Updated: Mar 7, 2019

Advice to help singles kill the single-game

It’s late, and the wards of your expectations are so low anybody can just prance in. In fact, anybody is better than nobody. On good nights, you “match,” on ‘meh’ nights, you don’t. But on the worst nights, you run out of swipes. If this seems familiar, then I’m talking to you.

I’m not sure at what point being single became a curse, but it seems that the thought alone is scary enough to make most of us reach for our phones and mindlessly scroll through that dating app. Eventually, though, it gets stale and we’re left with the reminder that we’re still single. As if that were a bad thing!


Listen, I’m not denying that it’s nice to have someone you can call bae, but being single can be a great time for self-discovery and growth. It’s not about being in denial, but rather being intentional and appreciating the moment you’re in.


After consulting with some of my closest friends and asking them what – if anything– they would tell their single selves, I’ve narrowed it down to six tips to help single people kill the single game. And look! They’re framed in a cute little acronym for easy memory retention.


You’re welcome.


1. S.ELF-LOVE

We hear this one so often it seems like the words have lost their meaning, but it’s probably the most important tip. It’s about loving the parts of you that you feel are the most unlovable. Self-love includes being kind to yourself and accepting things you can’t control. It means recognizing that if you’re not all about that bass, treble’s also where it’s at. It means forgiving yourself if some of the choices you make don’t go the way you thought. IG sesh on the ex’s page? Guess who’s not single anymore! Cool, next time we’ll be listening to “thank u, next” as we scroll to give us some perspective.


For those seeking to be in a relationship, self-love is also protecting yourself from toxic situations and people. So goes the saying, “We accept the love we think we deserve.” How much love do you think you deserve?


2. I.NDEPENDENCE

A close friend of mine laughs at me when I say, “I does what I wants, when I wants, how I wants and with whom I wants.” Yes, this includes my grammar choices. I mean, it sounds comical when you say it like that, but the message is pretty clear.

Part of being independent is not only about having a job, paying your bills and owning things. While those things can give you a taste of independence, they don’t make up the entire picture. Independence also means having a sense of agency. It’s about what you do, just as much as what you don’t do. The whole point is that you make the choice that best suits you, not everyone else. Do not forfeit your independence.


3. N.EEDS

Take care of your needs. In this case, needs are all the things that are essential to your state of mind, emotional well-being and overall general attitude.

You know what those things are for you. For me, it’s having my alone time. As an introvert, it’s extremely important for me to have those moments where I can get away from the noise and disappear for a couple of hours. Alone.


With that being said, taking care of your needs is about putting yourself first. That means, making plans around your schedule. So if that means you just might be watching that movie alone, that’s OK. It’s astounding how many experiences we cheat ourselves out of just because we’re scared or embarrassed to do them alone.


Put yourself in charge and stop putting your happiness in someone else’s hands when yours will do. Go to that movie, go get that mani-pedi and treat yourself to lunch or dinner, because if you can’t stand your own company, why would anyone else?


4. G.OOD HABITS

Create healthy habits. By now, we should all know this is not just about going to the gym. Your physical health is extremely important, but there are many ways to create healthy habits outside of the gym. Creating good habits like getting enough sleep at night and being intentional not only about what, but why, how and when you eat. Just as important, your mental health. Take those moments to catch up with yourself and check in. If you need help, ask.


5. L.AUNDRY

Don’t do anyone’s laundry unless you’re in a committed relationship. Why is this relevant in an article for singles? Well, you’re not going to be single forever -- unless of course, you want to be.


Now, laundry can be a lot of things. For some, it might literally mean washing clothes. The problem with that is that laundry is just the gateway chore. Sometimes, in an effort to prove that we’re relationship material, we get caught up doing things that make someone else’s life easier but makes ours harder. And I don’t mean cooking for your boo on date night or occasionally buying a gift for them. I mean taking on responsibilities that aren’t yours to take. Before you know it, you’re the one doing their homework, walking their dog and settling debts with their friends.


Don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe love is a transactional thing. But, if you’re treating them like a whole spouse or partner and they’re acting like a friend or worse, that’s something to consider. At that rate, you’re only going to exhaust yourself and be left footing the bill every time. And why buy the cow when you can continue to get the milk for free, right?


My friend Deney says a relationship is not supposed to be a 50/50 effort. It’s a 100/100 effort. You’re not half a person, you’re a whole person. “When we do get into a relationship, [they] can bring that other 100 percent, and we’ll build together.


This can apply to anyone regardless of relationship status or gender (which isn’t even real, but that’s another conversation). Take this advice or don’t, but if it resonates, it might just be for you.


6. E.DUCATION

Educate yourself! Education does not solely come from school. Some of the most intelligent people I know do not have a degree but are extremely well-versed in an array of topics, ranging from creative pursuits to analytical research. You’d be surprised how much you could learn from developing different interests.


To that point, it is a mistake to limit autodidactism or self-education to creative ventures. Some of the most renowned scientists, historians, educators and contemporary geniuses were in some way self-taught, many of which have made prolific contributions to modern life as we know it.


Among them are electrical engineer and inventor Nikola Tesla, abolitionist and public speaker Frederick Douglass, writer Mark Twain, scientist Benjamin Banneker and more recently software engineer Brittany Ball.


Among the creatives are guitarist and singer-songwriter Jimi Hendrix, guitarist and lead singer of Nirvana Kurt Cobain, rapper Nas, “Atlanta” actor Lakeith Stanfield, composer Hanz Zimmer, director Steven Spielberg and filmmaker Ava Duvernay, just to name a few.

OK, so you’re not an electrical engineer, a musician or a film star. But maybe you like hair and can’t afford to go to beauty school. YouTube is one platform that has no shortage of tutorial videos on virtually any topic you want to find.


Spend some time cultivating your interests and finding low-cost mediums that can help you reach your educational goals.


Being single doesn’t define you. It’s what you choose to do with that time that does. You can choose to invest in yourself or not, but at the end of the day thoughts become actions; actions become habits; habits shape character and character marks your legacy.


So, we making moves or nah?