Sometimes we’re in such a hurry to leave our single life behind that we forget to fully enjoy the time we have to ourselves. In order to fully invest in a partner, we need to have fully invested in our own selves. We need to feel happy, beautiful, confident, strong, loved, and self-reliant, all without the aid of a partner. You can’t truly know the meaning of love until you’ve loved yourself, and with that introduction out of the way, here’s some old world advice on the seven most important lessons to learn before tying the knot.
One is Truly a Great Number
Live in a one bedroom apartment by yourself for one year. Paint one of the walls red (or another bright color). Go to a movie on date night (Saturday), step up to the box office, and say, “One adult, please.” Make one giant snow angel in bed each night before going to sleep. Sing in the shower, eat the one last gingerbread cookie without asking, and treat yourself to something silly and expensive one time a year.
Love Comes From the Heart, Never the Eyes
Date as many interesting people as you can (even the ones you think aren’t your type). Ask that guy/girl out on a date that you’ve always had a crush on (you’ll always regret if you don’t, even though you might end up disappointed if you do). Embark on a speed dating adventure, post a compatibility profile with three dating websites, and agree to one blind date your friend swears is “the one” (your soulmate).
The Best Way to Experience Life is by Living it to the Fullest
Spin one of those old fashioned globes between your hands, tap your finger on two or three of your wildest dream destinations, and tell everyone you know you’re going there (some of them might ask to come along). Fly high in a hot air balloon ride, ride the rapids, and swim with the sharks (err, better make that the dolphins).
Embrace Old Friends While Making New Ones
Find a three day weekend, round up four friends, get a full tank of gas, set off down the most desolate road you can find and see where it takes you. Plan a wild girls’/guys’ night out. Volunteer at a homeless shelter, or take up one hobby you think you’ll hate (but pretend to like it).
Relish Being the Aunt or Uncle
Play with monster trucks, Barbie, and G. I. Joe. Laugh out loud when your brother’s/sister’s/best friend’s three-year-old dumps spaghetti all over your new white shirt (remember, you’re going home without them).
Draw Your Family Tree Before the Leaves Start to Fall
Take time to sit down and really talk to your Grandpa and/or Grandma. They have things to say; most you should really listen to! Search for your family’s roots. Find out your father’s nickname and who stole your great, great grandmother’s first kiss; your kids may ask one day.
Grab Your Career by the B***s Before it Grabs You by Yours
Tell your rude and unappreciative boss to stuff it (in a nice and polite way). Attend night classes. Achieve a Master’s/Ph.D. degree. Learn a foreign language, balance your checkbook without a computer, and always remember that every corporate/world leader puts their pants on one leg at a time (unless caught in bed with someone other than their spouse), so don’t be afraid to speak up when you need to!
What are your favorite ways to firmly establish your independence?