New year, new me. Is that how it goes?
Because in that case, I already screwed up.
See, I sort of did the “new me” thing six months ago. The summer of 2016 was a season of adjustment for me. In the space of one month, I was adjusting to a new apartment, in a new town, with two new roommates, starting a new school program, and embracing a new relationship status as a single lady. Change isn’t usually easy, especially for those of us (hello, yours truly) who are very type-A and loooove consistency and routine. So in the spirit of full disclosure, it was a hard month. And the next six months were hard, in their own way (PSA: grad school is apparently not for the faint of heart). But one of the things I have realized over the past 6 months is that I am so, so grateful that I made those adjustments. Leaving a shitty job and a shitty relationship gave me the freedom to become a better version of myself.
Ugh. Someone slap me. I sound like a bad episode of Oprah.
But seriously, it’s so true. Before I broke up/packed up/started a new chapter, I was pretty stagnant. And before that job and that relationship, I’d been bouncing around between other equally dead-end jobs and deadbeat guys…man, the stories I could tell (actually, that could make a great blog post – stay tuned). So clearly changes were in order, and I decided to make them happen. They were hard, but I survived and now I’m basically kicking ass and enjoying being fabulous, if a bit (ok, a lot) neurotic. I’ve adjusted well, and 9/10 doctors would describe me as a fully-functioning graduate student, LA county resident, and single broad. And in so many ways, I finally saw the light.
For example…there are a lot of perks to being single. I mean a lot, yall.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying relationships are bad or boring – although they can be – and I don’t want this to come across bitter. With the right person, a relationship is a great thing, and if the right person came into my life, I’d want that too. It’s just that a lot of people seem to think that being single is bad or boring – which it can be (if you’re doing it wrong) – and they forget how great it can be to fly solo.
No, this is not a post about masturbation. Calm down.
(Sorry I said “masturbation” in public, Dad. And sorry for now saying it directly to you.)
Anyway, when I got out of that relationship last summer, it initially took quite an adjustment. Meeting guys and remembering how to flirt and, Lord help me, going on dates again with new people was weird. It felt awkward. I was awkward. I started considering throwing in the towel and just getting a dog…but it’s a good thing my apartment doesn’t allow dogs, because after a little while, I got my mojo back and I remembered how damn nice it can be to be single.
So maybe some of yall have felt a little tired of being single after being interrogated about your relationship status all throughout the holiday season. Maybe some of yall are in relationships and pining for freedom. Or maybe you’ve just lost your mojo and need to be reminded of all the fun there is to be had flying solo.
Whatever your case may be, the only cure is more cowbell.
And since I’m fresh outta cowbell, here’s an unofficial list of all the perks of being single.
Disclaimer: This list is not comprehensive. There may be other benefits to being free of a relationship that are not included in this list. Please chime in with a comment if you have other perks that you think should be added. Also, if you are in a relationship and getting antsy, reading this list probably won’t help that.
The Very Honest, Very Wonderful Perks of Being Single
- You can starfish sprawl all up in your bed and hog the covers without anyone complaining about you kicking them in the crotch or “stealing” their portion of the blankets. You also get to sleep with the fan set to your preference, surround yourself with as many body pillows as you want, and wake up to your alarm clock rather than the television someone left on at midnight.
- You don’t have to share your food. When you order a dish, it’s truly yours to enjoy without somebody else’s fork suddenly hovering over your plate for mandatory sharing/sampling.
- You also don’t have to worry about getting sick or getting someone else sick when you’re down with a cold or the flu or whatever (well, unless you’re one of those foul humans who shares their food and drink with anyone that has a pulse. And if you are, you should stop. You can get mono and herpes and all kinds of shit from that.) You also don’t have to worry about holding anyone else’s hair back when they barf, or buying them Nyquil and chicken soup when they’re sick.
- You can wear whatever damn kind of panties or bras you want. No one will know if you’ve got a pink floral granny panties on with a beige underwire bra from the Target clearance rack. The downside is that no one will know if you’re wearing a red lacy thong and matching bra. Also, regardless of what you’re wearing, no one will be getting to remove said undergarments, but we’re trying to keep it positive here, so moving on….
- When a cute guy at the grocery store/in the squat rack next to you/in line at Starbucks starts hitting on you, you can flirt back. If you recently got out of a relationship, let that one sink in – you can flirt back. Of course, this means you have to remember how to flirt, but once you get past the slack-jawed-staring phase, you’re pretty much golden.
- You can Netflix and actually chill without anyone trying to subtly unzip their jeans and nudge your head towards their crotch.
- You never ever have to worry about being pregnant, and you never have to worry about whether or not you remembered to take the pill. (Ladies can I get an amen?)
- You can sleep in a onesie, or other equally boner-killing pajamas, without judgment from your significant other or complaints about the extreme un-sexiness of your attire.
- You save money – really! – by not having to take someone on dates, buy him/her gifts, travel to see him/her, etc. And when you’re already poor, this is actually a serious bonus. You can spend that money on exciting things, like paying off your student loans (seriously, debt free is sexy. You have no idea.) or buying protein in bulk (no lie, that shit gets expensive. I’m surprised more gym bros don’t have to get sugar daddies to pay for their whey isolate and extra lean ground turkey.) or saving up for the twin bull terriers you plan to adopt and name Smith and Wesson.
- You save time. You don’t have to respond to their texts, you don’t have to sit through perfunctory phone calls/dinners/date nights, you don’t have to go visit their parents, and you generally don’t have to worry about carving out time for someone else. And while that may sound harsh, for folks who genuinely have packed schedules, it’s a really nice benefit. You can use that time to do sexy things like write term papers, shop for groceries, read PubMed, deadlift heavy(ish) things, all that fun stuff.
- You get to be that fun single girl that your girlfriends try to set up with their male friends. (Do guys do this? I don’t know.) It may typically end up going down in flames, but damn if those don’t make for good stories.
- You get to choose the TV shows and movies you watch instead of “compromising” by 80% of the time agreeing to watch what your partner wants to watch.
- You can go to the gym or go for a run without anyone whining about how you’re “always at the gym” and complaining that you don’t spend enough time with them.
- You have the freedom to do you. To change jobs, go back to school, move to a new state, learn a new language, play a new sport, whatever it may be. You have time and money and mental energy that you wouldn’t if you were in a relationship. And eventually you’re going to meet someone who makes a relationship sound even more appealing than being single, and suddenly that free time and extra cash and mental energy will be neatly allotted to whoever that wonderful person is. As great as they may be, they’re not you and they’re not going to make you the person you want to become. Only you can do that, and what better time to do that than when you’re single and truly free to invest in yourself?
Anyway, if you’re in a relationship and you read this, and now you’re thinking that you want to be single and free and enjoy piloting your own plane (not a euphemism, but hey) and all, I cannot legally be held responsible for what happens to your relationship.
But I can legally say….
“DANCE FOR ME, PUPPETS.” [Insert maniacal cackle here.]
(Just kidding. I’ve just always wanted to say that, and it seemed as good a time as any.)