(Note: Even if TGIL had liked me back, I still would've insisted that he get his head together and be single himself for a year. Independence and clarity of thought are the two greatest gifts one person can give another.)
Here is what I've learned so far:
1. Sleeping in the middle of the bed. Nothing compares to starfishing in the center of the bed after a long night/day at work.
2. Really fucking long showers. Running the hot water heater out by myself is a pleasure I hadn't had in a long time.
3. Time to be with my own self. The running commentary that another person in the room introduces, even at the level of private thoughts, is taxing after a while.
4. Obnoxious self-examination on a psychological level. Again, interacting with another person in the same space blunts introspection. Getting to the root of things (see mental clarity, above) is an interesting and profitable exercise.
5. Walking around naked. It's neither advertisement nor suggestion when you live by yourself; it just means you're too lazy to put clothes on.
1. Leftovers. How often can I eat biriyani without being tired of it? About twice. Since my recipe makes a ton, that means I get tired of it fast.
2. Cold feet. A hot water bottle mitigates this, but it's not the same as putting your freezing feet on somebody else's warm ones.
3. Not having anybody that has your back. Seriously, this is the biggest problem I have with being single. I'm lucky in that I have fantastic neighbors and friends who do what they can and do it happily, but it's still not the same as knowing that, if it storms, there's somebody around who will comfort Max in his fear of hail and thunder. When I'm on my back under the kitchen sink, it sure would be nice to have someone around who can hand me the damn pipe wrench rather than me having to unfurl to find it myself.
4. Nobody's there to bounce ideas off of. That's the flipside of being introspective; there's not another person to pull you out of a black hole of thoughtfulness. As I told The Brother In BFE the other day, I don't have enough sane friends left, so I have to cherish the ones I've got.
5. Back scratches. I miss them. I will not lie: getting your back scratched is the primary reason to get married; all else is gravy. Romance, a martini waiting for you and a meal in the oven when you get home, and sex are all secondary to getting back scratches. The cats try, but they just can't match another human.
That's what I've learned in a year. I wonder what I'll learn next year: I'm purposefully single until at least April of 2011.