Skip To Content
    Apr 21, 2016

    Here's What Being Single Vs In A Relationship Looks Like

    Leg hair length and politeness are directly linked to the number of times you've slept with someone.

    Whether you're single or locked down, there have probably been times you wish you were the opposite.

    Because the grass is always greener, and even the happiest halves of couples miss the excitement of dating and the me-time of singlehood, and even the most independent lone wolf can see the value of having someone around to perform the Heimlich if required.

    So if we're being honest, each side of the coin has its pros and its cons...

    1. Dates when you're single:

    Flo Perry / BuzzFeed

    True story: I once had a friend who was dating eight different guys at once. Hearing about it, I was as much impressed as I was exhausted. I don't know how she kept track. She was always out being wooed. We were at a small college in the middle-of-nowhere-USA at the time, so said wooing only ever happened at one of two bars or the gas station, but still. She was actively "dating", and having a whale of a time.

    What's so great about the early stages of dating are all the possibilities. Sure, they might be a psychopath, but they might also be absolutely pant-wettingly funny. They might have gorgeous, twinkly eyes. They might already own a Siberian kitten, saving you a few hundred pounds and a month of litter training.

    And if it goes wrong? You've got your own, independent life to go back to.

    Dates when you're in a relationship:

    Flo Perry / BuzzFeed

    Dating I don’t miss, but the excitement as to what you might be about to uncover I do. I’ve also not giggled like a five-year-old princess at a flattering surprise text message in years. Now it’s just ‘do we need milk? home in 10 x’. Considerate, yes. Stupid giggle-inducing, not so much.

    Dating when you're in a relationship might not be as thrilling but it is sure as hell far easier. Why pay for the cinema when you can watch that new movie at home? You can stop being dainty and order that massive fuck-off burger you've had your eye on for weeks. You can kiss on the sofa wearing leggings and a jumper, not your hold-everything-in-pants and fuck-me dress.

    Three years into my current relationship, a last-minute reservation at my favourite restaurant is a super-sweet gesture. But a Prison Break binge? A Sainsbury's ready meal for two- on special offer? Stealing whatever jumper he's been wearing that day? GET IN THERE.

    2. Personal grooming when you're single:

    Flo Perry / BuzzFeed

    As much as we'd probably love to do otherwise, we just can't help putting forward the very best versions of ourselves when we're single or dating. For a lot of us that means we're tanned, plucked, waxed, shaved, filed, coiffed, made-up and tanned to within an inch of our lives.

    I had hair extensions when I met my ex. He didn't see me without them for a whopping two months, even though we saw each other everyday. You know what he said when he saw me without?

    "Oh. Shit. You look so weird. Can you put them back in now?"

    Like I'd just taken out some false teeth or something.

    Guys and girls like him are the reason why the rest of us daren't be entirely ourselves at the start. But ladies, gents, trust me; if they don't like you without all the fluff, feathers and fancy bits, you shouldn't be letting them anywhere near your other fancy bits.

    Personal grooming when you’re in a relationship:

    Flo Perry / BuzzFeed

    Well... it goes out of the window, doesn't it?

    I have one friend who likes having her bits waxed. One. In a sea of other friends, both male and female, who do not enjoy it, she's in the minority.

    Personal grooming is expensive. It's painful. And it's boring. Call me crazy, but I don't class a fun Sunday afternoon as one that involves me on all fours, butt-naked in front of a beautician for the 'back bit'.

    Don't get me wrong, mind. Us lot in relationships do still groom our legs and pits and bits. I mean, sometimes. Occasionally. If Venus have got a special offer in Boots, maybe.

    3. Stalking when you're single:

    Flo Perry / BuzzFeed

    At the single stage, stalking revolves around two groups of people:

    1. The Ex

    2. The Competition

    So, you find his Facebook account. But wait. Who the PISS is that girl in his profile picture? Who is the guy that keeps posting cat videos on her wall?

    And suddenly it's 3am and you're 156 profile pictures deep on their sister's boyfriend's mum's account.

    God, I've been there. Never has there been a terror more real than the prospect of accidentally hitting the like button at this moment. Quite a significant part of me is jealous of my older siblings. They learned the need-to-know facts over WKD's outside the local Spar on Friday nights. It was a simpler time.

    That being said, I've learned some crucial things through a good old Facebook stalk, the results of which have been varied. I once discovered that a handcrafted card and personalised poem from a new guy I was dating was really not new. In fact, he made the same card for every girl he dated. And the poem was shite. What a double let-down.

    Stalking when you're in a relationship:

    Flo Perry / BuzzFeed

    If you're still stalking your partner's profile a few months or more into the relationship, you kids have got some trust issues.

    Step away from their newsfeed. Ask IN PERSON about that receptionist at their new job with tits bigger than her head. Or that new personal trainer with pecs bigger than your head.

    And for the LOVE OF GOD don't go snooping in their emails. I know of sturdy relationships that have broken down completely thanks to inbox snooping.

    That being said, the absence of anything at all is suspicious in itself. My ex deleted every single one of his texts the minute they came through. If that wasn’t a sign that he was hiding something, I don’t know what was. Clearly, back then, I needed a flashing sign above his head to realise he was a cheater, but hey, hindsight is a wonderful thing. And kicking him in the balls would have been too, come to think of it. Alas, I only managed to throw a pint of vodka cranberry on him in a bar. #notsorry.

    4. Drama when you're single:

    Flo Perry / BuzzFeed

    Remember that friend of mine who was dating eight guys at once? That was drama times eight. Well, around the same time, I had a moment of picking between two guys. Drama time two, but somehow it still felt like drama times eight.

    One was a familiar idiot. The other less of an idiot, but new. In the end, I picked the first guy, mainly because it was easier, and I'm not the casual dating type, remember? And also because I was an idiot, clearly.

    I made the choice because I wanted drama times zero. I thought it was the "safe choice". But, because we were a terrible match, it turned into drama times one thousand. We'd scream at each other in public for God's sake. To onlookers: apologies, but also, you're welcome for the entertainment.

    I want to go back to my former self, slap her around the face and send her to her room with no supper. Alone.

    I also want to lengthen a few of her dresses, come to think of it.

    Drama when you're in a relationship:

    Flo Perry / BuzzFeed




    5. Sex when you're single:

    Flo Perry / BuzzFeed

    So this is a funny one. Because sex when you're single is dependent on one of two things. Either you're looking for a lifelong partner who, to quote the late, great Alan Rickman in "Love Actually", you want to have 'lots of sex and babies with'.

    Or you're looking for a good, old-fashioned fuck.

    I have another single friend who swears that the best sex she's ever had has been with total strangers one night-stands. She reckons it's far wilder and more spontaneous because there's no thinking about what they might think of her the next day. In fact she makes it sound so wild, it's almost enough to make me miss my single days. The wildest thing I do on a Friday night now is go for a root around the reduced aisle at my local supermarket just before closing time.

    Sex when you're in a relationship:

    Flo Perry / BuzzFeed

    Here's the thing. Sex at the start of a relationship is like easter eggs in February. It's been so long without any you're just gagging for some. You let out a little whoop the first time you see them in the shops and then you'll go home and eat a whole one at once (I'm gonna let you insert your own innuendo here).

    This might carry on for weeks, or even months, depending on how much you like the easter eggs in your local shop. But eventually, the obsession dies a little bit. They're just not quite so novel anymore. But that doesn't mean you no longer like them.

    Egg metaphors aside, here's my stance on sex in a relationship: it might not be as regular as you think is "right," but it's still awesome. You know what you both like and don't like. You're relaxed, and passionate, and generous. And a cheeky little fanny fart afterwards is funny, not mortifying.

    6. Communication when you're single:

    Flo Perry / BuzzFeed

    Singletons should be able to put themselves into one of the two following categories when it comes to how they communicate with the person they're in the early stages of dating.

    You either give them a filtered view of things; an Instagram account version of your life, if you will.

    Or, you down your drink and cut to the chase. You tell them that you once robbed a bank/killed a guy/stole a grapefruit that wasn't scanning at the self-service tills. Then you sit back and see how they take it.

    Either is fine.

    Side note: if anybody even judges you for stealing a grapefruit at the self service tills, dump their ass. Everyone knows if it doesn't scan after three tries, it's free.

    Communication when you're in a relationship:

    Flo Perry / BuzzFeed

    Communication in a relationship is likely to consist of more swearing and less polite nods at shit jokes. It's total honesty at all times. It's finding polite but firm ways of telling your partner that their Jimmy Neutron hair is no longer amusing and really needs to get cut at the earliest possible opportunity. That water and not a third Jaeger would be the best way to end that family wedding. That they don't smell like daisies after their run, and need a shower, preferably five minutes ago.

    There is no metaphorical Instagram tool good enough to cover up the real you once you're in a relationship. That shit is permanently #nofilter.

    7. Love when you're single:

    Flo Perry / BuzzFeed

    Whether you're dating, mating or Netflix and Chilling alone, being single is the tits. Sure, there might not be anyone to help you carry your shopping when Topshop has a sale on you weren't expecting. But there is also no one to give you shit for clogging up the shower drain.

    You get to concentrate on yourself. You also get to focus on your friendships, and your career, and the never-ending quest to bump into Jon Kortajarena in a situation that allows you to touch his hair.

    If you do want to be a relationship, you get to wake up everyday knowing that today could be the day you meet your soulmate. Otherwise, you get to wake up with only your own morning breath to deal with.

    Love when you're in a relationship:

    Flo Perry / BuzzFeed

    People love to say that relationships means sacrifice. But in fact, nothing really needs to be sacrificed if the relationship is a healthy one. And anything that is sacrificed only goes because it can be replaced with something even better.

    I was in the process of getting a 1 year visa to live and work in Canada when my (now) fiance and I got together. It got approved about three months later. Had I been single, no doubt I'd have been on the next flight out of Heathrow. But suddenly I had something to stick around for.

    Some would say that by not going, I "sacrificed" that opportunity. But it can't really be seen as a sacrifice given what I gained instead. I've had different adventures, things I wouldn't have had if I'd have gone to Canada. It wasn't a sacrifice; it was just an alternate.

    Good love for another person is no better or no worse that good love for yourself. It's just different.

    And really bloody lovely.

    BuzzFeed Daily

    Keep up with the latest daily buzz with the BuzzFeed Daily newsletter!

    Newsletter signup form