5 Things to Do While Still Single
Guest Blog from pinkkisses.com ~ Ellie Scarborough & Amy Lynch
Society can place an awful lot of emphasis on finding “the one” and living “happily ever after,” and a lot of us spend plenty of time chasing after it. When a relationship ends, it can be devastating… but it can also offer an opportunity for greatness.
So, whether or not you believe in fairytales, we -the girls of pinkkisses.com – would like to recommend five absolutely critical things every girl should do before she marches down the aisle or otherwise makes a longterm commitment. And they’re best executed without a partner.
1. Take yourself on the best first date of your life.
Depending on where you live, it may or may not be a completely normal occurrence to see a girl dining alone in a nice restaurant on any given night of the week. In more metropolitan places, it seems a little more common, but even if you live in Small Town USA, make a point of taking yourself out on a date. It’s amazing, the things you get to notice and enjoy when you’re not spending all your energy focusing on a partner. Get dressed up if you’d like, go to a restaurant you’ve always wanted to check out, and order something you’ve never tried before (if it’s terrible, no worries – just order your favorite dessert to make up for it!) Let yourself slide into an actual conversation with your server instead of a perfunctory little exchange about the menu. Bring a great book and pause between chapters to take in the sights and sounds around you. Go see a movie or live performance and enjoy it on your own terms without worrying what anyone else’s opinion might be. Enjoy your own company. Savor the fact that you are a bold and independent creature with an endless list of possibilities swirling around you. Now that’s hot.
2. Feather your own nest.
Whether you rent or own, make a point of living by yourself – no cohabitating boyfriends, no roommates – for at least one whole year. And we don’t mean leaving your junk in your obligatory old post-college apartment while you shack up with some guy five nights out of any given week. We’re talking about really, truly living on your own, and decorating every single inch of your place with colors, textures and objects that make you smile. And you don’t have to break the bank to do it; go exploring at little vintage stores and garage sales for hidden treasures, and fill in the rest with basic items in your favorite colors from a discount store. It’s not about accumulating expensive things; it’s about surrounding yourself with a perfectly personal sense of place. It may sound trivial, but it’s not: creating a space around you that is undeniably yours can be a very fulfilling experience, and coming home to a cozy sense of sanctuary offers a calming remedy to many of life’s little stresses.
3. Do what scares you.
It’s way too easy to become a creature of habit, settling into a daily routine that turns into a rut before we realize what’s happened. Trying new things literally triggers activity in the brain that promotes happiness, so stretch outside of your comfort zone as often as you can. You can start small by shaking up your rituals, like changing what you order for lunch, switching up the route you take to work, and getting into a new kind of fitness routine (you know that spin class you’ve been talking all sorts of smack about trying, but still haven’t actually set foot in? Yeah, that one. There’s a good start.) Or, branch out and do something you’ve always thought might be fun but never worked up the nerve to try (trapeze lessons, horseback riding, a foreign language class). If you dare, throw yourself into the next level of your education and get that next degree. Skydive. Ski. Bungee jump. Get your SCUBA certification. Go big, and watch that smile on your face grow more permanent in the process.
4. Fly solo.
Ayn Rand once wrote, “to say ‘I love you’ one must first be able to say the ‘I’” – point being, it’s impossible to attain a healthy and balanced relationship without really knowing who you are first. There’s no better exercise in perspective than traveling solo… learning about other cultures, expanding your view of the world and remembering what a small but important part of the bigger picture you are on your own. Traveling doesn’t have to be expensive or scary, either, so if you’ve never left home, don’t get paralyzed by imaginary limitations. Look up last-minute travel deals online. Get connected with a volunteer group that plans trips with a purpose. Go somewhere you’ve only ever dreamed about… it can be halfway around the world or just on the other side of your state line. Wherever it might be, just go. There’s something mysterious and intriguing about a girl who’s strong enough to romp around on her own with total curiosity and confidence… and you’ll learn things you never would have picked up just sitting on the couch.
5. Take a gigantic leap.
If luck is little more than preparation meeting opportunity, then single girls are rarely far from finding a four-leaf clover. If you’re not spending every spare minute of your time on a relationship, you can spend it getting after your career goals, creative pursuits or other dreams… and if a big, bold chance of a lifetime comes your way (a job transfer to an amazing city, an opportunity to travel for months on end, or some crazy whacked-out adventure you’ve never even considered), nothing’s stopping you from grabbing it with both hands and having the time of your life. If you’re unattached, there’s no one to consider but yourself when you reach the front of the line, and that’s a luxury that may not last forever. So, create your own opportunities and let them take you into undiscovered territory. You’ll be glad you did.
Former television reporter Ellie Scarborough came up with the idea for a website to help girls get over their exes and “find their inner badass” when she went through a breakup of her own in 2009. With the help of good friend Amy Lynch, pinkkisses.com launched in July 2010, helping women all over the country move on from old relationships and turn pain into promise.