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12 Things I Secretly Love About Being (Legally) Single at 31

By boys, financial wisdom, lifestyle, lists, ruling at life 6 Comments

20110224_152
{the ring I bought myself in St. Maarten when I just the teeniest bit jealous of all my engaged friends}

In honor of today’s date (12/12/12), my friend Nicole asked me (and every other blogger on the planet) to write a 12-themed post for her link-up party. I knew I wanted to write a list, but I’ve been struggling to come up with an original topic all week. I was even on the fence about this one until I checked in with the boyfriend to make sure he wouldn’t be offended.

I say “legally” single because I’ve been dating my boyfriend for almost five years, so I’m not really that single; I’m just not married. Also, this is not meant to be an anti-marriage post or offend any of my married friends. Being married has its pros and cons, and so does being unmarried. You’re only getting one side of one story here — 12 of my personal favorite things about being (legally) single.

When I was in college, all I wanted to do was graduate and get married. When I think about it now, I’m nothing but grateful for the last 10 years and the fact that I haven’t gotten married yet. Here’s why.

1. I’m the only one with access to my bank accounts. For the last six years, I’ve been exceptionally proud of my money management skills. I’ve got several retirement accounts, an HSA, two savings accounts, both a personal and a business checking account, and a few credit cards. I balance my accounts every two weeks after I get paid, and I know exactly what my financial situation is at all times. While I’m responsible for exercising some self-discipline in order to maintain financial order in my life, I also don’t have to justify my spending to anyone else. I can spend or save my hard-earned money however I choose, and I take great pride in knowing that as of this moment, I can support myself financially pretty much indefinitely. It also makes it easy to do my own taxes every year.

2. I still have my own room. You know how some people go back to their parents’ house and get to sleep in their old bedrooms? I don’t really experience that anymore, partly because my parents have moved a few times since I left, but mainly because, while it’s been relocated a few times and evolved into a more grown-up version, I still have my old room, and yes, it is still decorated in Hawaiian print. Also, there are no one else’s clothes in my closet — just mine. It’s all mine. =)

3. I spend plenty of time alone. Anyone who knew me ten years ago can attest to the fact that I hated being alone. I pretty much attribute every anxiety attack I had between the ages of 10 and 23 to being alone. And I don’t mean being single. I just mean being literally alone, by myself, with no one to talk to. Luckily, over the years, I’ve learned to really enjoy spending time alone — so much so, that I spend at least a few nights a week at my own house, doing my own thing, sleeping alone in my own bed. I value time with myself just as much as the time I spend with anyone else, and I’m glad I’ve had the chance to figure that out.

4. I can still plan my future wedding in my head. I don’t do it obsessively like some girls, but I’ve been known to occasionally save a photo of a pretty dress or party favor. I’ve been saving a magazine with a picture of a cake in it since, I don’t know, like 2002. The fact that I’d choose the same cake now as I would have 10 years ago is actually kind of awesome.

5. I’m free to do pretty much whatever I want without asking permission or checking in. If a few of my co-workers ask me if I want to have dinner or go to a movie after work, and I don’t already have plans, the answer is yes. I don’t need to ask anyone else. Being married (or even just living with your significant other) means you’re expected to be there, so checking in or asking first is  a considerate thing to do. Since J and I don’t live together, I never have to do that unless I’m making a change to plans we already have. Most of the time, we do let each other know what we’re up to, but it’s never expected, and it’s always appreciated.

6. My friends and family rarely pressure me about having babies…mainly because they’re still busy trying to figure out when I’m going to actually get married. (Except for Kristy. She doesn’t care. She just wants me to have babies.)

7. Some of my best friends over the last 10 years have been guys. Granted, I don’t have many close guy friends in my life anymore — most of them moved away, some got married, etc. — but I’m thankful for the time we were friends and that I had the chance to meet them. If I had gotten married years ago, that probably wouldn’t have happened.

8. Some of my best friends over the last 10 years have been roommates. Again, some are still close friends, and some aren’t, but the fact of the matter is that I probably wouldn’t have even met any of those roommates if it weren’t for the fact that I wasn’t married and I did need someone to live with. I still have a roommate now, and J and I both consider him a close friend. =)

9. No one else is depending on me financially. Technically, I could quit my job and go wait tables without even asking anyone’s opinion. I’m 99.99 percent certain I’m not going to do that, but some days it’s just nice to know I could. 😉

10. My boyfriend and I are still “dating.” You know what that means? We regularly go out to nice dinners, movies, etc. It’s never assumed that we’re going to just hang out at one of our houses and do nothing all the time, and we never get sick of spending time together — probably because we spend plenty of time apart, too. That’s not to say we’re not serious about each other. We live within walking distance of each other; we have a dog; and we share a Costco membership.

11. I’m not obligated to spend time with anyone’s family but my own. That’s not to say I don’t love hanging out with J’s family — I certainly do! But I hang out with them because I want to, and no one ever makes me feel guilty if I have other plans. Neither one of us has to worry about how to split our time for the holidays because it’s pretty much a given that I’m going to go see my family for Christmas, and J is going to stay here with his. We’ve been rotating Thanksgivings, but again…that’s because we both want to, and not because either one of us feels like we have to.

12. It’s a total coincidence that my boyfriend and I have matching cookware. It has nothing to do with a wedding registry, and we don’t live together. We’ve just happened to have matching cookware since before we met. I feel like I just kind of have a strange appreciation for that fact that I wouldn’t have under other circumstances.

Thoughts? J seemed to think this post would be controversial. Like I said, these are just my own personal favorite things about not being married. That doesn’t mean I don’t plan to get married some day or that there aren’t things I dislike about not being married. It just means I’m completely happy with my life the way it is now, and I’m in no rush to make any major changes.

I’d love to know…are you single? Married? What are your favorite things about whichever one applies to you?

My Valentine’s Day

By boys, don't waste the pretty, fashion statements, holiday fun, shopping, tv One Comment

BHLDN

My friend Michelle brought in a box full of obnoxiously delicious pink and red cupcakes today for Valentine’s Day. I had one for breakfast (justifying it by stating that a cupcake is an infinitely more healthy breakfast option than leftover cheesecake).

After my cupcake, I spent a few minutes perusing BHLDN, the new Anthropologie wedding line. If I had a million dollars, I would buy one of everything just to twirl around in it. It’s a good thing I’m not engaged right now because I’d be having some serious self-control issues – right up there with what happens when they put that bowl of chips and salsa in front of me at Mexican restaurants. Since I’m not currently planning a wedding, my top three favorites on the BHLDN website today were the Gin Fizz Shift, the Bow-Topped Slingbacks in Saffron, and the Entwined Belt. Well the rope belt actually came off the top three when I realized it was $262. Unless you can convince me it’s made of rope from the Titanic, I’m pretty much not paying $262 for a belt.

After I was done perusing the BHLDN site, I got a little work done. Then, because Valentine’s Day is a holiday, and I felt like celebrating, I had leftover cheesecake as a mid-morning snack. I had this conversation in my head:

“Are you eating cheesecake?”

“Yup.”

“But I thought you just ate a cupcake?”

“Oh yeah.”

My one saving grace was that the plan for this evening was to use my Groupon for a half-off slimming body wrap at Letoile Day Spa in Norfolk. (That’s half off the price, not half off my body weight, apparently.) Tina and I drove out to Norfolk after work, and after we sat through the same left turn arrow for like…eight light changes, we finally made it to the spa. We then proceeded to get rubbed down with “herbal gel” (Icy Hot) and mummified in plastic wrap and cheesecloth. Then we had to get in these space-capsule-looking things and heated up to 87 degrees. Baking in there was fine for the first 32 minutes, but the last eight were pretty brutal (and sweaty).

Anyway, after that, I picked up a romantic dinner of Firehouse Subs for J and I. We actually had our Valentine’s Day dinner last night at Il Giardino. J ordered me a tripod for my new camera for Valentine’s Day, and he also surprised me with a dozen roses. It was sweet. =)

Now we’re going to do our normal Monday night thing — watch Chuck. =)

And that was my day. Oh, and I still want those yellow shoes. A lot.

Images courtesy of BHLDN.

This crazy trip has got me feelin’: loved
And I’m singin’ along to: Short Skirt Long Jacket – Cake

NamASSte

By boys, extreme sports, hazards to my well-being, not ruling at life 4 Comments

Seeing as that I have a warped perception of reality, and I’m now paranoid that “everyone” in the whole world thinks I’m passionate about the fact that “true leaders” should make “unpopular decisions” to “protect the public’s safety,” I decided to go to hot yoga tonight. (Actually, I don’t care about any of that stuff — I’m more worried that I won’t be able to find a new roommate by February 1.)

Anyway, hot yoga is super-relaxing in a very sweaty, dizzying, you-can’t-summon-the-strength-to-bother-thinking-about-your-problems kind of way. Plus, they’re always playing such worldly music in there — it’s kind of a cultural experience.

So, yeah. I went to hot yoga because I needed to decompress after a long week of playing catch-up and also slipping and nearly falling on my face in Wal-Mart today (for no reason). The class was really crowded, so my friend T and I ended up in the back corner, right up against the wall, which I thought was a great spot… Until ass-crack dude sat down in front of me.

WTF? How do you roll into yoga in white board shorts? This dude is just sitting on his yoga mat, three feet in front of our faces, with the worst plumber’s crack I have ever seen. I seriously thought I wasn’t going to be able to stop laughing. I had to literally close my eyes every time I was supposed to look forward, so that I wasn’t staring straight into this dude’s butt.

The best part? He was wearing a U.S. Navy t-shirt. Way to represent the military, dude. You are too cool.

To top it off, he was there with his girlfriend, whose ass crack also started showing halfway through the class. OMG ASS CRACKS. It was ridiculous. And pretty gross.

This crazy trip has got me feelin’: silly
And I’m singin’ along to:: Rain King – Counting Crows