It took me being in a relationship I waited forever for to realize how good I had it when I was a 30-something single Toronto lady.
Now, don’t get me wrong; I love my newfound girlfriend status and literally thank the universe daily for bringing my gem of a human boyfriend into my life. We’re solid, serious, and will most likely end up together.
But being in a relationship after a hiatus during which I basically did whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, with whomever I wanted is a major (major) adjustment. And – though the “sacrifices” you make to accommodate the other person into your life are most definitely worth it, now that I’m doing so, I wish I had savoured my 30-something single woman time a little more instead of prayed for it to be over.
And did I ever pray for it to be over. Through every failed attempt at app-facilitated dating (***shudder***), a broken heart, and unfulfilled night out, I wished and hoped for it to be over. There are definitely lonely moments (ok, hours) that come with being single, especially when you come to that “magical” age when all of your friends have long said “I do,” are on baby number two, and maybe emerge from hibernation twice a year. And those times are brutal; let’s be honest. Sundays, couples dinners, solo wedding attending, days when you’re home sick and alone – they all suck.
But you know what’s amazing? Staying in all weekend in sweatpants by yourself and ordering Swiss Chalet twice; having your phone die while out on the town with your friends and not having to worry about it; not shaving your legs for days on end (ok, maybe weeks) in the winter, leaving your place a mess after a “I have no clothes in my closet” session without giving a shit because nobody’s going to see it, and never having to spend time with people you who you don’t want to (i.e. someone else’s annoying friends, family members, or coworkers).
Those are just some of the great parts about a single status.
Let’s not forget that being in a relationship – especially a new relationship – is damn expensive for the babe on a budget. Dating – as in, actually going on dates – doesn’t come cheap, especially in the winter when Uber rides are added to the equation. When you’re first dating and falling for one another, there are so many things you want to experience together: ski days, spa days, new restaurants, weekend getaways, and full-on vacations. Guess what? All those experiences add up money-wise. At least when you want to save money when you’re single, it’s easy to live on Mr. Noodles and your parents’ Netflix account for a few weeks without anyone knowing (yeah, I’ve been there…we live in Toronto).
Speaking of money, don’t shoot the messenger, but I have always found that my career – or, rather, the attention I pay to my career – takes a bit of a beating whenever I find myself in a new relationship. Relationships are consuming. Especially in our increasingly disconnected, perpetually busy world, building relationships require momentum. Momentum requires investing time (seeing the person once every week and a half isn’t going to cut it), which means time away from your pre-relationship lifestyle. As a freelancer who works my own hours, I can safely say that I was making more money before I was in a relationship, when my workday started at 7 am instead of 9 am and when I could pull an all-nighter without keeping anyone awake.
On the topic of pre-relationship lifestyle, I can also safely confirm that more than one girlfriend is currently less than pleased with me for going MIA (yes, I became that girl for a hot second before I snapped out of it) since re-entering the relationship world. If my gym could talk, it would also call me out on being MIA too (and yes, I was probably in better shape when I was single).
So, if you’re single, enjoy it in all of its liberating, selfish AF glory. You’ll one day miss certain elements of it, I promise. Until then, appreciate not having to share a bathroom, bed, or closet; not having to worry about farting in your sleep (trite, but true); and taking as long as your heart desires to get ready to leave your place.