Margarita Confessionals: Make a non-awkward adjustment back to single life

It’s Margarita Monday! (Ok, TUESDAY this week.) Each week, we’ll be publishing a story about dating by Lauren Levine and/or Ali Washburn to go along with the latest episode of “The Margarita Confessionals,” a podcast for the jaded dater. You can find it on Soundcloud or iTunes.

Making the adjustment back to single life after a relationship ends can feel daunting. There’s a learning curve involved in dating, and Ali and I have definitely made our fair share of mistakes when we were newly single. If you’re back on the market, let us save you some of the awkward moments we had to trial and error our way through as we offer you some key pieces of advice we wish we had known when we first became single:

Fill up your schedule

Though you may not have your standing Friday night date night anymore, you can find other ways to create a life you love when you’re flying solo. Don’t wait for a friend to ask you to hang out; extend an invitation for a coffee/drinks date. Join a meetup group. Give a yoga class a shot. Be okay with spending time alone. Eventually you’ll find that the single life you’ve cultivated for yourself feels pretty great too.

Don’t be afraid to date

Don’t let nerves keep you from putting yourself out there. Maintain reasonable expectations and be safe, but give dating a shot. Instead of worrying about whether everyone you meet is “The One,” focus on just getting used to meeting new people again.

Learn to somewhat manage bug-killing

One mega perk of being in a relationship is that when you see that a large insect has infiltrated your living space, you have someone on speed dial who is sort of expected to come to your aid. When you’re single, you’re a one-person extermination team. At first, this seems unmanageable, but over time you’ll discover that you’ve become a stone-cold bug killer.

I used to scream and cry at the sight of the smallest spider. The other night there was a centipede with eleventy billion legs in my shower and I just turned the hot water on full blast and stared stony faced and silent as I drowned the thing. I hardly recognized myself, but in a good way.

Be open minded about who you go out with

Having a few expectations in mind about what matters to you in a partner is great, but don’t get too hyper-specific. You might eliminate someone who’s perfect for you based on things that don’t actually matter.

Don’t be ashamed about trying online dating

Though the stigma about online dating is basically gone, some people will still judge your swipe game. Don’t worry about what Aunt Judy or your BFF who’s been in a relationship since freshman year thinks about your preferred method of meeting people. Do what works for you.

Don’t put yourself on a timetable

It’s easy to say “I need to find someone new in x amount of time.” In reality, you have little to no control over whether this will actually happen, so you’re creating a lot of pressure for no reason. Don’t let getting into a new relationship become your sole mission. Do things you enjoy with people you enjoy being around and let the rest fall into place.

Photo: Courtney Schramm