So you have recently stepped out of that relationship bubble. Gone are the Saturday nights spent in with your beau, a bottle of Merlot and the X Factor. In its place there is Bumble, a lot of explicit pics and spending your Sunday mornings queuing outside Sainsbo’s waiting to purchase emergency contraception. Welcome to being single.
Maybe the last time you were single, Geri Halliwell was still groping Prince Charlies on red carpets and Liam Gallagher did actually tickle your pickle. Maybe you’ve been in a relationship for a decade or only a week. Whatever the case, being birthed back into single reality can be a bit of a shock to the system. So here’s a few things I wish I had been told when I became newly single pringle.
Everyone’s An Expert
As quick as your Facebook status becomes ‘hidden’ on your profile, your friends suddenly become the Oprah’s of the dating world. Your life becomes their speciality subject on Mastermind and suddenly everyone is an expert. Their advice will overfloweth and you’ll be unsure whether you need to ‘get under someone to get over it’ or ‘take time and breathe’.
Everyone will come to the table with their own shit and they will be keen for you to learn from it. But realistically, your shit and their’s are not the same. Sure, it is great to have advice and listening ears, but you will know what is best for you, not them. And whilst your friends may be donning their best agony aunt head tilt and drowning you in wine, the only expert in the room about yourself is you.
You Don’t Need to Find Yourself
There is a common misunderstanding that as a single person you need to spend 5 months of your life Eat, Pray, Loving around India to become a more ’rounded’ person. As if, somehow, being a minus one makes you a dick. Now I don’t know about you, but I know plenty of married people who are complete ‘Bowler Hats’ and I haven’t seen any of them being forced to do Yoga on mountainsides or shove an enema up their arses to become ‘better people’.
Sure, being alone gives you a lot more time to focus on you. Suddenly you realise that obsession you had with the F1 was only because it shut him up on a Sunday if you watched it and nodded along (I am sorry, Vettel you’re hot but you’re boring). As you step out of the relationship cocoon and into the glistening, brightness of your new reality you can rediscover things that make you, you. Perhaps it’s the pilates class you sacked off because it clashed with the time you’d have to visit their Mum, or the travel you never went on because they were scared of being more than 5 miles distance from a Weatherspoons. Whatever the reasons, if you want to delve into a bit of finding yourself; you can, but it might turn out you are a nice enough, full enough, good enough person, just the way you are.
It’s All a Bit 50 Shades of Beige
And I am not talking about the differing skin tones of the their nether regions that suddenly flood your inbox. Although as a singleton, that is probably something you might have to get used to. I remember when flashers really used to have to put a shift in down a forest. Sat there for hours in the freezing cold in only some drawstring trousers and a mac. Hoping for some school girls to take the short cut home from the bus. But now the world’s weirdos have direct access to you and can flood your eyes with enough smeggy appendages you could stock the Tesco cheese counter. Enjoy that one.
But no, other than every other person on the dating apps saying they want to be your Mr Grey every 2 seconds, single life can be a bit bland. Where once you always had a sidekick to come on adventures with you, whether that was to St Lucia or the local shop, suddenly you’re doing it alone and it can get a bit…boring. So you either have to get super comfortable doing things alone or you have to plan your diary and force your happily coupled up pals to get the beers in on a weekend. People with families and partners tend to have commitments, or they’re lazy as fuck (remember when a night in wasn’t desperately sad and lonely? The dream) so getting them on board to make life a little less beige. So get your diary open, give them about 4 months notice or find yourself a pal or two who isn’t consciously coupled up. Sidenote: going to the cinema alone and cramming 100 nachos in your gob on a Sunday afternoon is actually a liberating feeling. Do it.
Being Single isn’t Failing
As another wedding invite pokes through your letterbox whilst you spend your Friday nights furiously wanking over the hot bits in The Vikings, it’s hard not consider single life as a failure. My favourite wedding encounter last year was when a friend’s Mum asked me as an opening question “So which one of the boys here are you married too”. None mate. I mean I’ve snogged a few if that counts?
Being single at a wedding is assigning yourself the title of social pariah. You might as well hang a bell round your neck and warn the couples your coming.
But alas, outside of the wedding bubble, being single is really not that bad. I mean, on Sex and The City the girls went to Morocco, got piped and sipped Cosmo’s, whilst the Desperate Housewives got cheated on, lost careers and concealed murders. Just saying.
Being in a relationship isn’t the be all of your existence…it can actually be quite fun.
Are you newly single or been single for a while? What advise do you wish you had then? Let me know in the comments or grab me on my socials.