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Single Time-Out

So you and your latest boo broke up for good, this time. You’re not necessarily heartbroken but you’re in a bit of a funk, which is normal. Friday nights used to be so easy to fill since it almost always involved your mate, food, and maybe some type of entertainment. You didn’t have to be too creative to think about dating once you hit “cruise control” in your relationship.

Now what do you do?

What did you do when you were single? You dated around until you got a boyfriend, that’s what you did. It seemed so long ago. What are the kids doing these days to find true love? Should you Tinder? Make an OkCupid account? Try speed dating? There’s a happy hour networking event- should you go? Network your way into someone’s heart, perhaps?

Before you can say “closure,” the next three weekends are booked. You’ve got a date with an OkCupid connection, drinks with a networking link, and your friend set you up with their roommate’s cousin’s friend who just got back from an extended business trip. Things are looking up until you actually go on the dates.

The OkCupid guy reeks of bologna and keeps grabbing your hand. He thinks it’s a sweet gesture but between that and the boring conversation, you’re ready to have your friend call you with an “emergency”.

The person you met at the networking event won’t stop talking about themselves and it’s clear that they don’t need you to listen. You have half a mind to pull out your phone and start playing Candy Crush. Level 47 is super difficult.

Your friend’s roommate’s cousin’s friend is extremely attractive and intelligent. Too bad he thought it was cool to invite you to spend the night within 15 minutes. And you’re pretty sure he’s married.

After a few dates, you’re cranky, jaded, and headed into “Bitter Betty” world.

If this all sounds pretty familiar, you’re not alone. Newly single women and men tend to throw themselves back into the dating scene head first. We want to fill our schedules up with other dates so we don’t dwell too long on our own singleness. And to be fair, it does work- when done right. I’ve found that after being newly single, it helps to go on a few dates spaced out accordingly. You don’t want to fill up all of your newfound freedom with someone else. It’s hard adapting to another person’s quirks. Do you really want to spend your free time learning about their likes, dislikes, goals, and dreams? All of that is great when you’re in the right head space but if not, you’ll just end up pissing off other people with your obvious disinterest in their lives. They’re looking for a partner and you’re looking for a distraction. It’s not fair to their feelings or your time.

I think it’s easier to dive into the dreaded “get to know yourself” part of your life. Work on your hobby. If you don’t have one, get one. If you have one, expand on it or get another one. Just because you pretended to care about video games or Krav Maga with your last two exes doesn’t mean you have an interest that is entirely your own. Do you like wine? Take a class on wine tasting. Always liked hip hop? Sign up for a dancing class. Pretty good at sewing? Buy fabric and watch YouTube videos to work on your first dress. The point is to have something to do outside of a romantic interest.

Personally, I like to write (go figure). And I love that I can spend hours journaling, writing poetry or stories, or blogging.  And since my first love is reading, I’m content with reading a good old fashioned book for a day, as well. But because of that, I’ve learned that I like to balance these relaxing interests with intense activity, so I cross train a few times a week. That’s the beauty about hobbies- they help you discover and unearth different aspects about yourself. So before you know it, you won’t be desperate to find something to do on a Friday night. Why? Because you have yoga or maybe spinning class at 7 and then a late dinner with a few classmates. You may even get to the point where you forget you haven’t been on a date in while. This period of time is great for YOU. Revel in it. Enjoy it. Because sooner or later that handsome guy who’s been extra friendly at class will finally get the nerve to ask you out. And you’ll be in the best place mentally and spiritually to date again.

That’s when the real fun begins.

Peace & Love,

Adri

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The Single Story: Making the Best out of Valentine’s Day

As Valentine’s Day approaches, most of us have been inundated with the red and pink frenzy of the holiday. Trips to the pharmacy, grocery store, and department store are now punctuated with aisles laden in enough chocolate, candy, and hearts to make anyone sick. And for my single readers, this can be the straw that breaks the single camel’s back. Bubbling up from what was once a calm exterior of security is the irresistible urge to curse everything romantic with a resounding “Screw this holiday!!” I get it. This can be a tough time to be single. So I’ve decided to give a few tips on how to make the day a little more bearable and a lot less bitter.

1. Go on a friend date. 

Okay. This is not a push to get into a tangled “Friends with Benefits” web. That was Soooo last year. This can be a daytime brunch, a trip to the mall, a visit to the museum, etc. You can even institute a no-flowers policy to remove the pressure and emphasize the fun. Remember that platonic friend you don’t really get to hang out with since (s)he got that new job across town? Call them up and make plans. Don’t even mention that it’s Valentine’s Day. Again, this is not a ploy to get into their pants. That’s not self-love. That’s desperation.

2. Tackle a project you’ve been putting off. 

The bookcase you’ve been meaning to set up isn’t going to build itself. Make V-day the day to do it. By the time you’ve run those errands and handled some business, you’ll end the day feeling accomplished.

3. Visit family.

Your cousin had a baby how many months ago? Go see her and the new bundle of joy. Bring pampers (you can never go wrong with pampers) and wine. V-day is about love. Don’t limit it to romantic love.

4. Pamper yourself. 

I’m a big proponent of this one. I get that not everyone is comfortable going on solo dates but they are a great chance to reconnect with yourself. Ladies, make an appointment at the spa you got a Groupon for 3 months ago, buy a bottle of wine that costs more than $8.00, and rent a movie. If you’re feeling brave, have lunch or dinner with yourself and bring along a good book. I try to do this once a month (single or not) and I love it.

5. Weekend getaway.

Leave work early Friday, hop in a bus or train, and stay in a hotel. Stay-cations can be awesome. You don’t have to worry about cooking or cleaning and you’ll make friends with folks who are away on business. If your sense of adventure is higher than average, go somewhere further than the next town over. For those of us in the Northeast, that can mean taking a trip to DC or even Vermont.

I had to learn a few years ago that Valentine’s Day can be as enjoyable as you want it to be. Make it about loving yourself, first. The significant other will only serve as icing on the cake.

Peace & Love,

Adri