3 Things My Friends Taught Me about Being Single
Updated: May 21
About a week and a half after a break-up, I got up at 6 a.m. and took a day trip to LA with two of my best friends. In a lot of ways, it was disastrous. We didn’t plan a single activity. We got on the wrong freeway. When we got to LA, we forgot where we parked the car and spent an hour walking around in a huge circle looking for it. (It turned out that we had been walking in every direction around the car, just on the wrong side of the street.) It was miserably hot. I picked out the perfect outfit and then left it at home. One of my friends decided she needed a whole new outfit for absolutely no reason. I spilled my fries in the backseat on the way home. We didn’t drink any water all day. And there was a bee in the car after we stopped for gas.
But in even more ways it was the perfect day. We bought matching bracelets. We sat in a cute and overpriced Los Angeles cafe and drank smoothies and lattes. We helped my friend rebrand her new outfit. We found the best lighting for Instagram pictures. We played truth or truth on the way home. (A road trip at night is the best time for deep conversations.) But the best part? For the first time in ten days, I wasn’t sad about my new single relationship status.
#1 Moments are Just Moments
Maybe it was the California air that I’ve always found refreshing, despite all the dirt and pollution so thick you can see it hanging in front of you. Maybe it was the spontaneity. Or the change of scenery. Or the heat. Or maybe it was all the tiny disasters—the bee, the outfit malfunctions, getting lost twice. Despite all the moments where it seemed like nothing was going right, each of those disastrous moments passed and then the next ones always came to greet us.
A few bad things happened, but I realized nothing was really going wrong at all. “Going” implies that it was continuous and that wasn’t entirely true. The bee flew in but then it flew right out. We lost the car but then we found it. We got on the wrong exit but then we found the right one. Nothing was wrong for more than a moment. And a moment was just a moment and no longer.
#2 I Wasn’t by Myself
To me, the worst part about a breakup is feeling alone and feeling noticeably “single.” Like you used to be a part of something that you aren’t anymore. From always having someone to call on the way home to sitting in your car in silence. I used to be part of two and now I was just one. It was just me. Now I had to move through my life as a “single.”
But on that day, I wasn’t by myself. Every time I looked over someone was there. Every time I needed someone to talk to, someone was there. Every time I needed a boost of confidence, someone was there to hype up my selfies and tell me there were plenty of fish in the sea. I didn’t spend one moment alone and I didn’t feel like a “single.”
#3 I am Single
In the midst of all the togetherness, I reveled in my singularity at the same time. I could feel single without feeling alone. I realized I shouldn’t miss being part of two. I should be able to walk down the street with my head held high, secure and happy as just one. I was single and I should have been. That day I realized I should always feel single and I should always feel like one whole whether I’m in a relationship or not. I shouldn’t feel like I was missing anything.
My favorite guilty pleasure is Sex & the City. I love the love and I love the friendship. My favorite moment is in season four. At least one of the girls is caught in some type of romantic web, as per usual. They are gathered together, possibly over breakfast, venting and trying to help untangle each other. As they struggle through this web they naturally gravitate toward each other to get out of it. The women ask questions of themselves and each other about the spaces in their lives where they think their soulmates should be. Then Charlotte York, the Park Avenue princess, speaks up and says, “Maybe we can be each other’s soulmates.”
Sex & the City isn’t perfect. Like every product of popular culture, it has its faults. There are some things that the show gets very wrong. But there are other things that it gets right. I think about that scene all the time and I thought about it that night in the car. I was very aware that Los Angeles was fading behind us and I missed it already, but I was excited for the new moments waiting for us at home.
That day with my friends allowed me to let go of the moments I didn’t want to think about, but it also made me feel ready to face them again. I started to ask myself if maybe I should stop looking around me for a soulmate and look at what was already there. Maybe we could be each other’s soulmates. But either way, I knew I had to learn to be my own.
What is something you learned about yourself after a breakup? Tell us in the comments what makes you feel confident being single and what advice you might give to someone else!