19 Truths About Being Your Own Boyfriend Or Girlfriend


Yesterday, Chelsea Fagan and Brandon Scott Gorrell published a pair of funny essays teasing the quirks and habits of their significant others (and by extension, girlfriends and boyfriends). There were the 19 Truths About Boyfriends and the 19 Truths About Girlfriends. In the spirit of fairness and equanimity, I sat down and penned this companion piece…

1. Allow a 5-minute grace period after you think you’re ready to go somewhere. Because, it’s all on you. If you lock yourself out of your place because you forgot your keys — that shit ain’t cool. Cussing at yourself on your doorstep just makes you look even more worrisome to your neighbors. Be patient with yourself.

2. Leftovers? You better not throw that food away; not until it sprouts white hairy mold like Don King was its baby-daddy. Some days you’ll come home super tired, not wanting to cook or even think, and you’ll be stoked you have that three-day old vegetable lo mein and pot stickers. You’ll eat ’em both like they were home-cooking.

3. Always bring a jacket. Or at least, wear an extra layer. Why? Because, who gives a shit if you’re cold? That’s right. You. Which means, you need to look out for yourself and bring a sweater. No one likes a grouchy singleton who can’t plan for a night out. (But when you stay home, you no longer need pants until the next day. So there are trade-offs.)

4. Whenever you go shopping for clothing be sure to bring a freshly-charged cellphone. You may need to text pics to your sister/brother or friend to see if you’ve lost your mind. And if you get upset or frustrated, try not to cry in the dressing room. That just makes strangers and sales associates feel weird.

5. Don’t think about your birthday too much. Especially, more than a week or two before it occurs. Otherwise, you might feel suicidal when you realize you’ll very likely be alone blowing out a single birthday candle shoved into a Hostess cupcake. At least splurge. Get yourself one of them fancy cupcakes. You deserve it!

6. Always be explicitly clear with yourself about what you intend to purchase when you head to the store. Make a list and… on second thought, fuck it! Buy whatever you want, it’s not like you have to worry about what anyone other than your bank account has to say about it.

7. Be sure to schedule a little extra time if you plan to use public transportation. You know what, don’t worry about that one either. What does it matter? If you can’t find your Metrocard – so what? You’ll get back to your place a few minutes later — big deal! Netflix won’t care. And your ice cream won’t mind waiting an extra ten minutes. The only one you should rush home for is your pet. And if you don’t have one — maybe, get one. It’s nice to have something beside ice cream and Netflix waiting at home for you.

8. When you introduce yourself to your friends’ significant others, be gentle… with yourself. They’ve all heard about you. It’s likely they’ll offer to set you up with one of their other single friends in the hopes you two hit it off. Don’t take this personally. They mean well. (Also, singletons make people in relationships nervous. Be patient with them.)

9. Remember to take notes in your iPhone if you see something expensive you’d like to buy. Save up and treat yourself! It’s not like you have a significant other who’s gonna buy it and surprise you. It’s important you treat yourself well. And it’s also good to stay in practice, in case you ever get a significant other in the future.

10. Try to forget some of the things you buy yourself. Maybe hide them with the hopes that, months later, when you’re cleaning out your car’s trunk you get stoked on that new pair of shoes or hat you forgot you bought.

11. When it comes to eating, oftentimes, you won’t really care what you eat as much as that you eat something — anything. Make dinners or purchase pre-made dinners and keep them in the freezer. That way you don’t have to spend time thinking about what you want to make for yourself and eat by yourself. That shit can get depressing fast. (And maybe, take turns cooking for a neighbor.)

12. Allow for the fact you will fall asleep on the couch, reading, or more likely, watching crappy tv shows as you wonder why English maids and dirty-ass blacksmiths have more sex than you. To safeguard your near-future, remove items you might spill while you’re asleep. Waking up because you spilled red wine on yourself is never awesome. And it totally sucks when, desperate to pee, you stand up and immediately step in your half-eaten plate of spaghetti.

13. You watch porn. Most everyone does. Don’t beat yourself up about it. And yes, masturbating everyday is perfectly normal. Besides, it keeps you in good practice for the future. Just try not to masturbate more often than you eat.

14. Buy an extra toothbrush. Keep it in the hopes you get lucky and some sexy stranger might need it. Buy extras of a few things. Keep a space in your life for the idea someone might step into that vacancy.

15. Throw pillows? Who are you trying to impress? You need comfort. You need a surrogate of intimacy. You need body pillows. Whenever you visit Target to purchase a new one, be sure to speak clearly and confidently when you ask, “Excuse me. Where do you keep the body pillows?” If anyone gives you a weird look, say it’s a gift for your sister or aunt and walk away quickly before the sales associate can no longer hold back their laughter.

16. Watch crappy-ass movies alone. Sometimes it feels good to see people who are doing worse than you (and have terrible agents/managers). If those movies make you cry, go ahead and cry. Just try not to cry so loudly your neighbors get worried and call the police. When the police show up, they’ll batter down your door if they think you’re suicidal. And you don’t need that sort of hassle.

17. Keep water available at all times. Once again, it’s just a good habit to keep. Whatever you don’t drink you can use to water your plants. Oh yeah! Buy plants! They’ll add some life to your place. And you can talk to them and they won’t worry about you like your family does.

18. Never back yourself into a corner with pointless questions like, “Why am I still single?” or “Will I ever find someone to love?” No one can answer these questions. And besides, you can’t run away from you, ditching out on yourself like you’re a terrible one-night stand you fully regret. You’re stuck with you. So, be a friend to you. Always hold onto hope for tomorrow.

19. Most importantly, if you’re tired of feeling alone, do something about it. Join a league, sign up for online dating, ask out a stranger. It’s not your fault. You’re not unlovable. It’s just been a run of bad luck. Don’t own it. Don’t be defined by it. Maybe, someday soon, you’ll find a special person who wants to be good to you and you’ll want to be good to them. You never know. Just make sure you don’t grow bitter. And if you’re still alone a month or a year from now … who cares?

There’s nothing wrong with being alone.

Just remember to treat yourself at least half as well as you would a significant other. You’re all you have.

image – jmiller291