Being single, much like a wrinkle-free neck and the illusion that nuclear war won’t happen in your lifetime, is something you often don’t appreciate enough until it’s gone. Many people feel that to be single is to be alone and to be alone is to be lonely, but it doesn’t have to be that way. It shouldn’t be that way! Once you’re over the requisite 16-month honeymoon period and you’ve alienated all your friends with your amorous drivel, you’re going to settle into a nice boring holding pattern of love. With it will come the realization: Holy shit, I wasted being single.
It’s easy to do. Even if you enjoyed your Tinder years, by the time you’re in a solid relationship for a while, some small part of you will miss the instability and freedom of being Not Taken. So in the meantime, capitalize on being single by doing the following:
Indulge your sloth.
If you don’t feel like going out, don’t. Stay in and curse modern dating, as if apps were the reason you can’t meet anyone (it’s definitely not the fact that you correct everyone about “less” versus “fewer”). Stay in, order a calzone, and make some good points on Reddit about the plot holes in Home Alone 2. Or stay out till 2 A.M. with your second fling of the month. No one cares what you do, and that freedom is a beautiful thing: No one cares if you get home late, no one cares if you set your alarm to go off at 6:00, 6:15, 6:22, and 6:30 because you were out late enjoying someone’s naughty bits and you might oversleep. Be free!
Get a new hobby.
The word “hobby” sucks. Almost nothing you can call a hobby is hot. Once you call something a hobby, it becomes nerdy. Basically, instead of a hobby, just work out more. (Kidding! Mostly.)
The good news about being single is that it doesn’t matter what I—or anyone else—wants you to do with your time or how hot (or not) they find it. It’s your time. That’s the beauty of being single. It’s all your time. You don’t have to go watch your partner’s new short film that you didn’t get and they don’t have to show up to your rec league soccer games where you get too aggressive and it kind of makes them uncomfortable. Get your hobbies going now so that you have a full life once you start dating. You don’t want to be that couple who always is together all the time, doing couple activities. (The only thing less sexy than a hobby is a couple activity. Excluding, of course, sex.)
I know it seems like I keep telling you to work out, but this one isn’t actually about that. It’s just about staying engaged. Do things that make you feel good. I’m not suggesting at all that once you start dating someone any of these things need to stop, but right now you get to eat what you want every single night. You get to go to the bar you like every single time. So use all your energy to build up a life you do want. If you like traveling and can afford it, go somewhere alone. Start a side business. Buy a new couch without any input from someone else. Keep your life moving.
Now is your time to start therapy, or end toxic friendships, or work on your short fuse, or examine how your childhood traumas are holding you back from making a commitment. I don’t know. Whatever it is, don’t wait until you have someone phenomenal in your life and then drop that stuff in their lap, hoping they’ll help you do the emotional labor.
Revel in potential.
One of the best parts about being single is how every single night out, every single trip to the grocery store, and every single vacation feels laden with hope. You might just smooch a hottie! You might even go home with a hottie! This could be it! The night the sexy bartender at your favorite bar finally realizes that they’ve been in love with you and your impressive drink order all along!
Revel in that. Because along with that hope often come disappointments, which are much easier to focus on. Once you’re dating someone, nights out are pretty similar to nights in. What are you doing at a bar other than paying more for alcohol? Are you really making an effort to meet new people (as friends!) at the bar, or are you, like most relationship people, kind of just floating in contentment? It’s lovely if you are out there just to meet new people platonically, but be honest: A night out will never be as exciting as when you’re single and you’ve bought into the idea that “anything can happen.”