Can I just go ahead and give myself a huge pat on the back for staying single for 3/4 of a year? For those of you who are new to the Pink Growl, you may not realize how big of an accomplishment this is. Before last November, I was engaged and in a relationship for 8 years. Before that, I was single for not even a year and before that in a very off/on, hot/heavy relationship for 2-3 years, before that I was 5 years old. I don’t regret any of that for one second, but I definitely needed some grown up single time to learn the ways of the world. Being single was extremely foreign to me. I always identified myself as a “relationship person”. I’ve hated it, I’ve loved it, I’ve worked it to my advantage and I’ve grown to just be happy with where I am. It was so important to me to navigate through this heartbreak on my own. I didn’t want to rush right into another relationship, carrying my baggage along with me for the ride.
Remember when I gave you this update on my dating stats back in March? It's hilarious to look back and read considering things have changed a thousand times over since then. Today, I’m going to do you one better – teach you some lessons I’ve learned.
1. Being single can make you feel like a player -
I remember a specific week that I had 4 dates. Not gonna lie, at first I felt like a baller. But then after I felt a little slutty. It was a little confusing! I never thought myself to be a good casual dater, but casual dating is part of the game. There's decent ones who turn out to be awful kissers, fun dates who surprise you when they don't call back, perfect guys that you just don't have chemistry with no matter how hard you try to force it - I've run into it all. I learned there's no such thing as a bad date...just a chance to get drunk on someone else's dime. Kidding...sort of. Just go with it. It's all a learning opportunity.
2. Sure, there are lonely nights – that’s why God made wine and dogs-
After being stuck up someone's ass constantly for 8 years, I found that living alone was quite lonely at times. I wasn't used to it AT ALL. Two of my best friends lived in different states. Enter Tilly lovin' and wine! I'd call up my BFF (who was in Iowa at the time) and we would drink and talk for hours. It was such a comfort! THIS is why you don't ditch your girls when you get a new man, ladies! Girl code!
3. Know exactly what you want, and be open with boys-
Let's face it, boys have zero problem using you and losing you if you allow it. They go into it knowing what they want from you. I learned that being extremely up front with them is the best policy too. I'm pretty sure my tagline became "I don't do feelings or dates, I just want to have a good time". I didn't want any sort of emotional connection, nothing resembling a date at all. If a guy wanted to hang out with me, I was definitely calling the shots. Eliminated confusion!
4. Have at least one boy in your life who is a constant. I had two-
That sounds bad...but it's true! Remember my Boy Toy you heard about who took me to see Luke Bryan? He was a lifesaver! He popped up 3 weeks after my breakup. He and I were friends before and he went through a similar situation. We were exactly on the same page with what we wanted; I think that boy hated feelings more than I did. He became one of my fav drinking buddies! We have tons of mutual friends and we still talk, but neither of us wanted anything to come out of it. We just needed someone to get through a tough time with. It was very non emotional, no feelings, we just had a blast together. THEN there was an ex-boyfriend from waaaaay back who I had always remained friends with. He calls me "the one that got away" when he's drunk. Throughout history we have never been able to get on the same page with our feelings, but he has been an emotional outlet for me. I will never forget the day after my supposed wedding day, I had a massive breakdown on the floor sobbing my eyes out in a Wal-Mart. Like couldn't breathe ugly crying. He came to my rescue and let me cry in his truck for hours, and just promised me better days. When I get sad to this day, he's there. And I'm there for him. When my high school boyfriends hurt my feelings, he was there. When his wife left him, I was there. We will always be friends.
5. Marriage does not equal happiness-
I could spend 500 posts detailing all the lessons I've learned about married people - from the outside looking in, of course. But I'll just sum it up by saying marriage does not equal happiness. All my life I thought getting married would be this amazing be all, end all. But that's not always the case. Plenty of people don't get married for the right reasons. I was always a bit of a marriage skeptic anyhow, but after surviving a broken engagement and seeing plenty of friends live through divorces, I think I'll be more careful with this heart of mine. Now that doesn't mean I don't believe in it, because I do. Wholeheartedly. But I'm okay with taking my time and doing it right.
6. Enjoy your freedom-
People kept telling me this - especially older, wiser, married people. And I just couldn't grasp it. It took me months to be able to enjoy the perks of being single. It's hard not to feel like the grass is greener, no matter which side of the fence you're on. Truth is, I won't be single forever. Probably not much longer. But while I do have this time to myself I might as well live it up. Go out on weeknights with my girlfriends. Thirsty Thursdays with my guy friends. Random roadtrips. Sleep completely sideways in my bed...I really love doing that. Make my alone time count. Life is full of curveballs - don't be afraid to ride them out and see where the journey leads you.