I mean, there's enough "secret to a successful marriage" articles, right? Anyway, here's a thing that's true: People usually put more effort into day-to-day life stuff when they do it with a partner. That is: you're more likely to cook proper meals and try out new recipes, rather than eating some equivalent of Bachelor Chow or like, picking things out of the cupboard and fridge until you've technically eaten enough to call it dinner. You probably keep your room/house a bit cleaner because it's affecting someone else. You're more likely to say "let's go out for coffee" instead of making one at home and drinking it black, which you hate, because you forgot you'd run out of milk.
So I reckon successful spinsterhood is when you do all those things for yourself: when you maintain the standard of slightly upgraded effort and specialness in daily life that you would normally only be motivated to do with someone else. (I think single parents are the same, they put in the effort to make proper meals and go to the park for the sake of their kid, when they probably wouldn't bother just for themself.) I don't think it's about a lack of respect for self, by the way, it's more that the effort to outcome ratio doesn't seem worth it when it's only benefiting one person, but does when it's benefiting two.
Those things are going to be different for everyone: having fresh flowers in the house? lighting candles? you know the gap I'm talking about though. That gap is the secret to successful spinsterhood! That's my theory.
I absolutely don't practice what I preach here, by the way, I eat meals called "Breakfast Solution" and "Stir-Fried Everything" and I never go for walks for no reason and sometimes fail to even when I have a really good reason like a "we're going to return your parcel if you don't pick it up soon" card from the post office. But I'm getting better, and I reckon it's the right path to be on.
So if I have a New Year theme or guiding direction, I reckon that's it.
This piece was originally published in The Whippet #38 – subscribe to get the next one in your inbox!
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