Sometimes being single is a total drag, and sometimes, it’s especially sucky. Here are nine of those times, and a few little ways to work around it.
1. At Thanksgiving
It’s bad enough navigating the holidays when you’re single, but Thanksgiving is the worst. It’s the first time you’ve seen extended family members in months, and they all want to know what’s new with you. The closer you are to your thirties, the more pointed the questions get. Are you seeing anyone? Have you thought about starting a family? What about so-and-so, whatever happened to him? And if you’re 30 and over, you know it’s going to be painful. Nothing stings like when your boring cousins look at you like you’re the boring one when you come up empty-handed.
How to deal: Use your creativity. Instead of saying, “I’ve spent the past three weekends re-watching The Gilmore Girls,” try something like, “I’ve been spending a lot of time with this guy, Seth.” Instead of, “I haven’t left my house in a month, save for a trip to the corner store that sells Flamin’ Hot Cheetos,” say, “I’ve been exploring eating local.”
2. When You’re in A Wedding
Being AT a wedding when you’re single isn’t exactly fun, but being IN one is a whole other ball game. First off, you have to combat the “single bridesmaid” stereotype that every single groomsmen is hoping turns out to be true. Secondly, you have to rectify that with the fact that… Well, okay, you ARE checking out the single groomsmen. (Why not?) And finally, you have to stand in that herd of singles just to chase down a bouquet.
How to deal: Two words… Open. Bar.
3. When Anything Good Happens to Anyone on Facebook
Everyone plays the comparison game, and Facebook is where everyone spews all their good news, so it can be a particularly landmine-y place when you’re feeling bad about being single. Yelling, “I don’t care about your kid’s preschool graduation, KAREN,” at your computer screen is a little sadder when you’re home alone.
How to deal: Pour yourself a nice big mimosa, throw some Sex and the City reruns on the TV, and Instagram yourself sprawled out on the couch, enjoying a quiet afternoon all to yourself. You’ll be the envy of every new mom, expecting mom, and bride in the throes of wedding planning on the internet.
4. When Your Feet are Cold
People in serious relationships get cold feet metaphorically, but literally, their feet are never cold because it’s an unwritten law that your significant other’s body heat belongs to you too. It doesn’t matter if you scampered outside to the recycling bin in nothing but flip flops in the dead middle of February, when you get back into bed, those icy toes are all up in the legs of their cozy sweatpants. When you’re alone, you just freeze and die.
How to deal: If you can’t afford a Jacuzzi tub in a private bathroom, your next best bet is an electric blanket. (They even have heated mattress pads now!) That and a body pillow practically equals significant other (without the snoring).
5. Building an Ikea Bed
Building an Ikea bed all by yourself is not impossible, but it’s not exactly easy either. Propping up all the parts while trying to decipher pictorial instructions takes some mental and physical acrobatics, and all the while, you’re hoping you don’t get trapped under something heavy. Plus, when you’re short a screw, you have no one to blame but yourself.
How to deal: Get a case of beer and call a friend. Do not, I repeat, do not tell them you have furniture to construct. You’re playing dirty here; there’s no other way. Once they’ve had enough beer to be agreeable, break out those unmarked brown boxes and get to work. (Note: Drink responsibly. Too many beers and you’ll just be sleeping in a fort made out of brown boxes.)
6. On a Road Trip
A co-pilot is a necessity–they play DJ, open all your snacks when you demand them, point out the cool stuff you’d miss if you were alone, and take a shift driving when you need a road-nap. Driving for any extended length of time by yourself means you have to confront the horrors of your own idle mind, and that can be well, harrowing.
How to deal: It’s guilty pleasure time. Make a playlist of all the music you’re way too embarrassed to admit you love, buy all the junk food your roommates won’t allow in the house, and pile it up on the passenger side seat. The calories have become your co-pilot, and they don’t side-eye you when you sing out of tune.
7. When You’re Sick.
Unless you still live with your mom, there’s no one to build you a cozy nest on the couch, bring you hot tea, make runs to the pharmacy and snuggle you until you feel better. Plus your significant other is already exposed to the germs and there’s no escaping the fact that they’re going to get it too, so kisses aren’t forbidden.
How to deal: Taking care of yourself when you’re sick is literally the worst part of being a grown up, so once you muddle through, you have to reward yourself BIG TIME. We’re talking spa day, complete with detoxifying facials, mani/pedis and mimosas. Lots of mimosas (the orange juice will help you bounce back).
8. When You Order Take Out and They Give You Four Forks.
It’s just friggin’ rude. Let me ASK for extra forks!!
How to deal: If you feel the need to save face, straight up lie. It’s okay in this scenario. As they hand you the bag, proclaim loudly, “Ah yes, just heading back to my apartment where my family are waiting for their dinner.” If you’re feeling brave on the other hand, don’t leave right away. Sit within eyesight of whoever served you and, while making eye contact, slowly go to town on your Chinese food with your single, solitary fork.
9. When You’re Bingeing American Horror Story
The thing about starting a scary TV show is that there has to be someone around for the following reasons: a) to fight off all the demons who will try get you in your sleep, b) to corroborate your story when the demons climb out of your TV screen and try to get you, or c) to listen to all your horrific nightmares about the demons coming to get you. If you’re left alone, there’s really no telling what might happen. The demons will probably get you.
How to deal: Never watch scary shows or movies after nightfall. These are brunch-time content only. And always have a comedy buffer between your spooky shows and bedtime. A couple episodes of Bob’s Burgers usually do the trick.