Returning to the single-person scene after a years-long relationship is not unlike being an old gay man, strapping on his rollerskates at The Roxy for very first time and struggling to move forward and stay standing while hot-pants clad studs in tank tops with whistles around their necks fly by. An odd analogy to be sure, but that is what countless hours of RuPaul’s DragRace has left me with.
Friends will insist that you “get back out there” but before you do, consider what you want. If your relationship ended badly, you probably want to just hook up immediately and clean the slate. If your relationship was good and came to an end for more complicated reasons, it is likely that you’ll need some time before jumping back in the dating pool. I’ve only been playing this singles game for 2 months now, but, as with everything else, I figured out what sucks about it almost immediately.
The Cold Pick Up
What used to be easily deflected with a simple “I have a boyfriend” and no eye contact becomes infinitely more difficult when you are single. Certainly, you can and SHOULD lie when you think that the person approaching you is a guaranteed asshole, but sometimes you aren’t sure, and your friends encouragements that you “get back out there” can kind of guilt you into entertaining any and all comers. I think that the trick is to know your own mind. If you’re looking to fool around and thats all, then take whatever you like, but if you’re looking for a bit more of a connection then well, go slow. Above all DON’T expect some guy or girl you just met to know you, understand you, shower you with attention or affection the way your last significant other did. It’s not gonna happen and it’s just gonna make everybody feel kinda bad.
Waking Up Alone
My first weekend single I was kind of amped to have the whole bed to myself. It’s still an awesome thing to have going on- you can stretch out, wake up when you want (if it’s a weekend, anyway) and make whatever plan you want to for the day without consulting with anyone. It’s pretty sweet, frankly. But it can also be sad and awful because while nothing is more fun than waking up with the person you’re in love with, fooling around, talking and laughing and then falling back asleep, nothing is less fun than missing it.
Cooking dinner for yourself and friends or for yourself and a significant other can be really fun, satisfying and pleasurable. Cooking for yourself a lot of times however, can just be depressing, unless your kitchen looks like this in which case I can’t imagine what problems you could possibly have. However, cooking for yourself is important to do and not just because it saves money. Making food for yourself in your own home is an act of self-love . Eating take out or in restaurants just reinforces that lonely, bachelor-drifter feeling that being single gives you. Buy a nice cookbook and start small-make one meal a week, and see how you feel. That’s what I’m trying to convince myself to do anyway.
Not every guy/girl you hook up with after your boyfriend is going to be Jake Ryan/Mercedes Lane. This is inevitable and you should just accept it. If you’re newly single you’re gonna make out with and possibly have sex with, one or more people that you will kind of wish you hadn’t. There’s nothing to do but get over it and move on. Resist the urge to judge yourself. Resist the urge to analyze it. You’re a person, you wanted attention, it happens.