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Don’t dwell: how to have fun being single

Staff Reporter

Published: Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Updated: Thursday, February 14, 2013 02:02

Colin Harris | The Houstonian

Colin Harris | The Houstonian

I woke up yesterday afternoon in utter panic, as it quickly dawned on me that I forgot to go to Jared over the weekend. I needed to score a pandora charm or five to add some Valentine’s Day flavor to the toddler-chic look my sexy sweetheart’s been going for lately. Too late for that.

I couldn’t order expensive fruit dipped in chocolate online without getting gouged on next-day shipping and hastily gluing together a homemade Valentine out of construction paper is exactly the sort of ammunition for a future fight you never give a girlfriend. I was fucked.

"Wait a minute," I thought. "What am I freaking out about? I’m single. I don’t have a girlfriend. Total independence. My own man. This is way better than being in a relationship and dealing with V-Day stress." So I rolled into the fetal position and put my indie folk revival playlist on shuffle, whimpering.

Just because I’ve embraced a crippling depressive state on Valentine’s Day as a single person doesn’t necessarily mean you should. You can easily avoid feelings of inadequacy even though there’s no "special someone" this year.

First up, stay away from social networks all day. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and probably LinkedIn will transform into a frantic medley of declarations of love, interjected with Instagram-filtered evidence of how unbelievably romantic all the boyfriends of America are. A picture caption might actually say, "OMG look at all the candaaay and roses my bf got me today! I love him soooooooo much! Muah! XOXOXO #vday #loveofmylife."

But to lonely singles, it might as well read, "OMG look at how complete my life is compared to yours! You’ll never have this! The most action you’ll ever get is by reading ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ you pathetic wretch! #youwilldiealone #unloveable."

I can’t blame anyone for their desire to share their love with the online world but seeing it repeated on your timeline/newsfeed every 14 seconds could lead to a little resentment.

After making a commitment to get off the grid for a day, what’s next? Since Valentine’s Day isn’t a real holiday like Columbus Day or the day after Halloween, you should definitely go to class and fulfill whatever obligations you may have. It’s never a bad time to focus on academics and if you pretend the girls toting flowers around campus are actually vagrant drug-addicts selling stolen roses to score their next fix, you’ll be golden.

If getting through the day is easy, notions of isolation and despair may begin to creep in as the sun sets. Hopefully you have some single friends to enjoy the evening with. Go out for food and drinks at a really unromantic restaurant, like a sports bar or Cracker Barrel. Talk about how nobody’s good enough for any of you. Hit on the 55-year-old waitress. Steal some rock candy and a Dean Martin CD from the gift shop.

Get kicked out and cause a scene in the parking lot. Whatever it is that you do, just make sure you have a good time doing it.

Can’t find anyone to go out with? Entertain yourself with a movie. Anything that doesn’t contain the words "based on the best-selling novel by Nicholas Sparks" on its cover should be fine. My personal suggestion would be a Ben Stiller rom-com since they smartly illustrate how little control we actually have in our romantic relationships.

No matter how you spend your day, just don’t despair. Unless you’re the walking embodiment of a callous asshole or vapid bitch, odds are that you’re single because you just haven’t connected with the right person yet.

Give it some time and always look forward. By next year you’ll probably be the one sharing intimate love notes with the entire internet.

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