Recently, a friend of mine from college separated from his long-time succubus, a girl he started dating just after a different long-term relationship. This is a guy who has been firmly planted in relationship land since 1997. While monogamy is a wonderful thing and something I would very much like to find, it has to be with the right person. And these ladies were . . . not.
Finally free of the trappings of a dysfunctional relationship, I have never seen my friend so fanatically happy. When he told me they had split, he was practically glowing. All signs that he had indeed made the right move in breaking up with her and it was time to enjoy the spoils of being young, employed and unfettered.
The only caveat, he’s never been single as an adult and has no idea what to do. So of course, he came to a professional for advice.
“Is it cool that I’m doing laundry on a Saturday night?”
I just stared at this text, never really pondering the level of cool that Saturday night laundry held. “It’s cooler than what I’m doing, which is drinking beer with my cat and watching bad television.”
But I guess I had a one up on him since beer was involved, albeit, it was bad domestic beer.
The thing about being single that is truly marvelous is that it doesn’t matter what anyone else considers appropriate, cool, important, etc. You can do what you want, whenever you want. If I feel like spending my Saturday morning badly singing Dire Straits without knowing the actual lyrics, well then that’s perfect fine. (Not that I do that, often.) Go out, don’t go out. Do laundry, don’t do laundry. It doesn’t really matter.
So for the newly single, this freedom must feel both liberating and frightening. It’s a great abyss of possibilities, which also means there’s no defined endpoint. And while he is enjoying his new found freedom, those of us who have been at the singles game for a while are tired of not having someone special in our lives, even if that special someone turns out to hate my singing and insists that I wear pants in the house.
Lesson learned: My advice to my friend is simple, enjoy the moment, do what you want. When you meet the right girl, you’ll still feel free even if there are more responsibilities and less impromptu living room karaoke. It’s just a matter of finding the right fit.