by: Nico Lang
Last month, I celebrated one year of being completely and totally boyfriend-less, a feat I achieved through perseverance, a total lack of exercise and watching far too much “Ally McBeal.” Being alone is hard work and requires a Lebron-like focus and determination, one that not everyone will be capable of achieving. Not everyone can empty their entire refrigerator in one sitting. That feat is reserved for the true champions in the world.
Today, I shall make you into the Rocky Balboa of loneliness. To help all of you burdened with all of your hand-holding, intimate sexual relations and late-night phone calls from his mom, I thought I would tell you how to succeed in singledom, without even trying!
It might seem hopeless for you now, Person Who Is So in Love, but have hope. I am living proof that you will fall out of love eventually and be single again, soon. This is the face of your future.
Remember: As Dan Savage taught us, it gets better!
How to Be Alone
Step One: Wear Snuggies…in Public!
Remember that Snuggie you bought two years ago when you were ironically stimulating the economy? The one you never even took out of the box? The easiest way to start being your blissfully single self is to break that thing out and let your freak flag fly. Don’t just wear it around the house. Like rehab, that shit is for quitters. What you do is grab a rhinestone belt, some hoop earrings, a pearl necklace (not THAT kind) and wear that baby out in the fresh air. Let it breathe. You can hit up the town, go to some clubs with Lindsay and Dina Lohan and be back to 7-11 just in time for that 4:00 A.M. burrito. Dressed in that, you’ll either get mistaken for Nick Nolte or kicked out, which is the perfect way to announce to the world that you have zero romantic potential.
For the advanced: If you really want to commit to this, go full Nick Nolte and stand in your own urine every morning. (What? No takers? I swear, all of you are hopeless.)
Step Two: Start eating food straight out of the can!
Julia Child, Schm-ulia Child. You don’t need to cook! You’re single! Who even cares about salmonella or looking civilized in front of your guests? You don’t have guests anymore — if you’re old, they’re probably all dead — and the cats don’t really care about any of that Emily Post bullshit. They get their food the same way and might love you even more for dining in solidarity with them. This way, when you die from the evil, mutation-inducing, Nancy Grace-birthing pesticides that were hiding in that can of creamed corn you swore was “totally, like, organic and stuff,” the cats probably won’t eat the remains of your body. Catz can has cheezburger, not human remainz.
Let your single life never turn into a Cormac McCarthy novel. No one wants that, not even Jennifer Aniston.
For the advanced: Knit all of your new best cat friends personalized sweaters, with capes on the back. Make sure to put their names on the capes, so everyone can see just how much time you are spending not having sex.
Step Three: On that note, use Jennifer Aniston as your life model!
Do you want to be really, really single? Without even the slightest prospect of a real sexual attachment? Do you want absolutely no one to want you for anything? Then look to our golden goddess for guidance. In order to be an Aniston-approved singleton, you must first always talk about how fine and happy you are, even if no one is asking. This is best if you have a glass of wine in your hand and/or are already totally shitfaced.
Make sure to talk about all your ex’s new girlfriend(s) a lot and try to copy things that they are doing. For instance, do lots of humanitarian work to show you are a strong independent woman. Afterwards, make sure that everyone knows that you are a strong, independent humanitarian woman by making lots of commercials with sad-looking dogs (aka. the “Fag Hags”  of single people everywhere.)
And then threaten to adopt lots of babies, for nothing says “I want a date” than a gaggle full of potential stepchildren. Every study has shown that potential partners just love wiping up the fecal matter of infants, especially if that partner is Jerry Sandusky.
Lastly, cry. A lot. Especially in public. While totally shitfaced. Preferably with Chelsea Handler at your side, ordering you even more drinks. 
For the advanced: Start referring to all celebrities by their first names, like they are your imaginary friends. Example: “I had dinner with Tom and Katie last night. Katie served us a vintage merlot while Tom roasted up some fresh goat placenta. They’re the best.”
Step Four: Give your online dating profiles an overhaul!
Seriously, no one wants to hear about how great in bed you are or how your mom inspires you to be a better person and give back to the world. BORING. No one cares about your mom, your favorite bars, your dreams or what beaches you like to take long walks along.
You know what they do care about? Your terrible previous break ups. If you really want to be single, if you really want to “move on,” I suggest talking about every guy that hurt you as much as humanly possible. This is what the world wants to hear: every facet of your emotional process. People love when you overanalyze things to death. Just ask Ingmar Bergman.
Also, you really have got to work on your interests. Single people don’t like Requiem for a Dream and Schlinder’s List, both of which are infamous fuck fests.
You know what single people do love? Twilight. They go crazy for that shit. They line up for days in advance to get tickets and get in intense debates about whether they would rather have sex with a werewolf or a vampire. Make sure to talk about this as much as possible. Potential mates hate hearing your opinions on interesting subjects and would always rather hear about your fantasy sex life with dead people.
In fact, they would most enjoy hearing this if you said all of these things in a reaction video to the new Twilight trailer. In your video, make sure to cry incessantly and then wash those sorrows down with a big bag full of Cheetos and regret.
For music, you should really start liking Nickelback. The best way to tell the world you definitely deserve to reproduce is through adoring the kings of trailer park rock. Like the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, these are genes everyone should pass on.
For the advanced: Form a Nickelback cover band. Teach the nation how to DREAM again.
Step Five: While you’re at it, change your profile picture to things that aren’t you!
No one ever wants to see a single person’s face, and now that you have cast your lot with the Untouchables, we suggest you start wearing the digital burka that is the fake profile pic. You could really take this in so many different directions, and I hope you’re excited for the array of possibilities here.
If you want to be truly “out and proud” with your singledom, I suggest you put up a profile pic of somebody else, like that lady in Catfish. Try to make sure its not an immediately recognizable celebrity, as everybody knows you’re not Bradley Cooper. (Unless you are a gay man. Then you very well could be Bradley Cooper.) I suggest a distant family or friend or a more obscure model, like one of those girls from the herpes ads.
You could go the “ironic route” and put up a picture of an internet meme, like those E-Cards that people post up on Facebook when they are lonely and want twenty of their closest internet strangers to tell them how much they “like” them.
However, you are single now, and you don’t need their validation. Instead, you should put up a picture of a sunset, a black and white photograph of someone else’s feet or a picture of aborted babies looking sad. As everyone knows, nothing says “I want attention (but no sexual attention)” like foisting your political beliefs on other people through the safety of the Mini-Feed. Facebook status activism is everyone’s most potent sexual turn on, right up there with posting pictures of your cats doing the darndest things and FarmVille invites. Everyone especially loves those, and you should send lots of them. (But for godsakes, not to me. You should especially take note of this if you happen to be my mother.)
For the advanced: If you want to put up pictures of yourself, post only pictures of your body, ones in which you’ve completely cropped out everything about your shoulders. True self-confidence is announcing to the world that you are headless.
Step Six: Start reading novels by Jodi Picoult, Janet Evanovich, Mary Higgins Clark and/or Danielle Steel!
Actually, I take all of that back. Don’t read any of those things. Just, please, don’t. And for the sake of all things holy, especially don’t give Danielle Steel more things. When you support Danielle Steel, the terrorists win, zombie Osama bin Laden rises from the grave and America falls. Do you want Rush Limbaugh to be right about things?
If you really want to never be able to love anyone ever again, just read a Jonathan Franzen novel. When you are old and curmudgeon-y, muttering about gentrification, those damned IPod things and Oprah in your sleep, you will thank me. For I have rescued you from any sort of happiness, which is exactly what Barney was teaching us about all those years ago.
You’re welcome, population control.
Nico Lang is the Co-Creator and Co-Editor of In Our Words and a first-year graduate student in DePaul University’s Media and Cinema Studies program. Lang is a Change Coordinator for LGBT Change, the Co-Founder of Chicago’s Queer Intercollegiate Alliance and a film critic for HEAVEMedia. His work has been featured in the Washington Post, the Huffington Post, the New Gay and on his mother’s refrigerator. Nico is also a tireless advocate for the brussel sprout, a delicious vegetable he feels has gotten a bad rap. Follow Nico on Twitter @GidgetLang or on that Facebook thing all the kids are talking about.
 Note: I really hate this term. World, can’t you just come up with a new one? Let me know.
 If any of you out there are going “But she has a boyfriend! She’s so in love!”…let me remind you that she once dated John “Sexual Napalm” Mayer, who she was also “so in love with.” Aniston may flirt with settling down, but we always get her back in the end. She’s the community’s walking PSA for total loneliness.