It’s been said you should live alone for at least a year so you figure out who you are, what you like, etc. I’ve done that. In fact, I’ve probably now spent more years living on my own than I spent living with Ex Hubs. Living alone is not the same as 365 single days. While living alone I was still dating, or entertaining a gentleman caller, or something like that, during that time. I just had my own place. You do learn a lot by having your own place and I would join those who recommend it.
365 Single Days. No dating. No flings. No walks of shame. No kicking someone out of bed. No relationship drama. No sex.
I learned a whole different set of things about myself in this kind of alone year.
This isn’t about woe is me, I’m single. What I learned about 2/3 of the way through the year is that I had decided to be single. I had friends who assured me that if I wanted a date, or to bring some guy home, I could make that happen. Once I believed that, my perspective on the 365 days started to shift. I don’t think I needed to use this time to “get to know me,” but it was helpful to have this time to get to know it’s okay to be alone.
I don’t know about you, but this is the longest stretch of single-ness since I turned 18. There’s always been a guy, and all the drama, reflection, attention, collaboration, compromise, etc.. that they come with.
So, I can do it. I can be alone. Turns out I still shave my legs regularly, cook elaborate meals for just me, can figure out how to use a tile saw, and be just fine.
That doesn’t mean I prefer it.
I have super friends and family and they’re around for sharing news, hanging out, trying a new experience, seeing a movie, etc. I can call and text and FaceTime them with all the weird and random things that happen throughout the day. But there’s no one to help carry in the groceries. Or help me put a bracelet on in the morning. Or celebrate with me when I finally nailed the best 3 point turn path to get into my garage.
When I have done the 30 day stints with no sugar, dairy, etc you learn just how much you depend or count on foods that have little value to you. It’s habit, or emotionally motivated, or sabotage. 365 single days leads to similar outcomes. I tracked when I had my phone in my hand to dial old numbers out of habit, emotional states, or sabotage. I learned new coping mechanisms.
There might be something about valuing myself more. After eating “clean” for a long time, people are less inclined to start putting junk food back in their body. After 365 single days, I’m less inclined to put junk people in my life. Someone once told me they were ready to settle down, but not at all ready to settle. That’s how I feel. I spent all this time man detoxing, the next thing I put in better be good (take that how you want it – I didn’t intend it to be dirty – but I haven’t had sex in a year, so….)
Just for funsies, a friend and I went to “Wine and Psychic” night at a local wine bar two nights ago. It was my first experience with a palm reader. It was all in good fun, and yes, I understand that most people (especially single girls at wine and psychic night) want to hear that they’ll have success, happiness and love. All she has to do is validate those are on their way and she’d make 90% of the people happy. I know. Regardless, she said some things that worked for me. The one related to me and all the single days is that she told me I am a completely competent single person. I got this. I don’t need anyone to take care of me. I don’t need your help. I don’t want your money. She said the next guy is on his way (she was pretty sure in the next 6 months the BIG ONE is going to be on my doorstep) and when he gets here I’m going to have to back off those tendencies. I can do it, I can be alone and thrive. To have successful relationship, I’m going to have to take care of me a little. I know that I’m not so good at that. I go out of the way to make sure people know I’m not taking advantage of them, or using them, or want something from them that I don’t think I deserve. Maybe it’s not always my decision about what people want to give to me.
Not that this little unintentional experiment is over, time to make room in my life for whatever is next.