Why Every Twenty Something Needs to Watch How to Be Single

It's currently 8:56pm on a Sunday night. I'm writing this as I lay in bed watching one of the rare episodes of Law and Order SVU that I haven't seen before. Lately all I do is sit in bed or on the floor, anywhere but the white leather couch I was once so excited to purchase. It's the same couch that solidified this apartment becoming my new home, the same couch my then boyfriend and I spent our nights watching TV on, and the same couch that for weeks I scrubbed to rid of the the stain he left behind the night he dropped spaghetti all over the place.

My day today was spent like most, starting and quitting projects to stay busy until eventually I had to head to Chinatown to catch a movie with a girl I'd never met. In an effort to make more friends in this lonely city I joined Meet Up last October but just recently started actively using the site. (More on this later.)

Related Post: 20 Honest Reasons Why It's Sometimes Better to Be Single

The past few weeks have been difficult, with my mind being a rollercoaster of emotions regarding my new status in this city. Single and alone, with no boyfriend to get brunch with and no friends to call on when I need some social support. So today I watched a movie with a stranger, because just for those two hours I could stop thinking about the fact that the boy I loved has found someone new to sit on the couch with, just weeks after he stood on the same corner I exited my Uber today and told me that he no longer loved me, that I bored him.

Entering the theatre my expectations for the film were low. While I knew it would make me laugh I didn't imagine it would impact me the way it did. Exiting the theatre and sitting here now I have a slightly more optimistic view of my current situation, having done nothing more than forking over twelve dollars to watch a movie about a girl trying to find herself. These are the reasons you too need to see it.

Alice, the main character, is average. 

I can hear what you're thinking, why would this be a good thing? Lemme tell you. Every leading lady in films always has something we envy, whether it be an amazing apartment we could never afford or long hair the rest of us could never grow. Alice on the other hand has an average haircut, average looks, and an average job. Nothing about her makes her out of the ordinary which is refreshing in a sea of perfect yet unrealistic leading ladies.

Don't settle for anything less than what you want. 

Lucy is a character in the film who you instantly hate. Her algorithm to find love and need to fall in love and be married is off-putting, maybe because we are all secretly Lucy in the privacy of our thoughts. While all of us may not be looking at wedding gowns before we enter an actual relationship, there's something to be said about a woman who knows what she wants and is willing to sort through a ton of possibilities until she meets the right one.

We are all guilty of falling into the 'dick sand.'

If you've seen the movie, you understand what this term means, if not, I'll give you a brief explanation without spoiling anything. Dick sand is something you fall into and cannot escape (like quicksand) except it applies exclusively to men. If you've ever gotten a hint of attention or praise from a male and suddenly dropped all your priorities, whether they be a paper that's due or love for browsing used book stores on the weekend. We all have given more than we've received at least once, even for the guys who continually give the bare minimum. Don't give up yourself for the idea of who you could be with someone else.

Related Post: 100 Things to Do Instead of Calling Your Ex-Boyfriend

Being single is a choice, not a sentence. 

So many twenty somethings are stuck in an endless cycle of jumping from serious relationship to serious relationship, spending the time in between feeling as if being single is a punishment. Alice's sister, Meg, is a great example of not giving in to this idea. While everyone around her sees her single status and commitment to her career as something to pity, she is content with her choices and is completely in control of her life course. What so many of us don't realize is that being single is 100% up to us, because I guarantee every single one of you reading this could enter any bar/restaurant/gym and walk out with a date. So let's remember how much power we have over our circumstance.

You have to love yourself first. 

Everyone says this, but they say it because it's true. Alice's entire purpose in this film is to discover who she truly is, and it's not until she understand her own wants and needs that she fully starts to enjoy the everyday things we often overlook. I'm not preaching you need to spend years finding yourself, but being comfortable being and doing things on your own is important before committing to being and doing things with someone else exclusively.

You can be surrounded by people and still feel utterly alone. 

Coming from someone who lives in a major city with crowded subways, sidewalks and stores, this could not be any more true. Doing simple things like running to the grocery store or grabbing a coffee can feel so isolating when single, especially when every couple seems to jump out at you. Try to not let the loneliness get to you though. Enjoy the fact you can browse the aisles for as long as you please and visit the coffee shop that's your personal favorite.

Stop talking yourself out of things. 

As someone who is recently out of relationship, I am definitely guilty of this. My weekends often start with high hopes of everything that I will see and do. Then somewhere along the way I convince myself that it probably won't be that great anyways, or worse, it will be weird if I go alone. Instead of convincing yourself of all the reasons you cant or shouldn't, stop those thoughts and take a step towards accomplishing whatever you want to do, however big or small it may be.

Related Post: Lies People Tell You About Being in Your Twenties

Don't waste a moment. 

The film took on the theme that our twenties are a time to experiment, take risks and live each moment to the fullest. While this is great in theory, when you have to be up for work at 8am it can be difficult to treat every day like it's Friday. And to be perfectly honest, most Fridays I'm too exhausted from my week to entertain the idea of going out. Instead, I think we as twenty somethings shouldn't spend a second doing anything that doesn't make us happy. Hate going out? Then don't. Rather not spend your Sundays watching the game with your friends? Get up and go do something else. Instead of making sacrifices to go along with the group or please the person you're with, step back and ask yourself how you rather spend your time.

There's no shame in your relationship status. 

Many of us are guilty of feeling bad for that one friend who is single, but why? When did being single become something to pity, something that we all want to steadily avoid? For a generation that boasts about loving the experience of dating casually and not having to settle down early, we are very defensive when it comes to explaining our choice to be alone. Don't feel bad about being single, it's a relationship status not a medical condition.

Do more for yourself, not others. 

I have a bad habit of only buying cute underwear and attractive clothing when I'm in a relationship. Why do I do this? Because in my mind I have someone to dress up for. A few weeks ago I began to talk myself out of buying a bralette because I figured there would be no one to see it. Then I snapped out of it and remembered I was enough, so I bought the damn thing. In two colors! If you want brunch, go eat it. Who gives a fuck if the restaurant was where you always went with your ex. See a cute bra you like? Buy it and check yourself out every time you pass a mirror. Don't fall for the idea that it's selfish to put yourself first, because it's not, so make yourself your priority.

Have you seen How to Be Single?? What were your thoughts on the film, and if not, what's something you let hold you back due to your relationship status, single or taken!


  1. I really want to see this movie, it looks so funny! I can definitely see the message of girl power coming through and putting yourself first! It sounds like this came at a great time since things have been a little tough for you lately :/ hang in there, you deserve nothing but the best!


  2. So much yes! I love this movie so much, and I've loved reading blog posts about it. These are all such great take-aways. I love that Alice was someone who is actually relatable to so many 20-somethings. She's not overly gorgeous or successful. She's where so many 20-somethings actually are in their lives right now. There's just so much to love about this movie.

  3. I've really been wanting to see the movie because it looks hilarious! But these are also some really great lessons!

  4. I think everybody should be single for a while during twenties. But true is that now, when I am 24, I do not mind I am single and I had to realize that I am still young for marriage and so on. That there should be some time in my life when I have to be alone and study abroad for a while and do not be "afraid" of marriage and so on. I have broken 5 months ago and I have to admit, even If I miss him sometimes, that this is the right time for my single life.

  5. I agree! we should do more for ourselves. I went through a break up at new years. I bought all kinds of pretty stuff fro myself. I bought cute undies too. There is no greater pleasure than pampering yourself. <3