One of my favorite ally’s in the world of single, Blake, responds to my post The Ten Commandments of Being Single:
1.Thou shall always make yourself sexy
Oh how I wish the ‘overgrown lady garden cock-block’ technique was a sure win. Alas, if only this blog wasn’t called the holy fail.
I have tried to execute this technique on a number of occasions to follow commandments 6 and 7 when on nights out with my exes. Yet when plied with a toxic mix of Jagerbombs and house white, the sure logic of the ‘overgrown lady garden cock-block’ fails miserably in the face of an ex you still (not-so-secretly) fancy. Whilst with a perfect stranger who has yet to see you naked, I can see how you might just catch the next Uber home as soon as things start to heat up. But, with someone who has already seen everything a million times – bald, trimmed, over-grown and however else it comes – I unfortunately have failed miserably.
So, do I keep trying to use the ‘overgrown lady garden cock-block’ technique in vain hope it may someday work, only to apologise once again that my leg hairs are longer than those of the man I am with? I think I will take Alexa’s advice to keep myself sexy regardless, she’s right, it is a great confidence booster on a night out, and maybe try the ‘three best friends distracting you from your ex-boyfriend cock-block’ technique when it next comes to it.
2. Thou will learn to be completely self-sufficient
I can change a bike tyre, I can cook a decent meal in 15 minutes, I can filter the hell out of anybody to look at least 10 times hotter, and I can download Tinder from the App store. Self-sufficiency might actually be the only one of the Ten Commandments I haven’t yet broken. Thank you Kim K for all of your inspiration on this one.
3. Thou shall love your own company
I wish I loved my own company all the time. Unfortunately, for me it comes in big waves. I am naturally introverted and need time on my own to recharge. Okay, really I need time to watch TOWIE bi-weekly and have a bath every night, but still. Sometimes I am very happy to do this, but leave me on my own for too long and my thoughts start spiralling out of control without any self-belief. I have probably cried in every major coffee chain and on every tube line (of the two I would recommend coffee shops, at least they have napkins to blow your nose on), and I do try to keep myself busy to avoid this. Running around to keep busy is clearly not the answer here, and this commandment is something I would absolutely love to have. Alexa says learning to enjoy time with yourself is the best thing you will ever do, I totally agree. But if you’re a work in progress like me then first things first I reckon start by thinking of all the things you like about yourself and focus your time and energy on those. I haven’t managed to write my list yet, but I’ll get there some day!
4. Thou shall have a best-friend to perform any boyfriend responsibilities: The best-friend-cum-boyfriend
When I broke up with my long-term boyfriend over a year ago, my best friend told me that everything that I wanted to text him, I should send to her instead. I reckon I took her up on that offer about 25% of the time. My best friend, I surmised, would not really want to hear about ‘ice-cream yum’, ‘work was okay thanks’ and ‘just going to Sainsbury’s no food in the house, no surprise there’. These gems, I reckoned, were only suitable for a man who had declared his undying love for me, and so could handle being reduced to tears through boredom on a regular basis. Looking back on it, I actually felt more embarrassed I had even been texting my boyfriend such mundanities anyway, no wonder it was a struggle to stay romantic and keep flirting with each other!
But should I text my friends more when I need them? Absolutely yes, I just for some reason find it difficult to be needy with anyone except a boyfriend. Psychologists, I’m sure there’s an explanation for this, but I’m working on it.
My main conclusion: Sainsbury’s chat ain’t nobody’s business but your own.
5. Thou shall be grateful for thy freedom and not use it for evil
Freedom is great, absolutely, but when it’s a new thing it can be overwhelming to be making free (and wise) choices. From my own experience, try not to get with any close male friends after coming out of a long-term relationship. I wasn’t trying to be evil at the time, but your emotions change so regularly after a break up, they take a while to settle down. And do you really want to risk a friendship over it? I thought yes, but I’ve just learnt my lesson the hard way. So if you can, random hook-ups only please.*
* I do not, however, condone getting with any men who do not know their alphabet. Random guy in Jesters, Southampton, please sort out your priorities and get your ABC down as soon as possible.
6. Thou shall not get back with your ex
Every major guy that has featured in my life I have got back with on numerous occasions. The said ex-boyfriend I broke up with over a year ago? I got with two weeks ago. This commandment is just one I fail on time and time again. I have little bit of a theory on why this is. Take the number of hours spent watching romantic comedies in your lifetime (approx. 301 for me) and times it by the years you spent with said boy (2.1 with my recent ex). And there you have it, a 632.1% chance you will get with your ex when you next see them.
Seriously though, I am a bit of a hopeless romantic. Except that I actually have too much hope. Too much hope that the very legitimate, good reasons we broke up in the first place no longer apply. It is essential that you have some good friends to remind you of these reasons to keep on the straight and narrow.
My biggest holy fail for this commandment? Getting back with my most recent ex-boyfriend after months apart, still going on the two-week romantic campervan holiday together that we’d planned in happier days, subsequently realising at Heathrow’s Terminal 2 departure lounge that things were really over, and crying on the toilet floor for an hour before the flight left. If you can’t imagine anything worse than sharing a campervan for two weeks with the man you’ve just called things off with, then picture this: there’s no way of getting home, you’re in New Bloody Zealand.
7. Thou shall not even talk to your ex
Number 6 doesn’t happen without first a bit of a failure on number 7. As The eternally hopeful romantic, I find it particularly difficult to go to not being able to even be friends with people I have shared my life with and been really close to. When you break up and one of you says ‘we can still be friends though’, alarm bells should be ringing. I know it’s heart-breaking, and I almost know you will ignore my advice, but cold turkey does make it easier in the long run. Take Alexa’s advice and even if you don’t have a back-burner relationship (I have never had one, I am very much an all or nothing girl), then get chatting to guys on Tinder or Bumble, or your best-friend-cum-boyfriend. It’s very difficult, don’t get me wrong, but you can do it.
Indeed, as facts do not lie, I shall give you an illustrative factoid: Of all the guys I have loved, there is only one I still manage to talk to as a proper friend, and he turned out to be gay.
8. Thou will not hold off on planning your future because you haven’t found The One yet
Aha! Another commandment I realise I haven’t yet broken as a singleton. In fact, being single has given me the catalyst to propel my future forward rather than take a back seat in my life. Since becoming single, I have set to work: getting a promotion, holding my first art exhibition and becoming top notch fun on a night out (rather than a sobbing mess in the smoking area involved in a volcanic argument). My advice on this one, please don’t hold off planning your future because you think you have found The One. It’s great to have a boyfriend but remember you are partners and should be building each other up as people, not tearing each other down.
Single me also has more time for planning my future: It has been scientifically proven that I have gained an extra 45 minutes every day by not texting about my trips to Sainsbury’s.
9. Thou shall have an action plan for bad days
Another fail on my part I’m afraid. Having failed on sharing with my best friends on a few weeks of bad days, I let everything build up until I had reached breaking point. It just so happened that this breaking point coincided with my ex-boyfriends birthday party. I bought him a birthday drink, he asked how everything at home was going, and the floodgates burst. I met him at 1am, and didn’t stop crying until 5. I missed my last train, taxis were £110 to get home, so inevitably I had but one option of where to stay. See, I told you I had a 632.1% chance of getting with my ex. I thought he was the only person I could talk to because he was the only one that really knows me.
Fortunately that’s just not true. Like Alexa says, you can (and should) have an action plan for bad days. I find it tricky with a lot of my friends living a bit of a distance away, but try to focus on dealing with things as they come up and asking for help when you need it.
A last snippet of advice on this point, if you don’t want everyone to know that you ended up staying at your ex’s, don’t snapchat photos of you the next morning in the same clothes from the night before. Even if you look super cute in the newest bunny rabbit filter.
10. Thou shall still have date night
I’ve still not managed to go on a romantic boozy dinner date with any of my friends yet. Have downloaded Tinder as a consequence. Progress on this commandment is imminent.