Posted by Judy Johnson On Tuesday, 8 February 2011 00:26
What's that you say? There are good things to be said about singledom? Why yes, I believe there are. Not having a Match.com-advert-like life is actually not the worst thing in the world (it's brilliant, in fact, since I despise those ads). Romance is great, but relationships? Not so much, not always anyway. Just in time for that ridiculous date in the diary that we like to call Valentine's Day and circle with a red heart, I thought I'd put together a little list of things to be grateful for, all thanks to being happily single. And no, it doesn't mean I fail at life, hate couples, am gay or an angry feminist - I just quite like the freedom of being free.
I'm not saying all you gorgeous loved-up people have it bad - we all know you're pretty happy and we're happy for you. (There will, for balance, be a follow up blog on the cons of all this fancy-freedom).
1. Valentine's Day
The obvious one to start with - we singles are free from the pain of Valentine's Day. The overpriced cards, the overpriced presents which we have to buy at the last minute because the sweet little handcrafted gift didn't turn out so well, the pressure of finding something to do together that isn't just a meal in Pizza Express. With a coupon. Ahhh, bliss. This Valentine's Day is a Monday too so I don't even have to find a single-but-still-doing-something alternative. Amazing. Thank you, calendar.
Closely connected to numero uno but definitely a point (or ten) in its own right is the money, honey. The money I earn goes on me (well, rent), my friends (read: wine with friends), family and nobody else. When I take a little trip to Matalan, I can skip the men's section. I tend to skip the women's section too and head straight for the home bit, but that is not the point. I used to spend a fortune when I was non-single - trips across the UK because of long distance fun, expensive presents, little presents, underwear, cinema trips, petrol, the list went on. Now Christmas is easy because I just spoil my family and I no longer think it's acceptable to go into my overdraft just to travel across the UK for a kiss.
3. Nights out (and in) with the girls
You can have nights out with your friends when you're not single. (No really, you can). But some ladies don't understand that you can also leave the man at home, or that you can put your phone in your bag and he shouldn't mind too much that you haven't updated him about how busy the bar is and what your outrageously drunk friend is up to. Most of my friends are great at enjoying themselves when their other halves are at home or likewise out with the boys, but you can always spot one girl in the room who's got her Blackberry out (fine, iPhone, cool kids) or the one who is stood next to her guy because he had nothing to do and decided to tag along, but is now bored because dancing isn't his thing. My nights out are spent catching up with best friends, laughing as much as possible and dressing to impress - and I will keep that up even when/if I'm not in singlesville. (I do have some great friends though whose other halves are as much fun as they are on a girls' night out - so I hope my next man is one of those, please).
I didn't have too many of these back in the day thankfully, but when we did argue I hated it. I hate confrontation so tended to go quiet and stare at my phone wondering why it wasn't beeping with apologies. I don't miss the disagreements, the questioning of feelings, the second-guessing what the other was thinking - obviously, that relationship ended so clearly wasn't right, but I'm sure every relationship has its little quibbles. These days, the only arguments I have are with the adverts I hate on TV (here comes Match again) and the amount of calories in a Pop Tart. I win every time.
5. My space
No, not Myspace. My space. Though Facebook probably features in here too, thanks to the lack of relationship status updates, stalking and anguish over why he hasn't put up that lovely photo of you both as his profile picture (this is a general point, not about me, promise). As a detached damsel not-in-distress, I get to do what I want, make a mess of my room if I want (actually, I prefer not to), do my makeup if I feel like it, stay in my perfectly acceptable non-silky pyjamas on a Sunday if I want to and generally have my own space whenever I need it. Wash his smelly socks and give up my bathroom? No thank you.
Ok, there are plenty of downsides to being back in the world of dating - but while I have a think about those, what have I missed from the sunny side up?