After a year and a half of being betrothed to a beard, I have found myself in the single seat.

And I have no idea what I am doing.

There’s just way too much to think about.

All of a sudden I have to make sure I don’t get too drunk on a Friday because there is no one there to throw a jacket over my shoulders and chaperone me to my bed whilst singing songs from Frozen en route – except for my girls of course – but they’re normally ten gins down with me. I now have no excuses for putting on a few extra pounds because there is nobody overfeeding me Maltesers on the sofa anymore. I have to think about how I am dancing at parties, make sure that I look decent enough for public consumption more than just 50% of the time and I have to re-learn how to make sexy (but never starey) eye-contact with strangers because one wrong move apparently and you can end up giving your number to someone who – let’s face it – isn’t even halfway up your street.

It’s safe to say I am out of my depth. It’s also safe to say I am not alone in this.

I was talking to a guy at a house party on Saturday about the fact that he has found himself newly single for the first time in ten years. It has been 18 months for me and I’ve lost all control of my hands and – apparently – tongue, so imagine how he feels? He said a hot girl asked his name the other night and he shouted back, “I have a girlfriend!” and ran away. I could tell he was struggling with being a suave single male addicted to retail when he began performing show tunes (solo) all the way until 6am with a deranged look in his eye. Luckily for him he’s very good looking and I’m fairly certain he’ll grow out of it, otherwise I’d have told him to give up and find a cave to reside in with Lloyd-Webber for the rest of his life.

But back to me and my own incompetencies.

Adjusting to being single isn’t solely about struggling with being back in the dating game. It’s about watching a lot more Netflix and eating fewer takeaways. It’s about having a lack of warm jumpers to wear around the house, turning down plus ones to weddings and not having to compromise, which, I guess, is what your twenties were made for. But it is hard, no matter what Queen B says.

Although this newfound single status has been thrust upon me unwillingly, there is nothing to do except for enjoy it for what it is: a whole lot of me time. Of course, realising that the break up is a good thing will have to be scheduled between tears and regretful emails (no I’m not overly formal, I’ve just deleted his number), but it will happen. I just need to keep reminding myself that being able to put on a face mask of an evening trumps a spoon and some cake in bed. And let’s be honest, nothing beats a cuddle and some chocolate gateau, so this might take a while.

Basically, I’m single. And it’s a bit weird. And a bit sad. On the plus side however, it will probably make for some excellent writing material.

I will inevitably keep you posted on what I’ve been up to.

Wish me luck!

The Tinder

10da350b6b975ba752a0692ad0106e3dThere’s nothing more entertaining than sitting on a tube, bleary eyed of a Monday morning, when you catch eyes with a handsome stranger. You both double take and wonder: “Where do I know him from?”

Then you realise: It’s Tinder. Fucking Tinder. And then you slowly sink behind your paper for the rest of the ride.

I was first introduced to this wonderful little app back in August. I sat in a pub in Brixton, “tindering”, for well over an hour with two of my best mates doing the exact same thing either side of me. We debated whether or not it was a superficial exercise, whether it was an effective means of meeting normal people in this city and whether we were sad for finding it so unbelievably satisfying. We came to no real conclusions except for the fact that it was probably in some way a win for feminism in order to make our day seem a little less of a waste of time.

Tinder, I believe, is what you make of it. Most of my single (and some not-so-single) friends are on it for an array of different reasons: to find love, lust, a lunch date, and, quite simply, an ego boost.

I, personally, took great pleasure in winding people up on it. I’ve claimed to be stuck in a burning building, have told innocent males that I work at the McDonald’s drive-thru in Wandsworth and that they should stop by for a cheeseburger, that I’m actually a man and that I hoped they’d be cool with my prosthetic leg. I have to say, the responses were marvellous. My favourite message to date was from a man who was looking for a third person to join him and his wife; I politely declined and told them I hoped they’d find what they were looking for. I’m sure they probably did; as I say, Tinder is what you make of it.

I’m pretty sure I’ve babbled on before about how I completely disagree with online dating and how nobody in this city talks any more, right? Well I am about to completely contradict myself and explain why this phenomenon is a little different: you don’t waste time labouring over a dating profile explaining why you are ‘The Ultimate Human’, you get cute prompts in your inbox to get chatty with your match, you can see your mutual friends prior to the date and act like you had “no idea they knew Kempie”.

The array of both love and horror stories that you hear will warm your heart and make any tinderer tap in just one. more. time.

If you need more persuading, look to your Tinder champion. Everybody knows one. Mine is free from inhibitions, in all aspects of her life, striding fearlessly into the arms of men she has met online. Some dates go well and end up with them writing songs about her, others, let’s just say, do not (although I think that has more to do with the fact that she’s been caught taking photographs of them like a perverted Tinder pap). She has, however, encouraged even the most unlikely of humans to download it.

And that’s how I ended up on a Tinder date.

I arrived an hour and a half late. He had already begun to head home as a result. I had two (surprisingly strong) gin and tonics prior to meeting him and was finding it hard to walk. I was wearing ballet flats; he turned out to be just as tall as he said he was. All in all it was a recipe for a complete disaster.

As I sat on the tube to London Bridge, I thought: “What on earth am I going to do if he thinks I’m less fit than I am in my pictures?” and “What if he thinks I’m boring?”, “What if it’s cringe, awkward, or I can’t escape if I want to?”, “What if I fall over, drop my drink or get spinach in my teeth?” (We weren’t even going for dinner. And I don’t like spinach).

Three months later and he’s left for work while I write in his kitchen.

I met my match and haven’t looked back since.

Give it a go. If it goes badly just say I told you to do it.


The Single Life

Having been involved with someone or other since the age of sixteen, I used to forget what it meant to be single. Now that I am truly riding solo for once, I remember exactly what it means; you can start thinking about yourself.

When you’re in a relationship, you’re forever envying your single friends who are going out and playing the field. But why? You think they’re out partying all the time and having fun. In reality, they’re envying you for having someone to watch a film and order a take-away with whilst they’re doing the leg work to find their Mr (or Mrs) right. I guess the old adage ‘The grass is always greener’ is rather apt in regards to Pat Benatar’s battlefield of love.

However, there are undoubtedly both positives and negatives in regards to both relationship statuses. As a singleton, you can pick your nose, wear a face mask at night and commit all those other little ‘single sins’ that you love but can’t execute when someone’s sleeping in your bed every nightBut then again, as an attachedton you get someone to create bad habits with that only you two on cloud cupid find cute, like eating ice cream in bed or squeezing each other’s spots. Both of which are incredibly satisfying (apparently).

However, it has to be said that being both single and attached have one thing in common; loneliness. When you’re single, unless you have a little someone to text or think about, it is fundamentally really quite boring. And when you’re attached, it becomes impossible not to lose touch a little with your friends, making the single person inside you very lonely indeed. It’s normally the realisation that you’ve lost all communication with the outside world that makes you feel as if you might like to be alone again, because as either man or woman, you feel as if you’re able to ‘do what you want’ when you’re single. But is this really the case? And what do you actually want to do when you’re single? Yes, you can kiss lots of different people and date which is rather exciting I suppose, but when you’re in a relationship, you’re guaranteed all of those things anyway, plus the sex is always far more satisfying. And you know where you stand.

I must say however, I do feel rather liberated when I’m single (with the help of Beyoncé of course), but I’m not sure how long that will actually last.

One thing I am enjoying though is being able to wear truly enormous pants.