08 Feb HOW TO BE SINGLE IN 2021
It’s 7 PM on a Friday night. You’re standing in your kitchen trying to portion the perfect number of noodles in your stir fry so you’ll be full, but not bloated. You quickly walk to your room, as you push brushes, notebooks, and scrunchies off your vanity to make an inch of space for your hot dish to balance. Scarfing down a forkful, trying not to get teriyaki sauce on your freshly applied foundation, you manage to get your sticky finger to press shuffle on the playlist called “gettin ready <3”.
Blow Your Mind (Mwah) by Dua Lipa comes on. You take a dance break between every stroke of mascara on your eyelash. Your housemate group chat is going off:
“What are you guys wearing?”
“Where are we even going?”
“Does anyone have alcohol I can borrow?”
“Guys can we start the pre in like 5 ‘cause I want to get there early and skip the line.”
“Yeah but let’s keep the house clean in case someone comes over tonight.”
The possibilities of the night are endless. You’re single. Life is good.
But it’s 7PM on a Friday night in 2021, and you’re not doing any of that. Instead, you and your housemate are splitting a bottle of wine while someone else makes popcorn and you tally how much you’ve spent on Uber Eats this week while weighing whether or not you can afford a pizza tonight.
Almost as cyclical as time itself, you change out of your day sweats into your night sweats, turn on either a musical or a serial killer docu-series (no in-between) and for a moment, just a moment, you stare at your messy bun in the reflection of your phone, wondering if you’re ready to let go of the single life and settle down out of pure pandemic boredom.
Well, don’t. Because it’s 2021, and you’re doing hot girl shit all year long.
If you feel like you want to text an ex…
Well, there’s never been a better excuse. Blaming it on the alcohol was used, overdone, and predictable. Now, blaming it on the pandemic? Who could get mad at you for that? You were vulnerable, lonely, fragile, and you listened to Driver’s License by Olivia Rodrigo one too many times. You wanted a taste of what it used to feel like when you were 16 and thought the world was as big as your hometown: the youth, the innocence, the lack of any adult responsibility.
So, do it. Text your ex. Maybe you’ll find your way back to each other and in that case yes, I’d love to give a speech at your wedding. Or maybe, and probably most likely, it’ll remind you of the EXACT reason why it didn’t work out in the first place, and if anything, you’ll be able to say that the one thing you got out of the pandemic was closure.
If you want to hook up…
Look, 2021 isn’t your average time to send five “u up” texts at 2 AM and wait for the first one to respond. Hookup culture has drastically shifted because now you’re probably sticking to one person (or many, I don’t judge) who is in your social bubble.
Now, I’m not condoning this, but IF you are choosing to have a rendezvous with someone outside your bubble, be as safe as you can. My obvious advice would be to stick to the classics. Pre-pandemic friends with benefits and booty calls that you trust are your safest bets.
Is a random tinder guy who could be a catfish worth isolating 14 days for? Probably not.
Don’t be scared to ask them how many sexual partners they’ve had, within the last 14 days at least. You might even consider asking them when the last time they’ve gotten tested was, for COVID and STIs, alas, two birds one stone. Spread love, not COVID (or STIs).
Transparency surrounding COVID activities is crucial to establish mutual trust and respect. If the other party is beating around the bush or just being straight up sketchy, I would probably leave them for a post-pandemic world.
Remember, safety first, so condoms and masks stay on.
If you’re not willing to risk it…
Invest in some good toys, as a treat.
If you’re looking to start something new…
The pandemic world can actually be a brilliant gift in disguise. If there’s one thing that the pandemic has brutally emphasized, it’s just how precious time is. So, don’t waste it.
And I know that’s a cliché, everyone says that, but seriously:
Do. Not. Waste. Your. Time.
You are always going to receive exactly what you express. So, if you act like you’re someone who doesn’t care and only wants to hook up, then those are the types of people who will come knocking at your door. If you’re open to anything, say you are. If you want something serious, say you do.
Just like the philosopher Taylor Swift has been reminding us since we were 10, no one is going to come around on their white horse and save you, you have to do it yourself.
Out of pure boredom and a sprinkle of inspiration from a TikTok, I performed an experiment where I picked around 15 suitors from a mix of Tinder and Hinge matches and asked them the simple question: do you consider yourself a feminist?
No matter what their response was, I always asked them to explain. If not, if yes, if somewhere in between, why? I picked at all of them, and even if their answers directly aligned with mine, I made them plead their case. Even further, I rebutted, I challenged them.
My impression of these virtual strangers had nothing to do with their initial answers, but rather, it was how they explained it, argued it, conveyed it (although, a lot of them who said they were somewhere in between really just explained feminism without realizing it).
Not only can you tell if your fundamental morals align, but you can tell how someone communicates, what they value, how they respond to challenges, and most importantly if they listen.
Ask the tough questions. If you have fundamental beliefs and morals that will not waver, you need to make sure the other party is on the same wavelength, if not, you’re wasting your time.
Make 2021 the year where we stop ignoring the red flags that are waving right in front of our faces.
If you want to focus on yourself…
Love, sex, and attention are all great things but now is as good of a time as any to actually take a step back and recharge.
Focus on your body by listening to what it needs, and yes, what it wants. Master a new recipe, recreate your favorite Starbucks drink at home, try sunrise yoga, let yourself sleep in past noon.
Focus on your mind by setting goals for your academic/career future, work smart not hard, take up a hobby you’ve always wanted to try, or reach out to an old friend who you haven’t spoken to in years.
Focus on your heart by reflecting on where your foundational morals stand and what qualities you see yourself deserving. When you are ready to not be single anymore, you’ll know exactly what you’re looking for.
No matter how you choose to be single in 2021, it’s sure to be one for the books.
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