So, “Mr. Not So Right” or “Ms. I Sorta Liked Her” is gone and now you’re single. You’re sad and crying into your Chinese food leftovers, and pondering how terrible life is now that you are oh-so solo. Chin up! Learning to live alone is an experience to embrace and will undoubtedly make you a better person in the long run. The stigma of single life is rapidly declining; despite the naysayers out there, there are advantages to not having a plus one for a while. Most people relationship jump and are so fearful of being on their own that they just never learn the fine art of living alone.Living without your ex will be painful at times, but fending for yourself and taking on new challenges will open up your world in ways you never thought possible. Plus, you never have to worry about putting the toilet seat down or making sure you put away all your makeup. And brushing your teeth morning and night suddenly becomes optional.
15. Sleeping arrangements
Photo by SE
At first, the bed you shared with your ex BF/GF seems soooo big. Why did it feel so small before? Take heart because you just received ownership of the whole property and you can now rule dreamland your way. Sleep on whatever side of the bed you desire: the left, right, top, bottom, or smack dab in the middle. Plus, you can have possession of ALL the covers for the entire night. No more shivering at 3 AM. Your sleep schedule is all yours now too. Go to bed early, sleep in late, or just fall sleep on the couch if you feel like it. Let’s be honest, you might be tempted to avoid the bed and sleep on the sofa at first but the faster you get used to solo bedtime the faster you’ll adapt. Additional bonuses to being single: no more sleeping with a snoring ex who wakes you up all the time, AND you can wear whatever you want (or not) when it’s time for nighty night. Sweet dreams!
14. Eat your heart out
At first eating alone might seem sad, but you will get used to eating whatever YOU are craving, whenever YOU feel like it. There are no more constant questions about “what’s for dinner?” or “what time are we eating?” If you are not inclined to partake in kale and quinoa for the rest of your life, you can rejoice because no one is around to force you to eat healthily. If you can’t take another five nights in a row of fast food, you no longer have to indulge in grub you don’t like. You can chow down on whatever you want at dinner: a microwaved can of soup with half a sleeve of crackers, a meal of olives and cheese plus wine, or a piece of pizza scarfed down while standing over the sink. All perfectly acceptable and up to you.
13. Clothing optional
It’s emancipating to realize when you get home; you are truly the master of your domain. You can wear whatever you want when you are lounging, sleeping, or scrubbing the tub clean of your exes’ cooties. Comfort, not cuteness is the single life clothing guide. Wear what keeps you cool or warm depending on the season. A ratty t-shirt over shorts that look like a team of moths had a field day on them or your favorite jersey from high school that is two or three sizes too big are all fair game. No one is around to judge and criticize. So even walking around in your birthday suit is acceptable, as long as you don’t care if the neighbors might see you now and again.
12. You alone control the remote
You like Downton Abby and anything with the word “Housewives” in it, and your ex preferred shows with space aliens and out of this world locations. When you live alone, you can binge watch all episodes of Breaking Bad for weeks on end, check out a Dirty Dancing marathon on basic cable all day, and catch every single sporting event your heart desires. You have complete control of the TV remote, the Netflix Que, and other forms of home entertainment. You also get to choose the films you head out to see or watch at home. Sometimes going to the movies alone can be a little bit of a drag, but really, once you get there who cares? It’s not like you have to talk to anyone. Plus you get to eat all the popcorn and choose your favorite theater candy.
11. The holidays are yours
Visiting a family that is not your own is often the plot of various holiday movies like The Family Stone or Four Christmas’s. Visiting your family or theirs, or both, during the November and December season is a rite of passage for almost anyone in a long term relationship. From crazy, nosy aunts who want to know when you are getting married and having kids, to stinky uncles always trying to put their greasy paws on you, hanging out with a family that is not your own is a bit nerve-racking. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Hanukkah are one of the more stressful times in any relationship, no matter how well things are going. Bringing a relative stranger into the swirling dysfunction of a family around the holidays can just intensify the madness. If you find yourself single during the holidays, rejoice in the fact that the only family craziness you’ll have to deal with is your own relatives. And they have to be nice to you because you’re sad from the breakup.
10. Time is on your side
You can sleep as long as you want, shower when the mood strikes, or head out to work or play late or early. No one is around to nag, judge, or yell at you. If you want to spend the day shopping or just sitting in the park reading a book and feeding the pigeons, you won’t be bothered every half hour with an annoying pleading text “where are you?” or “when are you coming home?” Use your time alone to take up a hobby you never had time for, like golf or knitting. Ponder all the possibilities that lie ahead. Expand your horizons by taking a course or delving into a book that will enrich your mind and spirit.
9. You own the space
She liked to keep the apartment in tip-top shape, not a single knickknack out of place, and you don’t feel a home needs a complete set of porcelain cats. Perhaps you had to shove all your t-shirts into one tiny dresser drawer. Now that your single you can spread out your clothes and let them breathe alone in the closet. Put away your clothes, or don’t, that’s up to you. Keep the place super clean or leave it messy; depending on how you want to live there isn’t a soul around to tell you otherwise. Remember that ugly painting your ex wanted you to buy with her? Goodbye. Instead, you can hang up your old college posters and display your high school trophies without scorn or ridicule. It’s your castle, be the King or Queen, and rule.
8. Hang with your people
There is always someone your ex is friends with or works with that just rubs you the wrong way. Whether it’s a best friend who won’t stop talking for two seconds or a couple who is always leaving early and sticking you with the tab, there are some people you’ll be glad to never have to see again. Work functions are sometimes the worst. Pretending to care about the lives of your exes co-workers who drone on about the widget reports you know nothing about, or sucking up to his/her boss who always smells like Doritos is now out of your hands. Take this opportunity to reconnect with the friends you may have lost touch with while stuck in “couplesville” It’s good to go out with the guys or the girls and not have to worry if they get along with your significant other.
7. Your money is your own
When you are single, suddenly all the things you want to buy no matter how big or small, are back in play. Everything else you never really wanted is no longer on your radar. Going solo means no more lengthy discussions about the kind of canned corn to get, or can opening to buy, or which magazine rack will look best in the bathroom. If you want to spend all your extra cash on a pair of shoes, so be it! No one will yell at you. Perhaps you have had your eye on a game system, treat yourself. It’s your hard earned money; you can buy whatever you want. If you never want to look at a can of vegetables ever again, go for it.
6. You’re in the driver’s seat
Photo by SE
You can drive to a restaurant or mall and not have the front seat co-pilot tell you the “best” way to go. Plus, you have complete control over the radio. You get to listen to NPR without hearing heavy sighs of annoyance, or jam to the latest Katy Perry song without having someone put their hands over their ears in disgust. Cruise fast on the freeway and change lanes at the last minute without anyone yelling at you to slow down. Once you get to your destination, you can park way in the back, or wait for that spot up front, whichever floats your boat. You can also just take an uber or catch a ride with a friend without having to worry about anyone else’s feelings.
5. Free to find your happy
What makes you happy? Chance are you weren’t happy for a quite awhile, and after the dust settles you’ll realize your smile had been hiding and hearty laughs had been few and far between. Let’s face it; you now have alone time to figure out what you want, for now and in the future. If you and your ex never saw eye to eye on where to eat, where to travel, where to live, and more, now is the time to find out what makes you happy. Listen to your favorite music, eat the foods you prefer, get that cat you always wanted. The world is yours to conquer, make the most of it.
4. Drama and jealousy have left the building
Photo by SE
It’s nice to go out with the guys and not have your phone ringing off the hook as the messages get angrier with each passing hour. And, it’s great to hang out with your girlfriends and not have to answer 20 questions about where you are going and what time will you be home. When you are solo, you are free to talk to that cute coworker who is just a friend, stay out as late as you want, or “friend” and old high school sweetheart on Facebook without getting the third degree. Spending time with who you want and getting home as late as you desire are definite perks in your newly single lifestyle.
3. Give up or don’t give up
There are different post-break up reactions like “why bother anymore?” or “I’m finally getting myself together”. No matter what side you are on, no one is standing in your way. You either give up for awhile or become a gym rat. You can let yourself go or make yourself over. The choice is up to you. Some people wallow at home, give up on using makeup, shower less frequently, and eat the crappiest food known to humankind for weeks. It is your prerogative, although your coworkers might take up a petition if your personal hygiene affects the whole office after awhile. Other people who are newly single will dive right into a new workout regiment, get a sleek haircut, and explore establishments the ex never liked. Either way, don’t give up for too long. And don’t go overboard on the reinvention. As in anything, moderation is always key.
2. Vacation all you want when you’re flying solo
Traveling is sometimes a stressful couple activity. You want to ski all day long, and your SO wants to settle in at the craps table for hours. It can be hard to find a place you both agree on for a vacation. So polish off that passport (if needed), and book the trip of your dreams today. Head out solo, meet up with friends or family, it doesn’t matter as long as you’re going where you want to go for once. As a bonus, you don’t have to worry about making sure you book seats together. You can stay in the posh hotel of your dreams, or the charming B&B that saves you dough.
1. You can finally do (Fill In The Blank)
You wanted a cat, but your ex was allergic. You dreamed of playing in a band, but the ex did not think that was a good idea for so many reasons. Now is the time to have and do whatever it is your heart desires. Try out for a musical, take skydiving lessons, start the first draft of that book you’ve had rattling around in your head. With no one else in your life right now, it the best time take to be adventurous and poke your nose into something that is out of your comfort zone. You’ll meet people that are outside your circle and learn you just might be better off single after all.