My Superpower Is Being Alone Forever: Newly Single

Planning the end of a relationship is probably the closest many of us will ever get to knowing what it's like to plot a murder. Will they see it coming?, you wonder. Some of us are careless, impulsive relationship-murderers, and so the breakups happen spontaneously, the time and place as random as Clue cards. Others plan it all out, postponing, buying time until the perfect opportunity, thinking over the most humane method. Maybe you'll wait for the vernal equinox on account of your partner's Seasonal Affective Disorder. But then he or she might forever associate the sadness of the breakup with cherry blossoms and freshly graffiti'd "Nurse Jackie" posters, and who wants to do that to another person? The longer you wait, though, the more you have to pretend everything's fine, which is a fancy way of lying. READ MORE

My Superpower Is Being Alone Forever: Party of One

A totally underrated thing about girlfriends is that they make great hostages. Not in the sense that you should threaten to neutralize one per hour if your demands aren’t met, but rather that they’re forced to come along and suffer through any event with you, no matter how long or boring it is or how many guitar solos J Mascis is allotted. As long as you buy the tickets and furnish the requisite number of drinks, they're legally obligated to stick it out. (Torts of negligence can and have been filed.) But unlike someone in an actual hostage situation, your detainee is expected to have fun—or at least do a convincing impersonation of someone having fun—unless you, yourself, are not, in which case the table is open for freedom negotiations. Having an indentured plus-one around all the time, though, is something that people in relationships take for granted. It's only after a breakup that you come to fully appreciate the convenience of the arrangement you once had. When you’re single, the act of making plans becomes a complex structure, puffed up full of variables, threatening to collapse at any moment like a soufflé—except rather than delicious pastry cream, it tastes like fear. READ MORE

My Superpower Is Being Alone Forever

It’s pretty hard to reverse engineer a meet-cute. These things either happen or they don’t. If you were really serious about it, you could probably arrange for, say, an errant shopping cart to go charging off in someone's direction and then you could rush up behind it saying, "Sorry, sorry!" and that’s how you'd meet, but then you’d have to live with yourself for the next 50 years or so, knowing that, basically, you're Elmer Fudd. Sometimes when a radiant single lady comes floating along the sidewalk like a dream, I think about stopping her. But I never would. It just seems as intrusive as a catcall—or an errant shopping cart. I might as well be passing out handbills for a shady-sounding sample sale. So instead I say nothing and then she’s gone. We won’t be accidental seatmates at a dinner party later. It’s a missed non-connection, a moment less significant than if we’d been on line together at Whole Foods buying the same artisanal sherbet. How-we-met stories are overrated, anyway. READ MORE