Embracing the Single Life (Temporarily)
How to avoid being S.O.L. when your S.O. leaves town.
By Katie Sanchez, University of Texas at San Antonio
When you hang out with that special someone every single day, you become adjusted to their presence.
You look forward to spending time with them and always enjoy being around them—especially if that someone is your significant other (S.O.). They become a part of your daily routine, so when they’re gone and that routine breaks, everything feels strange.
I’m used to seeing my boyfriend every day, so when he left for his home state, I was thrown off. What didn’t help was that he would be gone for two weeks: One week dedicated to spending time with his father and stepmother, the other week on a cruise. He warned me that he would have limited service for a week as he ventured across oceans, which meant that we wouldn’t be able to talk as often as we’re used to. Right away I thought, “Wow. This isn’t going to be fun,” and I was right (to an extent).
At first, I was okay. I went about my not-so-normal daily routine without him: go to work, come home, make dinner, watch TV, play games and go to sleep.
After two days, I felt strange because it was like I was single again. I didn’t have a significant other to text, call or embrace. He wasn’t there to tell me good morning or wish me goodnight. The more I thought about how I was lacking my boyfriend, the more I realized that I missed him a lot, which made me sad.
But there wasn’t any reason to be sad. It’s not like we broke up or anything. He was off in some ocean relaxing and having fun, so why shouldn’t I be doing the same?
If your S.O. is going to be leaving you for a while, you need to still have fun. Yes, it’s okay to miss them, but your whole world shouldn’t stop just because they’re away.
Here’s a couple of things you can do to keep you occupied while you are bae-less.
1. Discover/Continue a Hobby
Have something that you’re passionate about but feel like you never have time for it? Well, now you have tons of time.
Hobbies are always a great way to pass time, because they allow you to exercise your passion and release your creative juices. Whether you’re painting, working out or fishing, hobbies not only extend your skills but also your fun time.
If you don’t have a hobby, discover one. Finding a hobby can be difficult if you do not know where to start, but you can always look at this list for inspiration. Hobbies range from indoor to outdoor, from creative to technical. Hopefully one will catch your eye that you can run with. After you discover one, travel to a hobby store that has the items you need for your new adventure. Don’t worry—if your new hobby doesn’t work out for you, at least you tried something new.
2. Hang Out with Your Friends
Remember, you still have your friends to laugh with until your stomach hurts, feel total joy and catch up with. As it is, being a college student puts a strain on time, so if you have a lover, your time is slimmed down even more because you need time to study, work (maybe), spend time with friends and bae. Since your S.O. is away, you have a bit more time to throw around.
Throw some of that time toward your friends.
Occupying yourself with people you get along with and care for is a great way to have fun. Plus, you’ll be so busy having the time of your life that you’ll forget about how much you miss your lover. Your friends are the kind of people you can rely on to make you laugh until your stomach hurts, and those positive vibes are exactly what you need. It doesn’t matter if you go to an amusement park, get frozen yogurt or play games at your place, as long as you have your buddies, everything will be so much better.
3. Watch TV Shows Your Bae Hates
My boyfriend got me into the habit of watching TV while eating dinner, so after I finished cooking my supper, I realized that the TV wasn’t on. Of course it wouldn’t be; my SO wasn’t there. As I took the remote in my hand, I felt the way Harry Potter did as his wand chose him—in awe. I was in control. I had the power to watch whichever show I wanted.
I couldn’t be happier.
I was shouting my comments at the TV without hesitation and flicking the channels between HGTV and TLC with no care.
My TV freedom was amazing because I was able to indulge in the shows that I enjoyed. I didn’t have to watch programs that I thought were stupid and pointless. (Sorry, love, but some of the shows you watch are kind of strange.)
While your S.O. is away, you should take control of your television freedom. Whether that be via Netflix, Hulu or cable, watch that show your lover isn’t too fond of. Binge watch until your eyes feel heavy or until you fall asleep. You need your personal TV time.
4. Write Letters to Your S.O.
Afraid that you’re not going to remember what you did while your S.O. is away? Write about your days in a letter to them. As the days go on, you’ll accumulate a couple of letters, so when bae comes back, you’ll be able to give them the letters and they’ll read about your journey while they were away. If your lover is gone for a long period of time, you can send your letter to them instead.
If you’re feeling crafty, you can use different kinds of paper, put stickers, draw etc. to make the letter extra personalized. Either way, your words will be greatly appreciated.
5. Play a New Game
A few days before my boyfriend left, I bought a game called “Stardew Valley” because it was similar to Harvest Moon, a game that I loved as a teen. After bae and I parted ways, I was sucked into my computer screen. I focused on attaining achievements in the game: completing bundles, making my farm flourish and getting married. Quite honestly, I didn’t really focus on anything else except the game for the duration of his absence. My eyes were glued to the screen, fingers constantly pushing w, a, s and d on my keyboard, mouse making constant clicking sounds.
Before your lover leaves, find yourself a new game. If the game is a good one, I guarantee that you’ll be so busy with it that you’ll forget about everything. Plus, most games are one-player anyway, so you don’t have to worry about finding someone to play with. However, if you find a multiplayer game, you can always call your friends over for game night. Most games have an online option though, so even if you don’t know who to contact, you can always make friends online.
No matter how you play, indulge in the graphics. Allow yourself to be immersed in the game. Leave life behind for a little while.
6. Read a Book
Similar to games, books are a great way to escape reality. Each page turn brings about new ideas and new journeys. Books allow you to go everywhere without going anywhere, which is great because you can cuddle up in a blanket, have your favorite hot beverage and relax. You’re able to wind down and enjoy the world that your author created for your entertainment. When you read a book, all you can focus on are the words on the page. Even after you put it down, you’ll constantly be wondering what will happen next, thus adding onto the distraction from your lover.
Life continues as you’re away from your beloved. You don’t have to stop everything and mope around missing them; you need to have fun. Do things you haven’t tried before or revisit an old hobby. Spend time with people you care about. Even though being away from your companion can suck, you still have a life waiting to be lived, so live it. Besides, distance makes the heart grow fonder.