Going from being in a relationship to being single sometimes feels like going into different worlds. Perhaps that is an exaggeration. Sometimes it feels like going into a different country. Everything is so different that it feels like you are a hundred miles away even when you are just standing in one place.
I say this because there are different traditions and customs for each. When you are single, gone are the dinner reservations for two and the large popcorn buckets to share in movie houses. When you have someone, staying at home, watching tv and eating pizza on a Friday night is actually a good thing. Being vulnerable is called intimacy and the thought of drinking seldom crosses your mind. Why should it? You are drunk on love and that is the best intoxication there is. Even a joint fails in comparison to the high you get when you open your eyes in the morning and see her sleeping beside you.
When you are single, being home on a Friday night, watching TV and eating pizza is close to pitiful. There is way too much time on your hands and you can’t think of anything to do, so you just sit there and think about how much you miss her. When you are single you miss being in comfortable clothes because when you go out you just can’t stop yourself from trying to look good, like when she left you, you had to constantly prove to yourself that someone else can still want you, someone else can still love you. And so you dress up in clothes that fit well but are definitely too warm for the weather, you spend hours working out and jogging so you can look good without a shirt, you measure how much rice you eat and stay away from fatty food when in truth all you want is to go back to staying home on a Friday night watching TV eating greasy pizza and actually feeling good about it, holding in your arms the girl who loved you even in your torn jeans, with or without your worn out shirt; the girl who watched you scarf down a triple patty burger with cheese and bacon and oil and oil and oil and bacon, and still looked at you like you were the best person in the world. God, how you miss her.
When you’re single, your friends call you weak when you pass on a whiskey shot or when you don’t make out with the girl who they say has been flirting with you all night. They call you slow because you haven’t found a new girl yet, you haven’t found new girls yet. And on the first few nights that this happens, you actually believe them.
But after a while, you just shrug, because after months of being alone, now you know you are far from weak. Secretly you take pride in the fact that now you don’t need someone else’s tongue down your throat to feel good about yourself. You are now strong enough to get a good night’s sleep without needing alcohol because you have fought your demons and you fought them the right way so they can never come back. You don’t mind that they think you’re slow because you know that when you are reeling from a loss, slowly but surely is the way to go. And maybe they’re having fun dating a new girl each week but you know you deserve better than little flings that last less than a fraction of the forever you are searching for; you know you’re a better person than one who would choose to hurt someone else just because you are hurting, too.
Then one day you wake up and find that you have found peace in the differences of having someone and being on your own that once overwhelmed you. On another day you realize that you are never on your own, because you do have someone: you. And while being in a relationship and being single does feel like being in a completely different place, when that day comes you will smile and say, this is such a wonderful place to be, and never yearn to be somewhere else.