I’ve now officially been single for a year and a half. Longest period of singledom in my sort of-adult semi-mature life. As one might expect, these eighteen months have introduced me to a true gamut of emotions.
I’ve been cripplingly lonely and filled with regret. I’ve been ecstatically independent and proud. I’ve been desperate for companionship of any kind and then completely repelled by the companionship that I invited over five minutes ago. I’ve been teary-eyed and nostalgic, I’ve been wild-eyed and future-drunk, I’ve been depressed and I’ve been totally content.
I’ve learned some things about being single for an extended period of time. Things I feel I should share.
But above all these things I’ve learned and thereby feel I should share stands one. Please listen, because while I personally haven’t reached the zenith of my troubles, this advice pertains to a potentially life or death situation.
If you intend to avoid significant others for any period of time, and are any bit as pragmatically incompetent as I am, then pre-break up you have to prepare yourself in one crucial way:
You Must Learn to Feed Yourself
You’re a moron, Jon, what do you mean feed yourself? Yes, if I were looking at myself now from two years ago I would have said the same thing. It seems so simple, chewing food and swallowing it and absorbing relevant nutrients and continuing not to die.
Yet I don’t have this process anywhere close to down pat.
The daily struggle of figuring out what foods to put in my mouth and when is endless. This is something that you don’t think about when you’re in a relationship and entrenched in a routine and have partial responsibility over someone else’s taste buds and stomach who in turn has partial responsibility over yours. Things just work out in that arrangement – you talk, you figure shit out, and you always eat.
Single? No one helps you with your decisions. No one is going to make anything edible for you. Unless you can muster up the Herculean strength to cook a meal for one, you’re stuck with takeout. And unless you have some Zen mastery of the Seamless catalogue, you’re going to order from the same four greasy, shitty joints every time.
Chinese, pizza, tacos, falafel. Chinese, pizza, tacos, falafel. This is the fuel that my body attempts to process and burn as I sleep each night. It works, at least in the short-term. But I usually feel gastrointestinally terrible, and I fear I’m going to die.
I eat out a lot (not as much as I did during the relationship – heyooo!) but obviously can’t afford to do it every night, and neither can you. Which is how you end up like me: stoned on the couch, starving as of two hours ago, and going through some insane circular thought process that will inevitably end with ordering General Tso’s for the fourth time this week. It’s almost an out-of-body experience, being so desperately hungry and unable to feed yourself. Or even in-body – I sometimes feel like I’m on Ms. Frizzle’s Magic School Bus listening to her narrate my pathetic lack of self-sufficiency to a judgmental but well-drawn class. That’s just my stomach rumbling.
Before you take the eighteen-month single plunge, I cannot implore you enough, learn some efficient ways to eat. Or stay in a relationship, you brilliant fucking wuss.
Featured image courtesy of New York Daily News