I recently realized I write about single life quite a bit, and often in a negative way. I'm actually not intentionally being negative but instead, trying to show my readers an honest and real portrayal of what it's like. And yes:
Dating kind of sucks.
Dudes kind of suck.
Online dating apps are trash.
Being single at 33 years old can be ostracizing and weird.
There's an annoying pressure on single people (err, women) to find someone.
Finding someone who's a good fit is proving to be damn near impossible.
But guess what? Despite all that, I don't hate it. I actually don't hate it at all. I am happy to share my experiences with everyone and love when people are entertained, intrigued or find humor in my 'Single Girl Stories.' A coworker even said to me recently:
"I secretly hope you never get a boyfriend because I love hearing about all your crazy dating escapades."
Here's one thing I don't want, though. I DON'T want you pitying me because of this stuff. I omit the mundane, standard (read: boring) parts of single life since -- let's face it -- hearing a story about me getting Catfished is WAY funnier than hearing about a date I went on with a nice, normal guy. But if I run into you and you say, "you poor thing!" because you read my recent 'Tales of Online Dating' post? No. Don't you dare cry for ME, Argentina.
If you're one of those people who feels sorry for me because of my, um, situation, or would rather take a bath with your toaster than be in my shoes: today's post is dedicated to sharing all the perks of single life.
I CAN ENGAGE IN 'SECRET SINGLE BEHAVIOR.' There's an episode of Sex and the City where Carrie recently moves in with her beau Aidan and laments to her girlfriends about mourning the loss of what she coined her 'secret single behavior.' Essentially, these are the things us weirdos do when we're alone and not in a position to be seen, heard or judged by ANYONE. As a Single Lady who lives alone, I can indulge in odd activities like binge-watching murder shows for hours on end (I recently went down a weird YouTube rabbit hole and watched HOURS worth of footage from the OJ Simpson trial), eating an entire bag of marshmallows in one sitting or wearing a charcoal gray face mask followed by an hour in the bathroom primping and grooming myself. No one needs to see this stuff (and the other weirder things I HAVEN'T mentioned) and I can do it all day, every day.
I SLEEP LIKE A FRICKIN BABY. Wait, babies actually don't sleep so that's a bad analogy. I sleep like a person who has a large bed to themselves, no soundtrack of heavy breathing or snoring mere inches from them, and without feeling imprisoned or scared to thrash around in fear of waking someone. I get some of the best sleep of my life these days: glorious, interrupted, incredible sleep. If I ever wake up in the middle of the night for whatever reason, I can get up or move around without disturbing anyone and vice versa. I can choose to sleep in or get up early or lay in bed on mornings over the weekend, scrolling through Instagram 90 times while remaining horizontal and mostly under the covers. No one can say boo about it, and it would likely be one of the HARDEST things to give up if I ever end up in a serious relationship again.
I DON'T HAVE TO COMPROMISE OR ANSWER TO ANYONE ON THINGS LIKE FOOD, HOW I SPEND MY TIME, THE TEMPERATURE OF MY APARTMENT, ETC. I eat what I want, when I want. I go out when I want to go out and stay in when I want to stay in. If I'm cold, I turn on the space heater and wear 37 layers of clothing. If I'm hot, I open windows or turn on the AC. If I want to hang on the couch all day, I can. If I want to have a productive day; running errands and spending a majority of the time away from home, I do. I can go to the gym or not go to the gym.
I'm not saying that being in a relationship means you need 'permission' to do the aforementioned, but there's a huge element of compromise involved when you're with someone. If you're both invited to some event and aren't on the same page about going, it warrants a discussion about what you'll do. If one of you feels like rockin' an Early Bird Special and eating dinner at 4:30pm on a Sunday because you haven't eaten a thing all day but the other is NOT ready to eat that early.... conundrum. I don't deal with any of this. I legitimately come and go as I please.
I CAN BE FULLY ALONE; SOMETHING I NEED. I have two sides: the outgoing social butterfly, and the quiet homebody. I fall into the former category a majority of the time, but I DO need moments of quiet/alone time where I can just revel in my own company, relax and not have to talk to anyone. When I'm in these moods, I tend to disconnect and hole up in my apartment; ignoring phone calls and rejecting invitations to go out. When you're in relationship it's really hard to do this and there's an unspoken pressure not to ask for these much-needed and appreciated solo moments.
I CAN BE SELFISH (something I'm really good at). Right now, my main focus in life is ME. I work on my own health and happiness and put my needs first. I obviously care about my friends and family, but people with significant others, spouses and/or children often have to selflessly worry about and do things for everyone else but them, often putting their own needs on the back-burner. My mother LOVES to tell me, "you certainly treat yourself well" and she's right: I do. And honestly? Why shouldn't I? I'm all I've got.
VARIETY IS THE SPICE OF LIFE. I've always been a serial monogamist and relationship girl. Part of me thinks that deep down I still may be, but a lot has changed since I became single back in 2013. While I do recognize all the perks and benefits of having a sole 'person' in your life, being alone has actually opened doors for me to a world of something I never had before: variety. Dating allows me to meet and hang out with different men, and I've even made some new friends/acquaintances in the past few years and have become closer to different people because my lifestyle allows for me to spread my wings a bit. I'm also focusing on traveling more this year and already in talks to go to different places with different crews of friends.
I GOT SOME GOOD STORIES. Need I say more?
Look, I'm not saying that being single is easy. But guess what? Being married isn't easy. Being young isn't easy and getting older isn't easy, either. Being childless isn't always easy; nor is being a parent. Being a female isn't any easier than being a man and quite frankly there's no age, relationship status, gender or situation that makes you better off (or worse off) than anyone else.
No matter who we are or where we are in life, we're all going through it in some way. And while some of you wouldn't want to be in my shoes or trade positions with me, that's totally fine. Just know that despite a lot of the garbage I write about, being single ain't so bad.
In fact, it's kinda nice.