Things That Being In A Relationship Taught Me About Being Single (That Being Single Couldn't)
Before my current one, I never had a proper boyfriend-boyfriend. I was busy with uni and interning and working 2 jobs and being generally self-centred. Also, before I moved out I had a single bed and we all know how conducive that is to any kind of romantic activity.
Anyway, here we are, I snagged one, like Pokemon Go but with real world consequences. Yeah, sometimes a part of you misses something that your singledom allowed you to do - like not going to family dinners that aren't with your family, or having the whole bottle of wine to yourself should you feel so inclined.
But in general, it's pretty good to have someone around that cares for you regardless.
As I've hit my mid-twenties, I've heard more people talk about babies causing these kind of revelatory responsibility. But I've learnt a thing or too from being with my SO, that I think would've taken me far longer to get to if I was still single AF.
It's chill to rely on others.
Being self-sufficient is important - if something goes wrong, I do have the ability to fix it (unless it's that lightbulb I've left unchanged in my kitchen for 4 months and counting). But if I've had a shitty day and just want to lie down and wear a matching tracksuit and watch First Dates, he'll cook me dinner. It's just straight up nice. And it's helpful to realise that I don't have to take absolutely everything on my own shoulders.
You don't have to say yes to everything.
FOMO seems real but it isn't. Pros of a partner: more parties to go too. Cons: more parties to go too. Having to balance my life with my boyf's means prioritising, hard.
'You time' is actually an important concept.
As much as it sounds like a marketing tag line from a wellness spa, 'you time' needs to be a priority. On top of work, time with your SO, catching up with friends and things that require major adulting (cleaning your oven, actually shopping for vegetables) - finding time to sit down and read a book can take a back seat. But it shouldn't. Even if you comprise and you and your other half have 'you time' together. But separate.
Switching off - even for a little bit.
Single me got very caught up in 10 hour work days, not switching off, over-committing to social events and helping friends out freelancing. Sometimes someone else telling you that you need to put your goddamn phone down before you get RSI in your thumbs can be enough. Because otherwise you'll pull a Honey Boo Boo.
How to better handle the bad habits of others (and realise my own).
Because sometimes the ones we love hurt us the most - i.e. have no shame alerting us to all the weird or annoying shit that we do. Whether it's simply being inept at tidiness (guilty) or something a little more off kilter - they still want to be around you. Humans are strange, right? But seeing my own habits in another light has made me - at least a little - more tolerant of the frustrating tendencies of my housemate or colleagues - and my partner.
Single, taken, in limbo? They've all got their perks.
Words: Lucy Ahern