How To Be Single

Love, science says, therapy

If the word single reminds you of the number one, or an old sitcom from the 90’s, or a hot new Beyonce track then this post is not for you.
For the rest of us:
If the word single sounds like a metaphorical probation officer strapping your ankle with a bracelet of how in the hell do you portion a meal for one, piling the other side of the bed high with pillows so that sleep doesn’t feel so hollow and the constant impasse of dragging yourself out in public alone, again, then have a seat, let’s talk.

Singledom… singlehood … is a spectrum really. There are all kinds of ways to be single, maybe it’s working for you maybe it’s not. Single feels to me like skinny dipping on a pitch black night all alone. I’m not quite sure if it’s wholly exhilarating or if it feels like I might accidentally crack my head open on a rock and bleed to death right there next to the dock, fishermen stumbling over my corpse in the morning. (I thought about being less dramatic in that illustration, but it’s actually pretty accurate.)

Where ever you fall on the single spectrum here’s some advice, from a professional.


Step 1: Take Care of Yourself-

This means so many things. At the very least you need to maintain the status quo of standard of living, attention to hygiene, time in nature, amount of exercise that you were gifting yourself while you were still in a relationship. Derailing into a bowl of pity soup is not helpful. It is helpful to increase your self care from the tinniest things to the big ones. Those things are quite literally the antidote to depression. Think you’re above becoming depressed, well you’re wrong. Also, take some fish oil, it can’t hurt.


Step 2: Put Out the Word that You’re Single-

but also that you have a black belt in Karate and a ferocious guard dog. Your people might know their people. Seriously.

Gone are the days of the small hunter and gather community where one moment you’re gathering sticks for the fire and the next moment Fred Flintstone comes over and clubs you over the head drags you back to his cave and has his way with you. Not that any of us are upset about that. But what I’m tryin’ to say is that humans have not evolved to comprehend solitude. Our psyche, our physical bodies, our hormonal bodies were not wired for you to sit your ass on the couch and binge watch Game of Thrones every weekend. Neither can we make any sense of Tinder, isolation, self-loathing or the sinking sense of hope inching further and further away on a physiological level.

All of that is to say, do not allow yourself to be alone all of the time. Put some thing exciting on your calendar and…


Step 3: Go Out in Public-

Maybe your goal isn’t even to get into another relationship. That’s totally fine, great even. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t seek human contact. We are social creatures, surely you know that. Every single thing about life that matters in the end are the relationships that we created at this phenomenal meeting of place and time. Don’t miss a single day of the opportunity to be you in relationship. It’s the why.


Step 4: Make Friends Above All Else-

The wind might blow South one day and that guy or gal that you were ‘talking’ to, might just fade away. All of those pieces of yourself that you hooked into them, because you were grappling and any hand up would do. Those just get ripped out. And it will be fine, but it will be just you again. Well you and your friends. Make sure they’re there first.


There’s more, I’m just figuring those parts out still.

on your break up


*this is a vintage post, still happily relationshiped…  but I’ve noticed a lot of friends cyber and real have been going though tough breakups during the holidays, that’s just shitty, maybe this will make you feel better*

This is me being nice: 

Sometimes you have to be really honest with yourself. Not all at once. But enough that you can be rational when things get sticky. And by things I mean: it’s dark out side, that song sounds like our love, your birthday, a smell, a road you drive past every few days. Those little things and sometimes bigger things. When you quiver a little. It’s hard always being the tough guy. Sometimes you, I, just want to break down. Pick up the phone and beg for them to take me back.

But I don’t.

I’d defiantly lose all of my cool points if I pulled some shiz like that.

Here’s what I do. I think about the last time that we were actively in love. I think about those last few days. They were bittersweet. He held me, we didn’t say much. It was the end and we knew. We broke down. We cried together. We said good bye. And he said to me that he just wanted me to be happy, and that he wanted me to find someone that deserved me. And whatever I did don’t be with him, you. That might have been the biggest thing that anyone has ever said to me.

And because I’m an asshole I didn’t listen. That worked out well.

Somewhere though the paces of pleasantries and the ruins of a great love he completely stopped talking to me. It’s amazing to be on this end of the stick. Someone really has that much reason to make you disappear from their life. And I can’t blame him (entirely).

I could be the gross girl blowin him up until he changed his number. Which he might have I don’t know. But I don’t. I haven’t. I respected that that’s what he needed and it’s the one thing that I can allow after I threw it all away. I don’t completely buy that he likes the silence but he knows it’s what’s best for him. And because it’s 6 8 years later (and when it was 2,3 and 4 years too) I had the hindsight to stop being the jerk. But it still breaks my heart.

Because I really do still care I send him a message on his birthday every year. Maybe I’ll get to the place in my life when I don’t even realize that day is important anymore. (That has happened now, 2 years in a row, victory? Not really. A sign that I’m in a better place, definitely.) Maybe my messages will detail the good things of my life. Maybe not. It’s probably the worst part of his day. But maybe he likes that I still care and likes having the upper hand so that he doesn’t let on like he heard. And that’s ok. And I’m still presumptuous.

Love is really powerful. Try not to dwell in the pain and find the good. I have to remind myself of that most days. I really think that one day it won’t be hard anymore.