Carrie – You would think that around Valentine’s Day would be when we dating bloggers are most inspired, but at the risk of being presumptuous, I think it’s a fairly safe consensus to say that we here at DTT6 are in a funk. I have yet to miss a deadline for my weekly posts but I’ve been finding it really hard to blog about something – anything – when I really have no desire to be in any type of romantic relationship.
February is probably the worst month for dating. Gone are the hopeful stares up at the November night skies during the first snowfall while you fantasize about skating with hot cocoas hand-in-hand with a beautiful new beau. February is like the slushy grey shit that cars spray onto your face as you’re scurrying across the street trying to seek a warm solace from frigid nights. There is so much pressure to be with someone in February and I blame Valentine’s Day. My Valentine’s weekend was spent slamming burger trays onto couples’ tables with a spiteful “glad you found love! Enjoy getting fat together with your burgers!” I did have some Galentine’s day spirit, going out to a movie and more importantly, eating midnight McDonald’s after. Pretty much I was getting fat alone with burgers.
And as cliche as it was to be a group of giggling girls watching How to be Single on Valentine’s Day, there was a moment in the movie that really spoke to me. Dakota Johnson’s character is unpacking her furniture in her new flat by herself, turning off the light with a satisfied smile before her first night in a new place. As a nomad myself, I have moved a solid eight times since 18, bouncing from dorm rooms to student-ghetto houses throughout my undergrad before settling into my apartment in the 6ix. Each time I moved, I got less and less of my friends and family helping out, and my last two moves were without my long-term boyfriend Mr. Puppy Love who had been there every other time. It’s easy to feel lonely in a moment of transience but I identified with that feeling of fulfillment you get when every piece of furniture and article of clothing fits exactly where you visualized it when you first looked at the empty space.
This week, after months of procrastination and many complaints from boys who would fall off my plank-of-wood-bed, I got off my butt and independently built my new Ikea bed. Okay, full disclosure: my sister and her boyfriend helped me lift the pieces from the car up to the apartment and my dad had to help me undo a boo-boo… BUT, after eight hours of arduous, back-bending work, I settled into my new daybed with fresh sheets and turned off the light knowing I, in fact, could do it all by myself.
Dating in the 6ix ain’t easy. Being single in the 6ix ain’t easy either. Here’s some tips from a 6ix chick who has nailed it at being single:
1) Pick up a hobby and invest all of your energy in it.
I started volunteering at my yoga studio and while cleaning for two hours a week isn’t my ideal night of fun, I’ve gotten to meet a lot of people and feel like I’m doing something productive with my time. My mental health is a lot better and so is my physical health. Plus I’ve seen Mr. Namaste A LOT lately. We even walked home together last week (!!!)
2) Try a new project by yourself. When it gets hard, give it one more go alone just to know you can.
Who would have thunk I could build my own Ikea bed. At 5’2″, I was grunting as I maneuvred 6 ft pieces of wood around, grumbling as I stubbed my toe countless times, and crying as I tightened screw after screw, wishing that I had someone there with me at 2 a.m. I was constantly racking my brain for who would come over and help me out but I kept my phone out of reach to learn that I could do it alone.
3) Stop trying to make plans when you don’t have any.
I admit I am a loser. But often, I choose to be by one. I make sure that I allot one night a week for the most important person in my life: me. And on those nights when my friends cancel on me, I don’t scramble to find new plans in fear of being alone. I put on my sweatpants and veg out over the new season of Mindy Project on Netflix with a glass of wine.
4) Try to spend an evening without communicating through technology.
After a full day of staring at a computer, phone and/or tablets, looking at more screens is the LAST thing I want to do when I get home. One night, I brought my book (a paper copy – GASP!) and my journal and was that douche reading at the bar of my local Aroma Cafe. Yeah.
At first I had my phone beside me, constantly texting to make sure people knew I wasn’t THAT big of a loser. Like, you know, I have friends that are trying to communicate with me. But you know what? After an hour, it wasn’t so bad to be by myself and I forgot all of my initial insecurities.
Because being alone doesn’t make you lonely, a loner, or truly alone in the world. It makes you comfortable with who you are, confident in who you want to become, and recharges you to be ready for your future social interactions. Which brings me to my last point:
5) Be okay with being by yourself. You might even like it.
I’m hoping it’ll prepare me to find someone who will fit my lifestyle instead of me falling into theirs. After all, there’s nothing worse than falling into a guy’s dick-sand. (Watch the movie to get the reference).