Aug 26, 2012

[Technicolor Musings] Staying Productive While Single

Being single can be pretty depressing when you're not careful. And given that I've been dealing with "The Single Life" for just over a month now, I've found that there are ways to mitigate things such that you don't end up being a useless ball of bawling emotions huddled in the corner of your bedroom.

Scary image, yes? Then let's avoid that now shall we?

And some might argue that some of my suggestions involve avoiding the emotional issues at the heart of your grief, to be realistic these are more things to do so that you don't get stuck alone in your room. Let's face it - silence is too easily filled by the echoes of our own thoughts, our many regrets from the time past and potentially a lot of really bad love songs that just make you feel worse. There has to be something better than that, right?

First things first - REVIEW YOUR LIFE GOALS. You know - the big dreams that you had in college that you may have abandoned or those things that once inspired you but seem to have gotten lost in the shuffle of things. It's hard to tell if you're getting anywhere until you figure out where you want to go. Write them down and figure out which ones are still feasible and which ones were clearly things you desired under the influence of alcohol or something exotic substance. And of course it goes without saying that you should then start working out how to achieve these goals.

Second - DON'T GIVE UP YOUR DAY JOB. And of course I'm rather metaphorical about this. Do your best to get back to work ASAP after a break-up. No, you will never be 100% emotionally okay but that's no excuse to stay home and wallow in your misery. Work can be a welcome distraction of sorts and it's a good venue for talking to people who can see your situation more objectively. Plus it pays the bills and keeps you fed and all that nonsense about human necessities.

Third - GET SERIOUS ABOUT A HOBBY. This may be something that you already do or something that you lost time for in the natural way that relationships do end up taking up more of your time. Maybe this is the time to take your photography to the next level by taking some classes. Perhaps you want to return to painting like back in high school. Or maybe you want to finally get started on your one big novel.

Fourth - SPEND MORE TIME WITH FAMILY. And this is especially true if you feel estranged from them because of your homosexuality. Family will always be important and I'm a big believer in keeping those channels of communication open. Just because you think you keep in touch enough doesn't mean you actually. And you know how parents are - you can never spend enough time with them. Life is short and all that jazz.

Fifth - GET ACTIVE IN THE COMMUNITY. A little social work can be good for you (and can be a great venue for meeting new people). This can mean helping out with little outreach projects in your local area or getting involved with some of the bigger cause-aligned groups for AIDS, LGBT rights or whatever is most important to you. Not only do you actually get to talk to people without the blaring music of a club forcing you to shout but you will feel a greater sense of fulfillment by helping others. And finding ways to feel better about yourself as a single man sounds like a pretty good idea to me.

And lastly - DON'T STOP MEETING PEOPLE. And for the record, I'm not talking about hooking up. You won't meet Mr. Right in your bedroom alone - it really helps to see people in the flesh no matter what social network or location app you use. But try not to go out alone too much either - it's a lot healthier for you to be with friends so that you can strengthen those all important social ties and you still put yourslf out there such that you increase your chances of bumping into great guys. That's just how the social scene works.

There is life outside your apartment my fellow single queers! So open the door and make it work!