Some are scared to be by themselves, while others revel in solitude. And most of us nestle somewhere in between. Give us a roomful of people and we’ll crave a padded cell, yet watch us walk into an empty room and cry for company like a puppy spending its first night away from its mother.
I am moving in with my boyfriend next month. It will be the first time in five years I have had to live with anybody. I knew this time would come eventually – that day of reckoning when my arrivals back at home, pissed, clutching a McDonald’s and staggering into the furniture would have to end. Or at least happen only when he’s away.
When I first started to live on my own, I was in a state of shock, I think. On the first night, a friend who’d helped me move stayed with me, but as I closed the door on her the next day, I sat on the sofa for a while, listening to the wailing sirens and unfamiliar voices from the streets below – streets I didn’t know at all – and wondered what I would do with all this space. All this freedom. All that time. I had never felt so free. I had never felt so sad.
I was coming out an eight-year relationship when I moved house and my fragile state shows in unpacked boxes I have had to look in for the first time in five years. Books I must have known I would never read, old notepads filled with “just popped out” or “I love you” messages between me and my ex and, amid the valentines, birthday cards from dead relatives and pictures my little sister used to send me, an old Greggs bag.
I wondered what had been in it to warrant its preservation. And then I remembered, it was the first thing I ate after the last box had moved in. My first pasty as a single man, a bachelor. Alone. Not realising its significance years later, I must have shoved the wrapper atop the nearest box and thought nothing more of it. Continue reading How to live alone
When you’re single, it is very easy to blame smug couples for all your ills. But, here’s a newsflash, you can be just as irritating.
And every once in a while, couples are dragged out of their loved-up reverie by their single friends who are, almost without exception, an absolute nightmare.
1. Arrive to every social engagement hungover.
Whether you’re making a beautiful lunch for all your friends, meeting for a few drinks for your birthday, or getting married, your single friend will arrive either drunk or woefully hungover. This is because they can.
They have no partner to tell them they’ll feel rough in the morning and nobody to give them the silent treatment if they ignore that advice. Before they’re even halfway through their starter, they will push their plate away and signal the waiter to bring them another martini and every couple around the table will dream of lacing it with arsenic.
2. Ask if you have any friends to hook them up with.
“Surely you must know some nice, single, hot men for me?”
3. Then get offended when you try to hook them up with somebody.
“God, I’m not that desperate. Don’t you think I can do a little better than that?!” Frankly, no.
4. Moan “I just want to meet someone” yet reject perfectly acceptable people for ridiculous reasons.
“I didn’t like his hair.”
“You should have seen the way he twisted the noodles round his fork.”
“She pronounces ‘bath’ like ‘hearth’ – it’d never last.”
Christ. Continue reading 17 things single people do that make couples want to kill them
You’re in a half-empty pub.
Perhaps you’re waiting for a date, but more likely you are idling away the hours alone with some much-needed human company before going back to the stark solitude of the dungeon walls which hold up the roof on your supposed bachelor pad.
Suddenly, you feel a tingle. Someone in your vicinity is being romantic, you can feel it. Maybe you’ve heard the gentle, sickening slurp of a kiss or caught a glimpse of interlocking fingers out of the corner of your eye.
Whatever it is, you look up and see them, or it, if you think of them as a singular unit. They certainly do. They are your enemy, your nemesis – the beast that mocks your single status just by being. Yes, at the next table, you can see, in their natural state of togetherness, a couple.
They’re looking at a menu, you notice. They’re both doing exaggerated gestures as they slide their fingers up and down its offerings, making half-hearted suggestions and scrunching up their faces in mock disgust at the dishes they don’t like. One half of the couple, possibly the smuggest of the pair, will utter the standard line that comes in every Berlitz ‘Teach Yourself To Speak Couple’ phrasebook: “No, I don’t mind if you get the same as me. Go on, you like it. Honestly. You have it. Maybe I can get something else”. Continue reading Say no to couple envy