art of Doing Nothing Happily.
There was this overwhelming judgy feeling that if I, as a single person, wasn’t actively doing a thousand things a day I must be lonely and depressed. There was this weird pressure that I had to be constantly active which, to be honest, I really was most of the time –boredom is my ultimate enemy. I remember this one time where I didn’t feel like going out for some sort of dancy girl’s night thing (I can’t dance and I really kind of seriously hate clubs) and my three friends acted like I needed some sort of intervention for fear I would start collecting cats. To be fair when I’d had cancer I totally did buy a cat out of sheer ‘holy shit I’m dying’ loneliness, but me and this cat did not get along. Asshole kept jumping on my face in the middle of the night and leaping out at me from the windowsills. Anyway.
But I really didn’t want to do things just for the sake of just doing a bunch of shit; I wanted to do things because they made me happy. And I found out that doing nothing sometimes made me super happy and I learned to be really comfortable doing it unapologetically.
5. Understand That You Can Choose To Not Be Alone and It Doesn’t Lessen You.
You aren’t weaker or less independent merely by falling in love and committing to something and someone. In fact, I’m of the belief that by truly committing to something worthwhile and uplifting, you are strengthening yourself and growing. We learn many lessons from being alone and we learn just as much from being part of something.
Although you might have to stop drinking out of the milk carton, start putting the toothpaste cap back on, and stop leaving your clothes behind the bathroom door, so far I’ve found such sacrifices to be worth it.