On being a single person

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I’m sat alone in my room, listening to music and drinking wine. As usual, there are several conversations happening inside my head. My own anecdotes are making me chuckle, possibly because I’m a bit drunk. I’m sort of having fun, but feeling weird about it because I’m by myself. I think about phoning somebody. Except that I rang my sister earlier, I’m seeing one of my best friends* tomorrow anyway and the other is currently in Australia so he’s probably asleep. Usually I’m quite good at spending time on my own, but some nights seem so full of potential it seems a shame not to share them with anybody.

I think maybe I need to calm down, put the wine back in the fridge. I think about having a bath. I wonder if I’m becoming a chick-lit cliché. I think maybe I wouldn’t have so much time on my hands if I caved in and bought a television, or accepted my housemate’s offer to lend me Game of Thrones on DVD. I pull faces at myself in the mirror, I wonder why nobody wants to have sex with me, I think about joining a dating website. I ask myself where this post is going. I have an idea…

5 Things I’ve Learnt About Being on My Own

Or “why moving to new city, away from all your support networks, right after breaking up with a long term partner wasn’t such a bad idea after all.”

  1. It’s okay to dine out alone. The other weekend when an I-have-no-idea-if-this-is-a-date-or-not cancelled on me I felt myself disappointed not that I wouldn’t see this particular person, but that I wouldn’t enjoy the restaurant meal I was looking forward to. So I went on my own. And it was fine: nothing bad happened, I enjoyed my food. I wasn’t even the only person with a table for one.
  2. There is strength in solidarity. A few weeks ago I heard a colleague telling someone: “When I’m done with festivals Kate and I are planning a lot of nights out because neither of us have any friends in Oxford.” I was about to object and then thought: no, that’s fair.
  3. When you start thinking nostalgically about co-habiting with an ex, remember how many times you were forced to watch Top Gear, pretend you were interested in sport, had to listen to crappy club music, or weren’t allowed to eat vegetarian food.
  4. You don’t have to spend time doing anything you don’t want to. I no longer cook roast dinners, iron any of my clothes or spend weekends in B&Q. I haven’t shaved under my arms in over a week. Instead I’ve had time to read whole novels in one sitting, crochet a blanket, write more, see more friends, do more running and yoga, and learn how to cook the things I want to.
  5. There is nothing wrong with drinking alone. Especially when it leads to such a high calibre of blog post. Ahem.

* This is the person whose fault it is that I think I’m funny. She told me my emails make her laugh out loud.

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