We like to think of young women as constantly surrounded by their friends, coworkers, hookups, roommates, and those who fall somewhere in between. But when no one is around and a lonely week, month, or year strikes, we often find ourselves at a loss. What we thought was mature independence has evaporated, and without the continuous camaraderie, we are left feeling…frankly, shitty and boring. Here are the best skills to learn how to do alone for the sake of your sanity.
Please hear me out, this is the farthest thing from a “women belong in the kitchen” argument. As an independent woman, learn a recipe or two not for the sake of impressing a date or your mom, but simply for you. Use ingredients that are weird to everyone except yourself. Play music and just enjoy the time. You are pampering yourself, because dammit, you deserve a home-cooked meal. Rather than indulging money or sleep or your sanity, indulge time. You deserve nothing but the best.
Going to movies
True story: you won’t always have someone else willing to go see that movie you’ve been drooling over for months. Different schedules, different tastes in attractive leading actors – whatever the reason, it’s just going to be you and a theatre full of couples and friend groups tonight. Suck it up. You don’t even talk during movies. Really, what are you missing? Someone stealing your $7 popcorn? You are strong enough to sit by yourself without a security blanket next to you. I promise you.
Yes, I said the dreaded M-word. Why are women so ashamed or afraid of a little happiness? We’ve all been well aware of the habits of men since middle school, and yet most women refuse to even acknowledge their practice. Seriously, women, it’s okay to touch yourself, because here’s the thing: there won’t always be a man/woman to fulfill those needs. And while there’s nothing wrong with a hookup or two to get the job done, there are few sex acts less risky of STDs and pregnancy than some self-love. And of course, there’s the cliché argument of figuring out what you like – which is so true it hurts. Be selfish, discover your hot spots, maybe a hidden fetish. The goal here is to have better sex with yourself than you’ve ever had before. And then pass on that info to the next s/o. This is a cycle of happiness and really good sex.
Making life decisions
Yes, advice is great and can be extremely helpful. But so many women find themselves paralyzed when faced with a tough decision they can’t talk to friends about. Sometimes you are truly your own boss, and you have to make the executive decision. It comes down to one thing: trust yourself. You are smart, you are level-headed, and you are capable of being entirely your own person. Ultimately it’s your life, not your sister’s or your boyfriend’s. Choose a life that you have dreamed of living.
Putting yourself out there
You will not die if you go to yoga alone. Likewise, going to a bar without your best friend will not cause you to have a seizure. If your partner in crime bails, remind yourself that vodkatinis and cappucinos taste just as good when you’re alone. And there’s no better way to fine tune your conversation skills than not having a crutch to lean on. Your independence will draw in those around you with admiration for your confidence. Yes, I did just find a way to meet people by being alone. You too can be that cool.
Here’s to the final frontier of feminism – embracing the down time.