1. You’re free during the day every Saturday and Sunday. In high school and college, weekend days used to be a major source of pleasure for you. You’d spend them with friends eating brunch or watching movies under the blankets and vegging out. Now, as a single person in their mid-twenties, you dread Saturday and Sunday afternoons. I call them “Single Sundays” because it feels like you’re walking around with a spotlight on you that says, “I’m alone!” All of a sudden, your friends are M.I.A. with their significant others going to the park or the flea market or whatever it is that couples do these days and you’re going to the movies alone or eating lunch alone or going window shopping alone. The shift in your social life is almost immediate. What once was a time dedicated to friends is now reserved for lovers.
2. You don’t wash the sheets as much as you should because, screw it, it’s not like anyone else but you is sleeping in them. Also, instead of spooning with a real life human, you go to sleep next to books, magazines, and your computer. You legit spoon with your computer.
3. When you go home for the holidays, you realize you’re the only one who didn’t bring someone home and it’s weird. When your grandma asks if you’re seeing anyone and you say “no,” there’s an undercurrent of sadness to your voice that wasn’t there before.
4. You start to let yourself go a little bit in very stereotypical ways. Like, you don’t trim your genitalia and let it turn into the Lion King 2 or you eat too many pad thai lunches and all of a sudden you find yourself uncomfortable in your own skin. You know that this is a vicious cycle and that if you took better care of yourself, you’d have more confidence and thus, get laid but… meh.
5. When you run into old friends, you hope they don’t ask you the question, “So are you seeing anyone?” because you’re not and it’s awkward and you hate it and you don’t want to have some person you used to know pity you on a street corner.
6. You order takeout a lot because it feels weird cooking just for yourself. When you go to the market, you buy “single person food,” which usually consists of a yogurt, a single chicken breast, and a bottle of wine. It’s so obvious that you’re single based on your food purchases that even the checkout lady feels sorry for your single ass.
7. You get settled in your ways and forget what it’s like to compromise or plan your life with another person in mind. Sometimes you wonder if you ever will be able to do these things.
8. You feel developmentally stunted because all of your friends are getting into these serious relationships and learning so much about themselves, and you can’t be a part of the conversation. You don’t relate. Does this make you immature?
9. You want a relationship just so you can go on vacation with them and have lots of sex in a hotel room. That sounds amazing, right? I bet people get into relationships just for that.
10. You get excited at the slightest touch or flirtation. You go on one good date with someone and think they’ll be your boyfriend/girlfriend. That’s it. You’re done. Off the market.
11. You throw yourself into work and become one of those sad cliches. You’re dating your career. You’re becoming that person. You just have so much energy to invest in something/someone and if it can’t be a person, it might as well be a job.
12. You feel embarrassed for those nights out with your “single friends” (there’s categories now: single and not single) when you both get too drunk and get sad about how you want a relationship. Again, it’s this shame of surrendering to the cliches. You don’t want to be that sad, slightly drunk, single person but sometimes you are and it’s legitimately painful.
13. Your friends who are in relationships stop asking you about the state of your love life because they know the answer and don’t want you to bum out. Not asking, in it’s own way, is a bummer though. It’s like they’ve given up on you.
14. You start missing the last person you dated. Not because they were great (they are your ex for a reason) but because it’s natural to miss something when you currently have nothing.
15. You eat cupcakes. People who have boyfriends don’t eat cupcakes. You’re sure of it.