How To Be Single

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In honor of Valentine’s Day, I recently saw “How To Be Single.” Here are my thoughts.Let me start with this: I am single. If you read this post, you know that I spent Valentine’s Day this year with my (also single) best friend Jessie.  She and I both came out of long relationships in 2015, so this year we thought it would be fun to celebrate the holiday together. (If you want to read a little bit about what we got up to, you can click here.)

While I was visiting her in Northern California, we made plans to see ‘How To Be Single’ on opening weekend. Jessie and I were very excited to see this movie.

Here is the plot line, courtest of IMDB:

“There’s a right way to be single, a wrong way to be single, and then…there’s Alice. And Robin. Lucy. Meg. Tom. David. New York City is full of lonely hearts seeking the right match, be it a love connection, a hook-up, or something in the middle. And somewhere between the teasing texts and one-night stands, what these unmarrieds all have in common is the need to learn how to be single in a world filled with ever-evolving definitions of love. Sleeping around in the city that never sleeps was never so much fun.”

Seems interesting, right? Great New York backdrop, awesome cast, and lots of laughs in between. Jessie and I were pumped to see it!

Well to start, the New York scenery was awesome. It really made me miss the time I spent in New York last November (read about it here) and makes me want to schedule another trip out there ASAP. The casting was also on point. Rebel Wilson made the movie hilarious, Dakota Johnson made it relatable, and Leslie Mann added just the right amount of neuroticism. And lucky for us, all of the good jokes were not used up in the trailer (always a fear of mine).

Everything sounds great, right? So why am I not completely gushing over this movie? I think it is because it didn’t match up with my expectations. Jessie and I went into this movie hoping to find solidarity in the beauty of being single. Instead, the majority of the movie focused on Alice (Dakota Johnson’s character) moving from one romantic interest to another.

Rather than the movie being lighthearted (here’s my lighthearted movie pitch: the 5 guys you should date post-breakup), I found it to be…depressing. Don’t get me wrong, this was a good movie, it just strongly stressed the happiness (and, fairly, the heartbreak) that you can get from a relationship for the majority of the movie. In the movie, Alice talks a lot about how being in her college relationship prevented her from doing all that she has wanted to do (take a cooking or self-defense class for example). However, for the first two thirds of the movie Alice doesn’t do any of the things she had talked about doing, she just searches for a boyfriend. It made me want to shake her and say, “Come on girl! Be yo badass self!”

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I love love and I love being in a relationship, but my first love and most important relationship is the one I have with myself. I truly believe that when you are your best and most authentic self, you attract the best into your life. This journey has been a testament to that. I am finally spending time doing (and discovering) the things that bring me joy. And as I do so, more and more people walk into my life and help me further that joy.

 

Although I am open to the idea of it, I am not looking for a relationship as I am still trying to become the best version of myself to date (pun intended). Alice, too, arrives at the place where I am now mentally, but not until the end of the movie. When she does get to this mental place though, it is awesome and pretty inspiring! Like Alice, I have wanted to go backpacking for some time now (probably since I read “Wild” last August) and have made it one of my five New Year’s Resolutions. The day after seeing this movie, I went to REI and got fitted for a backpack. Feels good to be taking a step to make my goals happen.

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“How To Be Single” is based on the novel of the same name by Liz Tuccillo (she produced Sex and the City) and since seeing this movie, I definitely want to put on my reading list for comparison purposes. Honestly, it sounds like the novel more resembles Sex and the City than this movie, but it still might be an interesting read.

To sum it all up, I would recommend this movie. Just don’t do what I did and have a preconceived notion that it is going to be all about how great it is to be single. I mean, we can’t always hear what we want to hear. I’m glad that, in the end, Alice begins to love herself, because honestly, that is all that really matters.

-TM

What parts of yourself have you discovered while single? Let me know below.

 

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