I have been single for one year.
My ex-boyfriend and I broke up 365 days ago. This is not an anniversary to be commemorated with poems, or roses, or wine—okay, maybe wine—but it is an anniversary nonetheless.
It is not a date I’ve been counting down to. It is a date I wasn’t sure I would even reach; if had I started dating someone new within 12 months, this date wouldn’t be an anniversary of my singledom at all. But I didn’t, so it is. And even if the occasion isn’t something you can find a Hallmark card for—Congratulations on being alone for an entire calendar year!—I am a big believer in celebrations. So here we go.
- I have complete control over my Netflix queue. I don’t care that everyone loves House of Cards; I don’t want to watch it, so I’m not going to.
- I can hog the covers without feeling guilty. I only take up about 30% of the space in the bed, but I use 70% of the blankets.
- I can—and often do—say yes to anything I want to.
- I only have to “check in” on the Swarm app. I don’t have to tell someone where I am, when I got there, or when I’m going to leave. I don’t have to say good morning, and I don’t need to say good night.
- I’ve explored places and people and possibilities in New York City that I wouldn’t have if I had a boyfriend. And you know what they say—you only end up regretting the things you don’t do.
- I’ve had the time and energy to dedicate to meeting and making girlfriends. Which is much harder, and often more valuable, than finding a boyfriend.
- Comfort zone? Who needs it!
- Two words: free drinks.
There are many thing I could celebrate; there are many reasons why I enjoy being single. But before I sound callous or bitter or like my heart is as cold as the polar vortex that will inevitably descend this winter, I will admit that it hasn’t all been fun and games. I have been hurt, and it has been hard. But the existence of wounds doesn’t mean you’re ruined. In the words of my roommate: “Damaged you” is kind of fun. Because you don’t have to worry about staying perfect—you already know you’re not. If you can break even when you thought you were strong, when you had the strength of not just yourself but someone else too, then you have no delusions about remaining above reproach. So you can let your hair down. And I don’t know about you, but my hair doesn’t look great in an up-do, anyway.
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About Coffee Meets Bagel (CMB): CMB is a free dating service that helps members make meaningful connections. It’s designed for busy singles who want to find something real with little or no effort.