On September 2, 31 BC, Mark Antony and Octavian planned to settle their rivalry.
This feud has been building up for years and has reached its zenith. Rome could no longer be led by two leaders but one.
That was to be decided by a naval battle in the Ionian Sea. Antony's and Cleopatra's fleets against Octavian's.
In the morning, the battle commenced.
It was an intense and bloody engagement. Ships were maneuvering and ramming into each other. Despite all the chaos, there was no clear sign of who was winning. The glorious prize of the Roman empire was up for grabs.
Then out of the blue.
Cleopatra took her ships and abandoned the battle. Antony watched her leave in disbelief. And suddenly, he decided to go to be with Cleopatra. It was as if Antony completely forgot about his naval battle.
So he took his ship and went on to catch up to Cleopatra.
His fleets kept fighting, despite their morale taking a hit from Antony's departure. But, they could not continue without their commander. And they soon crumbled to Octavian's fleets.
Nobody knows why Antony left in the middle of a battle.
Especially since he had as much of a chance to win as Octavian. And in previous campaigns, he has never shown such erratic behaviour. No matter how you look at it, Antony's behaviour doesn't make sense.
The only thing that makes less sense than this is how single people create boring lives. I know this might sound like I'm calling you out, but just hear me out. This is coming from a place of love, and myself making this mistake for almost 10 years. So if you'll be patient with this long article, you'll hopefully come to make the most of your singlehood. But before that, let's tackle the first question:
Why it's tough being single
This question has been on my mind for years. I couldn't understand why I couldn't enjoy my days as a single nerd. And then when I meet other single nerds, they have similar boring lives. Where they just go to work/school/maybe gym/home. Living like this indefinitely.
But after therapy, introspection, and readings, I got a glimpse into why it's hard being single.
We don't know how to enjoy yourselves.
For many reasons, we get stuck in a dull lifestyle without realizing it. While we look at other people living it up, wishing we could switch our lives temporarily.
Yet, we don't have to switch our lives to enjoy it. And I'll show you how to enjoy your time being single.
How to have more fun being single
Before I go balls deep into this topic, I do want to tell you one thing. I am not going to include dating here. One of the most talked about topics in being single is dating, especially when we crave some lovin'. But this is only scratching the surface of singlehood. There is much more to it than love and sex. And if you realize that, you will be one step closer to enjoying your time as a single person.
Speaking of time.
Do you realize how much free time you have as a single person? People seem oblivious to all the countless moments they have. There is no spouse, no kids, etc. Time is overflowing in abundance. Yet, numerous single people waste this precious time. And when they find that special someone, their time gets reduced significantly. And you start adding kids to the mix, then they realize they have no time.
I've seen this happen many times. So with your singlehood, accept this truth:
You'll never have as much time to yourself as when you are single.
Remind yourself daily, knowing that this phase of your life will end. Let's get to the fun stuff with that out of the way.
Things to do when single:
When you're single, you can do whatever you want. You can go to hotels, backpack, or whatever. Think of the places you want to go and make a plan for it to happen. I know you think you can travel with a spouse/partner and kids. But you can't travel to where you want all the time. So whatever places are on your bucket list, do it while you are single.
Personal Projects & Hobbies
I don't have to divulge too much on this. But you can find meaning in your time when you have something that emotionally engages you. And nothing does this as well, like personal projects and hobbies. And with your freedom, you can invest as much time as you see fit. You can work late on it, work on it early, etc. You can do all this and not have to answer anybody about how you are spending your time.
A Note on Hobbies
You can have more than one hobby when single. So make the most of your time. Your hobbies will be reduced significantly with a partner and/or family. Heck, with partners or families, you have to make sacrifices. So whatever you want to try, get into it now, being single.
Be Aggressivly Social
I speak about being social often; some of you might be sick of it. But I digress. When I say be aggressively social, be the one to initiate, be the one to invite, be the one to meet new people. Because you will have the time and energy.
If you do this consistently, you will uncover romantic, career, and social opportunities. You have to be aggressive since people can be finicky or ghost you. But if you keep at it, you'll understand that it is part of the process.
And lastly, take more risks.
When you are single, you can afford to take risks. With a family or spouse/partner, taking risks becomes more difficult. It's easier to plunge with a chance when no one else is dependent on you. That could be starting a business, hiking the Pacific trail, etc.
Use your imagination
And create a great life with your singlehood. And remember, this is not for some shallow aspect of YOLO, but something more profound.
All this living helps you on a deeper level.
We need to make the most of being single because it will help us grow more as individuals. And one of the most obvious ways is through the stories we create in our lives.
With all this life exploration, you are bound to experience a wide variety of things. Which will all lead to amazing stories. And with all these stories, you can tell them to friends or acquaintances. Showing how you are dynamic and interesting.
But to get a little deeper.
The stories you have create you. So if you have exciting stories, you are that fun, exciting person. This clicked when I read the intro to 1,0001 Arabian Nights (Penguin edition), where they said, 'we are the stories we tell about ourselves.'
So be mindful of what life you create for yourself with the stories you tell. And if you don't have stories to tell, that is enough sign to tell what kind of life you are living.
But besides the stories.
Living to your fullest will help you discover yourself more. Every new uncomfortable experience tells you something you can't get from your routine. There are so many dormant parts in you. And all that is needed is an opportunity for them to be expressed. Let me explain this with a story.
How do you get my big-mouthed brother Guuto and my best friend Vlado to shut up?
Well, one way was getting caught stealing.
Mind you, nothing serious.
It was us sneaking into the movies when we were young adults. We came from a film, and our greedy asses decided we wanted to watch a rom-com.
So when the opportunity presented itself, we moved from our theatre to another. As we were looking for a seat, the theatre manager caught up with us and asked us to see our tickets.
Obviously, our tickets were for a finished movie. Then the theatre manager asked why we were in the theatre.
Guuto and Vlado were dumbfounded.
And it looked like we would get banned from the theatre since we were caught in the crime. But alas, a dormant part of me woke up.
Without missing a beat.
I started smooth-talking the theatre manager. I told her that we were not sneaking in to watch the movie. But instead, we were looking for our friends that were supposed to be there.
The theatre manager knew I was bullshitting.
I knew I was bullshitting. But she couldn't press the story further since it was plausible.
So visibly frustrated
She asked us to wait for our friends in the lobby. Which we did. And that's how I got us out of that sticky situation.
Lame story, eh?
But it's to show you that putting yourself out there will awaken your hidden capacities. Another capacity that comes to life is your dating life.
How this helps with dating life
You thought I wasn't going to touch on dating you, silly goose. But I just wanted to help you set your life priorities before discussing dating. Because as the great Pook once said: 'Your romantic life is an echo of your regular life.' And when you create a fantastic time, you will be able to do the same with your romantic life.
How, you might ask?
Well, all that living and growing naturally makes you a little more mature than your peers. While most people will be stuck in their comfort wombs doing the same, you, on the other hand, are developing yourself in many ways.
You will have a deeper insight.
You will understand the nuisances that most people miss. As a result, you can deal with grey areas of life. Which includes your love life.
You will know who is interested in you, who's worth pursuing, etc. You will learn how to love and receive love by becoming more wholesome.
But the benefits don't stop there.
You are better positioned to choose romantic partners worth committing to. Because you will know who you want to be by developing the traits you like in yourself.
By living your life and becoming this dynamic person, you will be attracted to similar individuals.
Life works funnily.
Instead of swiping away, praying we will find someone. You will naturally attract the people you deserve. As Pook said, 'your romantic life is an echo of your regular life.'
So make something out of your regular life, and your love life will take care of itself.
Yet, I know all this blabbing about being single is not enough for some. Heck, some of you might prefer a simple and quiet life.
And I'm gonna call BS on it.
I can do this because I used this excuse. And it was via therapy I realized I lied to myself. I don't want you to make the same mistake. Because this 'simple & quiet life' excuse is a defence mechanism. For whatever reason, we are afraid to explore life and make up a seductive reason for not living it up.
But Man is meant to explore Life.
And if you think I'm smooth talking you like that theatre Manager, you are wrong. Because you used to be so curious about the world. You used to love seeing what Life had to offer you, but you got spanked along the way.
I'm talking about your childhood.
When you were a kid, the world looked like a prominent place to check out and experience. Whether it was on the playground, playing with your parents, or making up games. You were the king of Life as a child.
You might feel that part of your life is gone.
But that kid is still in you. It's there behind all the inhibitions. And you need to learn to release that inner kid to get that passion for life.
Again, I'm not BSing you.
I can show you that it is not my idea, but an old one. Below is an excerpt from a poem about youth.
Excerpt from the Poem called Youth.
"Youth is not a time of life; it is a state of mind; it is not a matter of rosy cheeks, red lips and supple knees; it is a matter of the will, a quality of the imagination, a vigour of the emotions; it is the freshness of the deep springs of life.
Youth means a temperamental predominance of courage over timidity of the appetite, for adventure over the love of ease. This often exists in a man of sixty more than a boy of twenty. Nobody grows old merely by a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals.
Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul. Worry, fear, self-distrust bows the heart and turns the spirit back to dust. Whether sixty or sixteen, there is in every human being's heart the lure of wonder, the unfailing child-like appetite of what's next, and the joy of the game of living."
So go feed that child-like appetite.
Don't sweat it if this is hard. Just go see a therapist to help you out. Adulthood in the West is honestly a phase of life to rediscover yourself.
I've been through it, and many friends are in the same process. That being said, one person I know is currently making the most of their singlehood is my dorky brother Iram.
Before I expose my brother, I love him dearly, but he will forever be a dork to me. No matter how cool he is to others.
With that disclosure out of the way.
Iram learned early on that he needed to make the most of his time being single. As a result, he has created himself into a well-rounded person exploring life. He travels, follows his interests, dates a bunch of chicks, and gets into shenanigans with his friends.
And Iram is only 23 (as of 2022).
But he is living more of a life than most I know. Remember that Iram is not exceptional (I take pleasure in saying it). He is no better looking than me and not as intelligent as me. Heck, his social skills might be questionable. But he created more of a life than I could have imagined when I was 23. And this all comes down to Iram seeing the world as a place to grow and explore. Instead of it as a place to shy away from it. All this made him much more mature than his peers and helped him see the nuisances of life.
This has helped him find more dating, career and social opportunities than he expects. And if you take advantage of your time being single, the same can happen to you.
And I stress.
Iram is not unique in any way. I can still beat him in basketball, Call of Duty, a spelling bee, you name it.
But I will digress from this sibling rivalry.
And want to tackle the most common mistake when we entertain the idea of living it up as a single person.
Thinking you have time to do everything and procrastinate.
One of the curses of being human is that we think we have more time than we actually do. It's a mistake as old as humans.
Well, I'm here to remind you that you have less time than you think. You never know when you will meet that special someone. In fact, let's accept that you will find a special someone. And it's on you to make the most of your time before you commit and rightfully sacrifice your time for them.
You might be snickering at me.
But I've spoken to countless married guys who wished they did more when they were single. Mind you, they are happy to be with their wives. But they all thought they had more time than they actually did.
Yet, you don't have to make the same mistake. Your time is running out, so make the most of it.
Speaking of running out, so is this article.
The reason it's tough being single because we don't know how to enjoy ourselves.
Before you start having fun being single, remember that the advantage of being single is the amount of free time you have.
Simple ways to start having fun being single are:
Aggressively social (in-person)
Having fun being single will help you create stories and discover more about yourself.
All this living will help your dating life by making you more mature and attracting someone with similar developments as you.
Some will prefer a simple and quiet life, but this is most likely a defence mechanism. Man is meant to explore Life.
The biggest mistake when being single is thinking you have all the time in the world. You will find someone to settle down with sooner than you think. So go out and make the most of your singlehood.
If you've read this far.
I hope you take this as a sign to take your singlehood a little more seriously and make something of it. Go explore the world unapologetically. Then when it's time, you can settle down and tell all your children about your crazy exploits.
That's what Life is all about.
To explore it and share our experiences with others. Some of these stories might be fun, scary, or sad. But none of them will be as bewildering as Antony walking out in the middle of his battle.
Until next time,
The Charismatic Nerd