You may or probably-most-likely-did not notice my name change from MittensKittens to SighOhJessica, and this is due to my relationship status going from in-one to single. Since ‘Mittens’ was my relationship pet name, it makes sense to move on from the monniker… and embrace single-life.
The thing about becoming single is that before it happens you worry that you will be unhappy by yourself. You worry it’s going to be a big mistake and that surely it’s better to try to salvage whatever you can. You think, “how will I ever do this single thing again, aren’t I too old? Will I ever meet someone else?” You don’t realise that you would be attempting to scratch together a relationship that only ever existed in the first half of its life – and it’s only a partial truth of your time together. The truth is that the relationship is over and holding you back.
What I found instead after becoming single was peace, excitement, engagement with life and an overall sense of self-contentment. There’s a future now, and with it hope and happiness and just a wonderful sense of possibility that’s actually being realised by action.
1. Bed Time
Having a big bed to myself is awesome. In the old days (expression I will know use to refer to my previously committed self) I thought it was nice having someone laying next to me, but now that I do not have someone making noise or having a light on until the wee hours. The covers are never stolen and nobody ever coughs in my ear or throws an elbow in my face. I have reclaimed the bedroom as a safe space in which to star fish, relax and have fun.
2. Dinner Time
This list is definitely beginning with 2 simple points but honestly, when you’re in a long term relationship it’s the simple routines that often become the hardest. Nowadays I never have to have that tedious “I dunno, what do you wanna eat?” conversation. I get ALL the leftovers and nobody has to buy anybody else dinner. Well, except when I go on dates now and the guy offers to buy me dinner. That’s a fun time.
3. Getting Back Into Hobbies
The first thing that I started to enjoy again as a single person was music. You can play whatever you want and dance around because hey, there’s nobody you’re annoying by turning the music you want to full volume. Slowly but surely the things you enjoyed but tossed aside piece by piece when you met someone come back to you.
4. Making Plans
Nowadays when I plan things big or small, I plan them just for me and worry only about me. I realise that I can now make any plan if I want to, and execute it. I do not have to worry about whether or not someone else wants the same thing. I do not have to worry about whether or not we can make it work. I don’t have to believe that I need someone else to validate the desire or action, I can just go do something or plan something for me. Basically, you can be selfish without actually being selfish because heck, you only have to worry about yourself and that’s totally okay. These plans go for the simple night out to the important professional and academic decision you should be free to make.
5. You No Longer Have to Pick Up Somebody Else’s Dirty Laundry
Ah, the previous bane of my existence. My mornings used to begin with going to the other side of the bed and picking up the dirty socks, the underpants and the shirt and putting them into the washing basket. I used to pick up somebody else’s cruddy clothes every goddamn day – this is insanity to me now. These days the only laundry I have to worry about it is my own and now I don’t worry over this mundane chore at all. I wash when I wash and I never have to pick up after someone else because I am nobody’s goddamn maid.
Also, semi-related: nobody tells me not to wear certain items if they don’t like them.
6. Hanging Out With Friends and Family
One thing that can happen in a relationship is that you suddenly invest all your time and energy into your other half, and though you don’t mean for it to happen, you can stop spending quality time with friends and family. I now live with three wonderful friends and have spent more time with those I don’t live with. I now also spend more happy hours with family. No time to be lonely when you’re laughing with those closest to you. Always make time for those you aren’t sleeping with. They’re important and needed for a happy you.
So far, I have only gone to the other end of the country for a weekend but gosh, that’s further and longer than I went the entire time I was in a relationship. Perhaps you travel with your partner, but I did not move from my town until this year when I moved to the city then flew to another state – solo. Which was kind of nerve-wracking given the plane delays, but ultimately worth going alone to spend time with those in another state. It was so sunny and warm up there and I realised that you do not need a partner to go anywhere.
8. Leaving the House
Life no longer revolves around somebody else. There’s no more toxic partnership of staying in together day after day and shutting the world out. Now I want the world in, not all the time, but enough that now I feel like I’m living, not drowning.
Do you have any idea how many attractive, funny, adventurous and interesting people there are out there that you can just… go on a few dates with? Incredible. It’s like building up an inner dam of human connections. As I am currently only looking for friendly and casual dating experiences and not the ‘marry me right this instant’ feeling it’s actually been soul cleansing to meet other people and not be weighed down by them. I may not have hurried on to suddenly be swooped up by ‘the one’ post-breakup but I have made friends and discovered a whole new world (Aladdin pun intended) of fun, activity and people. Oh and sex is pretty great now.
10. You’re Safe.
Nobody in your own home can hurt you in all the ways a ‘significant’ other can – and will – do in a bad relationship. You’re also no longer being driven to act like a psycho bitch over above mentioned dirty underpants.Heaven.