Single survival

The post-breakup bachelor pad survival kit

So you’ve broken up, you’ve packed and unpacked boxes and now find yourself standing in the middle of your one-bedroom flat – or studio if you’re very unlucky – single, alone, solo. And solely responsible for the Council tax bill.

You can survive this, of course. All you need to get through it are a few essentials that will make your time in your bachelor pad – or bachelorette pad, of course – bearable

1. White bed linen
Not only will white sheets make your no doubt pokey bedroom look lighter and larger, glistening brilliant-white sheets are a singleton staple.

They’re your studio for all those #hungover selfies or Grindr/Tinder profile shots you’ll be snapping when you’re feeling super-desperate, plus when you bring someone back to your flat for an awkward fumbling, white sheets reassure them that the bed has a good chance of being semi-clean, as they need to be changed pretty regularly.

Patterned duvets – especially ‘achingly lonely single man’-style geometric shapes on a dark background – simply scream “this man is a stranger to Persil”, as they can hide a multitude of sins. If you’re quite slovenly, just cover your questionable whites with a nice throw.

2. Ham
You’ll need some ham in the fridge and some Warburton’s in the cupboard for all the sandwiches you will be making yourself because you have forgotten how to cook for one.

Unless you are buying a tragic ready meal from M&S, supermarkets are quite wilfully biased against single people. Everything comes in bumper packs or portions that would certainly edge you into gluttony were you to tackle them all by yourself.

If you are a vegetarian, or don’t eat ham for religious or personal reasons, try wafer-thin ham.

3. High-speed internet
No half-arsed broadband wanted here, thank you very much. You’ll need NASA-grade, fibre-optic, whizz-bang internet that is so powerful the signal can be picked up in Sarah Palin’s bunker.

And why will you need it? No, not for porn, but for loading up all those dating sites and interminable profile pictures of Henry, 33, from Richmond, grinning at you as he props up a tiki bar in his red chinos.

Oh, and you’ll be sitting streaming quite a few boxsets in your first few weeks, as tears pour down your face and you try your best to chew your ham sandwich.

4. A nice rug
An extra option for you to have sex on, should the bed linen not be up to scratch. Make sure the TV is off while you do it – eyes will always wander to a flickering screen.

It’s like when Sky Sports is on in the pub – even if it’s on mute and you don’t like football, your eyes track to it eventually.

5. A thick skin
You will meet so many idiots, on so many dates. Arm yourself with the hide of 100 Aberdeen Anguses while you’re out; you can peel them all off one-by-one in your kitchen, with only your groaning pile of washing up as witness to your sobs.

6. A window
And it should have a view, if possible. Not a view of crackheads fighting over a carrier bag with I-wouldn’t-really-like-to-guess-what inside it, like my bachelor pad, but perhaps a street where you may see other humans from time to time.

7. A whistling kettle
The best thing I ever did was buy a whistling kettle. It sings only for me, and also reminds me to have a cup of tea every now and again. It is what my grandma would’ve called “company”.

When it starts talking to you, though, this could be a sign of a wider mental health issue, so maybe get yourself out for some fresh air until it’s calmed down.

8. A 10-pack of Marlboro menthol that you will never smoke but need to know they’re there, and that you have control
If you’re an ex-smoker, the first thing you will think about doing when newly single is going back to your old habits. After all, nobody cares about you any more, right? Wrong.

But buy the cigarettes anyway and never touch them, just to prove that you are in charge of your own destiny. You can also offer one to someone after sex as part of some brilliant mind game or compatibility test.

9. Earplugs
Your neighbours are having sex again. They do it all night, every night. I bet they don’t even change their sheets. Meanwhile, you are all by yourself in your very big bed and even the kettle has stopped whistling at you. Earplugs. Buy them in bulk and have a pair on you at all times.

10. A bottle of Patrón hidden under the kitchen sink
A true essential that will always be there for you when you need just one more drink after coming home from a disastrous date or, if you have a hook-up coming round to give your sheets the once-over, a slug of Dutch courage before you answer the buzzer.

11. The knowledge that being single is perfectly fine
Because it is. And you will be. And at least you don’t have to wait for the bathroom every morning and can sit on the sofa in your worst pyjamas spooning Nutella into your mouth as you scroll through Guardian Soulmates to see whether that bloke from Emmerdale is still on there. (He’s not.)

What have I missed? Send me a tweet with your bachelor pad essentials.

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  1. Ha ha ha. You are good. I’m surprised you haven’t been snapped up by one of the Daily papers to do a column. (The white sheets stuff was perfect).

    (And wafer thin ham of course).

  2. Like getting new snow boots, then hoping it snows… when I read this I want to go meet a guy, date, and break up, just so I can try out the “Post-Breakup Bachelor Pad Survival Kit.”

  3. I couldn’t help but laugh hard at the notion of the whistling kettle being company. You missed out getting a new mug though! If the kettle is company, then the mug becomes a comforting warm companion hugging your hands, with no lingering association to any mugs used with the ex.

    (Yes, I have one)

  4. New clothes – I’ve found this to be one of the most important. If you were in your previous relationship for any length of time, chances are you’ll own more than a few items of clothing given to you as presents by the ex (or if you’re gay and roughly the same size as them, you might even have been given a bunch of stuff by them that didn’t suit them/didn’t fit them anymore/looked better on you than them). Or particular items will have some other connection with the ex – you wore it on that holiday, or in that photo or whatever…

    So go out and buy a wardrobe of new stuff with no connection with the ex whatsoever, even if it’s a job lot of flimsy, shoddily-made made tat from H&M or whatever. It’ll make all the difference going on dates (or running into the ex…), not looking like the Ghost of Relationship Past.

    And definitely follow Alexander’s advice about the new mug too.

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