Being single the last two months has been something of a rollercoaster, and most definitely a learning curve. Yesterday I removed my ex from my life completely. After a few months of WhatsApp ping pong and the odd awkward encounter, I realized a couple of things.

  1. I was not attracted to him anymore. Good looks don’t mean jack shit if you have no personality and your soul is rotten to the core.
  2. I didn’t like him anymore and I didn’t want to like him anymore.

I also realized that there was no way I could work on fixing myself and healing, when I was still in contact with my ex. So, I blocked him on every medium possible, deleted every photo, video, message, and email so, apart from the fact I am living in some random Balkan city because I moved to be with him, it is as if he never existed.

Now the hard part begins – learning to find happiness without someone else. I am led to believe that this is one of life’s greatest gifts, but when your identity has been “someone’s girlfriend” for pretty much the entire last decade, it is most definitely easier said than done. Whist I am far from out of the woods and still have days where I want to just stay in bed, cry, masturbate, eat pizza, and straw-pedo prosecco, these are the things I have been doing to make me feel like myself again.

Treat yourself to a crazy straw for the wine. You deserve it.

1. Working on My Appearance

In relationships, we are all guilty of letting ourselves go to a certain extent – we become relaxed and complacent, comfortable and more prone to bad habits. Since I left my ex, I have lost 10kg, had my hair style significantly upgraded, got some lip injections, bought a new wardrobe, increased the amount of exercise I do, changed my skincare routine (I now have the skin of a baby fairy), started getting regular blow-dries and manicures, and do you know what? I look good, I feel great, and although I still feel a gaping loneliness inside, at least it doesn’t show.

Get an at-home facelift with this moisturizer from Agora.

2. Indulging in Random Travel

I have done my fair share of traveling in the last year, but most of that was because I was following my ex around like an obedient Labrador. Now I am traveling for me. I booked spur of the moment tickets to Verona, Bucharest, and am considering a trip to Beirut in April. This weekend I will be in Kosovo, Sarajevo the week after, and a southern Albanian city just off the coast of Cofu the weekend after that. I will travel alone, I will take lots of photos, eat lots of nice food, drink lots of local wine, and meet lots of interesting people, and I will do it for me and not because there is a spoiled man child at the other end waiting for me to warm up his underpants with a hairdryer (true story).

Travel in style with this rose gold passport holder.

3. Trying New Things

My ex never wanted to do anything. If I could drag him out for dinner once a month then that would be a bloody miracle, so now I am enjoying all the things I would have liked to do with him, but couldn’t, because he sucked. I horse ride once a week, I am learning to shoot, I am going on a cable car up a mountain tomorrow (he was too scared to do it), I went to the opera, am going on a jazz train, joined a reading group, and am about to get involved with video blogging for a well-known Balkan food blog.

4. Trying New People

This has been by far the most challenging part of being single, as I seem to have a sign on my head saying, “If you are married, try to fuck me”. (First there was the 43-year-old, 6 foot 6 Italian diplomat who is probably one of the most attractive men that I have ever laid eyes on. He charmed, wined, dined, charmed a bit more, said romantic things in Italian, but unfortunately he forgot to mention the wife and daughter he has back in Napoli. Second up was the blue eyed, blonde haired, well built, designer stubble rocking Albanian who pursued me like a fox chasing a rabbit. I finally yielded and let him have a kiss, only to then discover that yes, he also has a wife and child. Third up was the 6 foot 4 American who looked like a catalogue model but worked in international women’s rights. A man after my own heart I thought, but sadly not to be. Whilst this one wasn’t married, he buggered back off to Vienna to reunite with his ex-girlfriend leaving me not upset, but rather just a bit disillusioned.)

Finally, we have the most interesting of the bunch. A local – divorced, my age, a head taller than me, interested in feminism, history, sociology, politics, animals, opera and Leonard Cohen – he also let me name his pet peacock Denzil, and no that is not a euphemism. A lovely man – kind and funny, sweet, caring, and very keen on me. But of course, there is always a problem. I almost feel embarrassed to write this because I am ashamed at being so shallow, but despite all his wonderful qualities, he is not exactly the best-looking man I have ever seen. Yes, he has lovely blue eyes with long black lashes, he is stubbly and broad, tall with nice lips, but despite all these nice individual features, I just don’t think they fit together perfectly well. Also, his teeth could be better.

I had forgotten what it is like to be single, and just how many frogs are out there. Especially when you reach the over 30 bracket, the pool of potentials gets much smaller. As I am beginning to realise, all the men out there are either crazy, married, or have something else wrong with them, and trying to sift through them to find one that ticks all the boxes is nigh on impossible. So, for the time being I am going to stop trying to get over my ex by getting under someone else, because at this rate I will renounce sex and check into a nunnery. Instead, I will focus on making myself feel good again, working on my fitness and health, traveling and exploring as much as I can, and pursuing exciting new activities, with wonderful people, in beautiful places.

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