Today, in things you didn’t want to know: My singleness can be measured by the length of my pubes. The bigger the bush, the longer my celibacy stint that month. To further explain that Bob Ross visual for you: The older I get, the more protective I am of my lady bits and who gets to visit them (plus, I have a good vibrator).
As a 33-year-old single human adult female, I’m often caught in limbo between feeling too grouchy to try nabbing a guy in cargo shorts holding a fish on the dating app machine (also, I’m not, I’m just lazy. And see above re: vibrator), weeping aggressively thanks to both being a water sign and falling victim to momentary bouts of self-pity while watching movies about relationships, and the ever-present desire to not want to die alone (that’s the goal, right?).
To find peace between my conflicting desires of sometimes wanting love, occasionally wanting to get laid by someone I won’t resent for not helping with the goddamn dishes, mostly feeling too bothered to ever navigate a live penis again and almost always feeling totally emotionally satiated by my platonic friendships, I’ve been putting a helluva lot of pins into my real-life Golden Girls house dream board to at the very least secure the whole “not die alone” thing.
Being single is kind of new to me—and I am saying this as someone three years into single life. Not to sound like a diary entry, but being on my own is, like, empowering. Not least of all because while I’m new to ~doing me~, I’ve been knocking out romantic milestones with boyfriends since puberty. With newly minted boobs, I once cycled through two BFs in a single day. Beyond the playground “relationships” there have been some greatest hits, too: My first real love, who I was with from 17 to 21, the-guy-I-moved-to-Alberta-for-after-he-showed-me-his-ID and, most recently, the-one-I-spent-the-better-part-of-a-decade-with. Whenever I felt an inevitable expiration date creeping up on my relationships, I would reach for an itch stick and ignite something with someone else—a little emotional cheating, I guess would be the technical term—so that after I ripped the breakup Band-Aid off, I could seek comfort in the arms of someone newer, shinier and who I wasn’t yet annoyed with. Never alone and with muffled sadness! I was a genius—ish.
Then, I broke up suddenly with better-part-of-a-decade guy with no one waiting in the wings. It was the start of my Being Alone Rules phase. After years of being content but not happy with him, someone I barely knew commented that my relationship seemed rotten. My brain basically exploded all over the sidewalk, because he was seven trillion percent correct. My relationship was so broken, but like that shattered eyeshadow palette you try to salvage, it was donezo.
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And I will say, that one hurt. But it was also one of the best things I’ve ever done. It seems I had been using relationships as a crutch and—whoops—had been formulating my interests and life based on the person I was dating. In other words, I was one of those people who is defined as one inextricable part of a couple rather than an individual, goddamn person. *Silent gagging ensues.* When going through that last breakup, I was 30 and felt mature, but apparently I had the emotional bandwidth of a dingle dong, and spreading my wings rather than my legs in the years since has taught me to really flex that maturity muscle in ways I never had before.
As it turns out, despite spending most of my life coupled up, being alone is very much my brand. Like, I *really* like it. So much so, in fact, that I sometimes worry there’s no room for another relationship in my life. If there are dirty dishes (this is a pain point for me, clearly) they are mine. I don’t have to wait for anyone to watch a new episode and I’m not fussed on what time someone is going to be home or “what the deal is.” But being in a relationship is more than that, you’re probably thinking. You’re right, but I’m pretty content without having a partner to share things with.
Of course, I get lonely sometimes. I’m not going to tell you that I don’t full-on Tobias Fünke-cry (no denim cut-offs are involved, though) in the shower from time to time. In fact, there are studies that suggest loneliness can shorten your lifespan. But there’s a big difference between being lonely and being alone, so I’ll check my blood pressure if things start to shift—especially since I don’t even have a cat to eat my body—but for now, I’m good.
To be clear, while I’m not necessarily looking to grow old with a significant other, if the right non-cargo-short-wearing dude-who-does-his-dishes fell into my lap, I wouldn’t be completely opposed, either. Currently, though, all signs point to wanting to get grey and leathery with my friends.
I genuinely enjoy living alone. And that love of independence has me sliding right on into spinsterhood. Which, I’m not entirely mad about. Being single is chill because I’m not accountable to anyone and am not dodging judgement when it comes to enjoying Hallmark movies (and the sheer volume at which I indulge in them). Plus, the older I get, the better I am at curating really good friends and the more I love the idea of growing old with them instead of some dude I only sort of like.
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Despite being three years into loving single life, I was today-years-old when it really hit me that my friends are way better than boyfriends (and yes, I’ve seen Bridget Jones, all of them, so I really have no excuse for this late realization). They always have my back. It’s usually a phone call that does the trick when I need a lifeline. But sometimes, if I’m in Sad Town, USA, I’ll crash at my best friend’s place where she’ll tuck me in with the horsie quilt from her childhood. It’s chill.
The concept of a Golden Girls home is nothing new. The dealings of four “over-the-hill,” smart-mouthed ladies who still had sex and dealt with dramz was mostly way over my childhood head, yet the ladies-only retired life depicted in the early ’90s sitcom was something I knew I would want someday. Plus, if you don’t like Bea Arthur, you need to see yourself out. It was a fun, 30 minutes of empowering content that spanned generations and taught people that getting old doesn’t have to involve Werther’s Originals (though, it very much can) and sitting by yourself in a recliner.
An article about seven retired girlfriends buying a home to live and die in together went viral earlier this year. I think a part of us all wants to live out an elderly version of a sorority sisterhood where instead of spinning the chore chart to see who picks up the Bud Light, it dictates who’s turn it is to sweep the lanai, no?
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This endgame is heavy on my mind lately. I want a bungalow (I’m open to other houses, too, because who do I think I am?), bougie rugs, lots of pottery, my best friends nearby and—for some reason in this vision—a constantly replenished spread of bread, cheese and tabbouleh. And not to be all Ann M. Martin, but I see it as a spot to laugh, bitch, cry and share our lives. (With cheese.)
I’m not just talking out my ass, either. The goal of owning my own home to one day share with my friends is on like Donkey Kong so I’m saving my coins for realz. It’s fun to think about who will be Dorothy in the streets and Blanche in the sheets (me, it will be me) and how our friendships will evolve as we age. I do hope my friends who want to will partner up and have nice lives filled with people who are good to them. But I’m happy keeping our nest ready for when Golden Girls-era takes flight. Or at least until some hot Hallmark movie guy drops into my lap, wearing a carpenter belt, natch.