How To Be Single

There’s a certain stigma to being alone. I’ve been single for over six years now and it always amazes me how concerned other people are about that fact. I mean, I’ve dated here and there, but it was never anything serious. It’s not a popular opinion, but I believe our society makes us feel like we’re not whole or there’s something wrong with us if we’re not partnered up with someone. There are people out there that can’t fathom being alone. It almost becomes a panic-like state when their relationship ends. Let me be clear, in no way am I judging. I know it’s a real struggle for some. The reason I’m writing this is because I happen to consider myself an expert at being alone, and I know that some of you are in the same situation, but you’re not thrilled about it. I’m here to say, you’re gonna be more than ok. You know what happens when you get involved with someone just because you don’t want to be alone? Disaster. You end up settling, not happy, then single again. Rinse and repeat. I’m going to address some of the reasons we don’t like to be alone, possible solutions, and hopefully by the end, at least one person will feel better about being single.

“MANLY” TASKS:

I’m not trying to stereotype here, but there are certain things that are taken care of by the men in our lives. Generally speaking, they look after the vehicles, build stuff, fix stuff, maybe shovel the driveway or mow the lawn… the point is, most of the things your partner used to take care of during your relationship, you are capable of doing. YouTube and Google are now you’re best friends. You wanna refinish that old cabinet that Grandma gave you? Bathroom sink clogged? One of your appliances not working properly? There’s YouTube videos for anything you can think of. Obviously there’s more complex things that probably shouldn’t be attempted. I’m not expecting or suggesting a YouTube video if you need to rebuild the engine in your car or your house needs to be rewired. Some things should definitely be handled by a professional. Sometimes you’ll need to ask for help. Think about the people in your life. Does one of your friends have a partner that’s handy? How about a co-worker that has some knowledge about cars? Even if you have older children that could help… ask. Something to consider investing in that has saved me too many times to count, a wagon or old lady shopping cart. My friends made fun of me when I got my first one, but I was the one laughing when I managed to lug stuff around I wouldn’t have otherwise been able to on my own. I want you to imagine what it would feel like to accomplish things you didn’t think you could. It’s empowering!

SECURITY:

This one was a big one for me. I love watching true crime documentaries, but it feeds into my paranoia of being murdered. I have two patio doors and both have wedges in them when I’m not home or when I go to bed. A simple piece of wood or a tension bar does the trick. The same idea works for a slider window as well. There’s home alarm systems, cameras, ring cams, and there’s even a gadget that looks like a door stop that has an alarm on it. Another option could be a dog, if you’re an animal lover. It’s not a decision to take lightly, they require a lot of time and attention, but it might be worth it if it helps you to feel safe. As far as being out and about in the world, my best advice is to always be aware of what’s going on around you. Try not to be distracted by your phone or let your need to be nice override your instincts. Sounds obvious, I know, and it’s sad that it has to be said, but it’s an unfortunate reality. And if you’re the type of person that doesn’t like sleeping alone, I have one word for you, starfish. Take up that whole bed, Honey, and enjoy the decadence that comes with not being woken up by the sound of snoring!

FINANCE:

Can you believe the cost of living these days? Ridiculous. This is where we become Frugal Frannys. Coupons, stores that have redeemable points programs, savings apps, and don’t forget to check those flyers! When planning my grocery shop, I put items on the list that I can get multiple meals out of. When I was younger I hated leftovers, but with the weekly rising cost of food, leftovers have become my favorite thing. As an example, I make a vegan chili that my daughter loves. It’s relatively inexpensive, and I can make a large batch of it, so not only can we have it a couple of times during that week, there’s tons of leftovers in the freezer for the weeks ahead. Second hand stores sometimes have great, cheap furniture and I don’t know about you, but have you noticed that the Dollar Store and Giant Tiger have really stepped up their game? Another option that seems to be becoming more popular these days is shacking up with a trusted friend. It’s more of a platonic partnership scenario as opposed to a roommate situation. Everything would be shared, including co-parenting. I can see the benefits of that, but it would definitely have to be with someone I had absolute faith in. I think if you look at your budget, there’s ways to cut costs, like car pooling, it may not seem like much, but if you add up a bunch of little changes, it could help you breathe a little easier.

THE DREADED LONLINESS:

Let’s be honest. This is the heart of the matter. I’m sure you’ve heard it all before, spend time with your friends, join activities that you enjoy so you can meet people with similar interests. My advice is to take this time to really get to know yourself, focus on self care and discover your worth. Do the things you’ve always wanted to do. In my opinion, the more you know yourself and what makes you happy, the more likely you are to get into a healthy relationship with someone else, if that’s what you want. For me, leaving my husband enabled me to build a stronger bond with my daughter. I was so unhappy and shutdown that my relationship with her wasn’t where I wanted it to be. If you have kids, it’s something to think about. I realize that there’s more to me than just being a mom, but it’s the biggest part of my life and it’s important to me that I’m her safe place and she knows how loved she is. The solution to being lonely comes down to personality I think. The point is to figure out what makes YOU happy and to learn to enjoy your own company.

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