I have spent the best part of my adult life mastering the art of being single. It is not something that happens over night but more a skill that requires intense concentration, a string of bad relationships and the ability to master numerous nights on your own, meals alone, solo cinema trips and, in your mid 30’s, countless social events being questioned by weathered aunts about why you still don’t have a husband.
Having a small child about your person helps to diffuse suspicion of any potential lesbian activity, and even after debating this as a potential lifestyle choice, as an alternative to irritating boyfriends demanding oral sex at 3am, I decided that, actually, there is probably such a thing as irritating girlfriends demanding oral sex at 3am. less jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire, more jumping out of the frying pan into the bush. Either way, one is likely to get burned or pissed off and ratty when you have to be up in 3 hours for work.
And so it was decided that, perhaps, the single existence was the easier lifestyle choice to take.
When researching the subject online I was met by a number of advantages to being single, of which included -
- Getting to know yourself.
- Getting to know your family (invite your parents around for a meal or go and see a play with your brother).
- Getting to know your friends.
- Develop a career.
- Be in charge of your finances.
Now, I’ve always been someone quite mystified by the modern obsession to be permanently in a relationship but if I was trying to sell the single life to someone, telling them that you have the freedom to work like a dog to pay a fuck off mortgage on a house you can then spend 4 hours cooking your parents (and weathered aunts) dinner in, is not a way that would immediately jump out at me as a good way to do it.
Oh, but at least you have the space to sit on your own reading ‘A life less travelled’ and examining your own vagina while repeating “I know myself, I love myself, I am a beautiful person” to whale music, after.
The advantages of being single have bugger all to do with parents and handheld mirrors and more to do with the fact that you can get steaming drunk whenever you want, go to bed with your make-up on and use your oven to store shoes in because the last time you cooked a meal in it was 1997.
There is no polite conversation with in-laws, watching any form of adult men kicking balls around or checking in at 9.30pm when you are out with your friends because your dad, opps … typo, your boyfriend, wants to know what time you are getting home.
No floaters left by anonymous donors, no towels on the floor/door/bed/sofa, no intense conversations about inappropriate behaviour at 2am.
Once you know how to do it properly, being single rocks.
Then this bloody happens.
You met someone. They don’t irritate you and all your years of intensive training for a life lived less coupled goes out of the window. Not only is your controlled and lightly inebriated existence thrown into turmoil, but your daily routine becomes permanently distracted. Urg, God damn you cupid, I have work to do.
My advice to anyone who finds themselves in such an irritating predicament would be to cut all contact immediately. Organise a girls night out in a revolting ‘all night happy hour’ bar in London and snog a 23 year old backpacker you are never going to see again. Wake up hungover and go shopping on your own rounded off by a hair of the dog and a Sunday roast with more girls, equally as hungover and equally as resilient to the powers of cupid’s bow. Only then will you regain absolute control again.
Or, or … you could try it, and, for a change, I think I just might.
Fire alarm at the ready.