What To Tell Yourself When You Miss Being Single
Before I met my now-husband, I quite liked being single. I mean, sure, there were times when I wished I had someone nearby to make out with, but I never really found myself in the Bridget Jones singing "All By Myself” camp. I liked coming home at the end of the day to my little apartment, eating whatever I felt like (frozen pizza) and watching whatever terrible TV I wanted (ahem, Boys Over Flowers ). Truth be told, although being single certainly has its drawbacks, it’s also pretty great.
It’s natural, therefore, that now that I’m married, I find myself thinking wistfully about those times. Don’t get me wrong, my husband is amazing, and I love being married to him, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t sometimes feel a twinge of longing for my single days. If you, like me, are in a relationship and finding yourself missing the single life, don’t feel guilty and don’t panic that there’s something terribly wrong between you and your partner. Even in the happiest relationship, it’s totally normal to have a bit of that “grass is greener” feeling. Take a minute to think about what, exactly, you’re missing. Is it the freedom of being unattached? Is it the excitement of being with new people? Is it the fun of trying new things (in the bedroom and out)? Consider how you might incorporate some of those feelings back into your life. Of course, you can’t have all of the fun of being single while staying in a monogamous relationship, but you can try to cultivate an independent, exciting life that has room for both you as an individual and your relationship.
When you’re longing for the single days, tell yourself a few essential truths:
1. Being in a relationship doesn’t mean that you don’t deserve time for yourself
If you miss watching your terrible TV or spending an evening alone, then make some time for yourself to do so. Tell your S.O. to go out with friends, or simply have a night when you and your partner do different things. There have certainly been evenings in my house in which my husband and I both watch Netflix on our laptops, separately. It may not sound romantic, but it’s necessary “alone time” for each of us.
2. What you’re lacking in sexual variety, you make up for in consistency
Entering into a long-term, monogamous relationship means that you’re giving up the thrill of being with new partners. But it’s important to remember that sometimes sex with new partners is awkward, mediocre, and just plain bad. Your S.O. might not bring the excitement of a new partner into the bedroom, but he or she does bring a lot of experience with your body and your desires and a proven track record of Grade A sex. (I mean, I’m assuming that last part. Otherwise, why are you in an LTR with this person?) That’s not something that we should dismiss easily.
3. People in relationships can still have adventures in bed
So maybe you don’t get new partners anymore, but you can still try new things in the bedroom. In fact, being with a partner with whom you are already very comfortable can make you more willing to move outside of your comfort zone.
4. People in relationships can still have adventures IN LIFE
When you’re in an LTR, it’s easy to miss the carefree impulsivity of the single life, but that feeling doesn’t have to end when you’re in a relationship. Take time to be impulsive with your partner in tow.
5. You are still an individual, separate from your partner
When you’re in an LTR – and especially when you’re married – people tend to talk to you as if you and your partner are a single, conjoined organism. It’s important to realize that you are still an individual, with your own thoughts and identity. If you’re feeling like this identity is getting lost or blurry, take some time to do things on your own: volunteer, start a fun project, or learn something new.
6. You have more obligations, but you also have more support
With marriage comes increased obligations, both to your spouse and possibly to his or her family. Remember that, although you might feel under more pressure, you’ve also got more people behind you, supporting you. That’s worth a lot.
7. Nothing’s stopping you from fantasizing about other people
Being in a relationship doesn’t mean that you don’t get to have nice, extended daydreams about the extremely hot guy who works at Whole Foods. Monogamy means that you don’t get to date or sleep with other people. It doesn’t mean that you can’t think about it. At length.
8. You don’t have as much alone time, but you’re also not lonely
I’m realizing as I’m writing this post that it’s easy to romanticize being single when you’re in a relationship. I really did enjoy being single and living alone, but there certainly were times when I felt lonely. Being in a relationship is a trade-off: You give up some of your “me time,” but you also give up that loneliness. Not a bad deal, if you ask me.
9. You can still eat the whole pizza if you want to
Bustle’s Amanda Chatel has rightly pointed out that one of the joys of being single is getting to have the whole pizza to yourself, without shame or judgment. I say, Go ahead an order the whole pizza and love every minute of eating the entire thing, judgment be damned. Your partner can order his own goddamned pizza.
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