A little while ago I posted this picture on Instagram.
It was a bit of a spur of the moment picture – I was lighting a candle and realised that I put dead matches back into the box specifically because I once had a boyfriend who used to hate it. Every time he opened a box of matches and found a dead one that I’d put back in, unthinking, he’d get cross. Not cross like he’d pick up the candle and throw it through a window or anything, but genuinely annoyed enough to make me feel like I’d done something wrong.
I’ve had a lot of boyfriends who have got that level of cross about stupid things like dead matches. It’s exhausting. It leaves you with that walking on eggshells feeling, never sure what small thing might actually be super irritating or send someone into a sulk. It wears you down, makes you question yourself and can leave you feeling like you’re not really good enough, like those ‘flaws’ somehow make you a less than desirable partner.
When you’ve been in relationships like this, being single feels incredibly liberating. Supposed bad habits become a thing of joy. Suddenly you are free to do exactly as you please, to be completely yourself, without having to second guess anyone or worry about causing offence.
You feel free.
That’s not to say I can never see myself in a relationship again, but it would need to add so much value to my life. Is there a dating app for serious, healthy relationships? Someone should invent one.
In the Instagram caption that I shared with this picture I mentioned just a few of the things I do now that would definitely have annoyed at least one of my ex boyfriends in the past, things I now take immense pleasure in being able to do freely. They were off the top of my head and it was a bit scary to be honest how easily I thought of them. (My friend did have to make me that relationship red flag list though remember?) It got me thinking though, and over the next few days I mulled it over and thought of more and more, so I thought I’d make a bigger list here.
If you recognise any of these, or have any of your own that you’d like to share, feel free to leave me a comment.
27 things I love about being single:
- Putting dead matches back in the box (obvs)
- Letting the car fill up with rubbish
- Driving inefficiently so you use slightly more fuel than you otherwise might
- Not spending hours looking for a discount code every time you want to buy one tiny thing
- Using the washing up sponge to clean things off the floor/walls/dog
- Using my phone in bed
- Washing colours and whites together
- Stacking dishwashers badly (I don’t have one, but if I ever do it in AirBnBs or something then I take a scattergun approach)
- Talking to whoever I like about whatever I like
- Having many, many pets
- Watching reality TV
- Fidgeting in bed (If you’ve ever forced yourself to lie still in bed when you’re feeling twitchy for fear of the heavy sighing then you’ll know how wonderful this is.)
- Washing the bedsheets infrequently
- Ditto hands
- Cleaning the bathroom sink by just swooshing my hands about a bit
- Having my hair any length and style I choose
- Buying drinks and snacks when I’m out
- Reading WhatsApp messages and not instantly replying
- Scrolling through Instagram
- Having male friends
- Shopping in nice supermarkets
- Eating cereal as a meal
- Tipping freely in restaurants
- Going on outings by myself
- Eating dinner on my lap watching TV
- Doing anything I like without fear of judgment