I can’t claim to be an expert about many things. I never advanced past Level 8 when I was a competitive gymnast. I only completed two of the required six weeks of the online interior design class I enrolled in last summer. Hell, I elected to study communications in college. However, there is one craft that I have painstakingly perfected over the past 26 years. It’s a subject I never hoped to master but have found myself highly proficient in nonetheless: being single.

I am not sure why this has been a constant throughout (all but four months of) my entire life, but it has endowed me with a highly specialized set of skills that I likely would not otherwise possess. Being single isn’t always easy, but should you ever (god forbid!) find yourself in my shoes (which I recently discovered are a half size too small), use this official how-to guide for existing as a single human being.

Waking Up In The Morning

Listen, I know you aren’t getting any cute “Good morning, beautiful :)” texts and are instead, like me, waking up to texts from your dentist’s office that read, “Your last bill is eight months past due.” Luckily, this is easily remedied (the lack of cute texts, not your debt) by sending your own morning affirmations. Rename your alarm something like “Wake up, you genetically perfect literal genius” or “You are beautiful enough to be on ‘The Bachelor’ but your transcendent sense of humor is the only reason you haven’t been cast.” You know how in every high-school sports movie there is a scene where the coach gives a rousing motivational speech during halftime? This is your time to be your own coach, get your head in the game, and get on with your day.

Choosing What To Eat

Seriously, you can have whatever you like. You are practically T.I. Or are you the girl he was singing to? Either way, you don’t have to worry about whether or not someone else is “feeling” sushi tonight or if they think you should stay in and cook for each other instead. You and you alone get to make the call. The ball is in your court, because there is no other court that it could possibly be in. This is racquetball, not tennis, so strap on your protective eyewear and order the $60 sashimi plate.

Attending Weddings

Sitting through a wedding solo is insult to injury to some, an in-your-face reminder that you have no one to have, nor to hold. But why would you want to have an S.O. at a wedding? This is an occasion where you can go freakin’ rogue, dudes. Befriend the bartender to ensure you never see the bottom of your glass. Make nice with the DJ so you can vigorously power snap to Prince’s “Raspberry Beret” a minimum of five times. This is your night. Do not let the bride tell you otherwise. You can’t properly enjoy yourself in this setting if you’re tied down to some dude named Brian who thinks he is above dancing and would rather stand in the corner discussing the difference in aging techniques between Macallan and Glenlivet. I am honestly so bored just from typing that.

Going To Therapy

You’re paying upward of $100 per hour to talk to your therapist. Can you imagine having to dedicate a portion of this precious time to explaining how some girl named Mariah isn’t getting along with your family and it’s stressing you out? Hell no. Be greedy with your time. Remember how you started crying when you watched Colton skydive on “The Bachelor” because you felt genuine pride for him for conquering his fear of heights? That seems like a much more pressing issue than anything to do with Mariah.

Celebrating The Holidays

Oh my God. You barely want to see your own family during the holidays, much less an entirely separate family who you are not related to and thus are not obligated to love. With a significant other nowhere in sight, you have half the number of people, gifts, holiday outings, and dinner parties to concern yourself with. Spend all this extra time and and money on the person you really love: yourself. Why wait for your wedding registry? Go ahead and buy that $300 Le Creuset dutch oven that you will probably only use about five times. It has a lifetime warranty, making it a profoundly better investment than pretty much any romantic partner who you could be spending that money on instead.

Having Sex

As Jane Austen famously wrote, “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single human in possession of sexual energy must be in want of, well, a way to expend said energy…” At least I think that’s it — I received a solid C in AP Lit. But basically, most people are still actively trying to make like Olivia Newton John and get physical when they are single. Go out, find a consenting adult who is looking for the same thing, and have (safe) sex with them. Was it absolutely incredible? Dope! Did it go terribly awry and now you have to avoid going to the local sandwich shop chain that they own? Hey, it happens to the best of us. But therein lies the beauty of being single. You never have to see that person again. Plus, you should probably be spending your money on things like dental bills instead of buying $18 artisanal sandwiches anyway.