GLAMOUR COLUMN

Everyone wanted her, GLAMOUR got her! Now in her new outspoken column Teri Hatcher reveals what it’s really like to be single in Hollywood — and why you should love going solo.

So last Thanksgiving I found myself single and alone. And being single and alone (especially when I’m the proud mother of a fabulous daughter) on a day when I was genuinely supposed to be thankful for something — anything — was, in a word, rotten. Rotten as the leftover stuffing that usually sits in my refrigerator for days growing mould.

It was with impending doom that I felt that day approach. Usually my Thanksgiving involves planning a dinner for loads of guests. There’s my daughter and my parents. Then there’s the smattering of friends who live so far from their families that they either can’t afford the hiked-up travel fare, or just can’t afford to spend four days with their dysfunctional families, costing them thousands in therapy bills. So a group of about 15 end up at my house. And I like it. I like being host; I like setting an inviting table, I like the house wafting with warm comforting aromas and I like people sitting around the table — and, for at least five minutes a year, acknowledging something they are thankful for. Somehow, planning this entire effortful day for just me, my two dogs, my two birds, my two cats and my rabbit wasn’t the same.

And it got me thinking, how does one deal with being single and alone? And more importantly, how does anyone feel thankful for being single and alone? Is that even possible? Well, first we have to acknowledge that those are two different things. ‘Single’ and ‘Alone’. Being Single doesn’t necessarily mean you must be Alone. But if you are anything like me, you often sentence yourself to that isolation, for dread of being the third wheel. Being with couples is like shining a big, purple, neon light on how incredibly pathetic your non-couple status actually is — and who feels like answering the question, “So have you met anyone yet?” for the hundredth time? Thought not. Thus, movies alone, dinner alone, shopping alone. . . become the norm, and yes it is miserable.

But seeing as this can be your lot in life, at least temporarily ( which in my case was four years) something has to be done to improve the ‘cooking for one and eating in front of the TV’ pattern that each day follows like a biblical ritual.

So, step one. . . change the perception of Single Time (ST) from bad to good. Yes, that’s what I said. ST is good. It’s a time to take care of yourself and no one else. Spend a selfish two hours in the bathroom, leave the dishes in the sink, read all the books you’ve been meaning to, travel, exercise, learn to play guitar, spend time blow-drying your hair.

Seriously, if you are truly single, or a single mum like me, you need to use this ST to explore and find comfort with being alone. I know, I know. . . everyone says that, and there’s a knee—jerk reaction to raise your middle finger and point it at the page this is written on, or my picture.

But the truth is, it’s the only way to look at it. Once you find that wonderful, loving twosome, you’ll never have it again. So think of ST as a gift. Sort of like being a child, all you want to do is grow up and everyone keeps telling you, “You’re only young once.” Well, ST is only temporary, so enjoy it.

Don’t spend endless afternoons wallowing in self-pity and chocolate — well maybe one afternoon, but then get over yourself and move on. Your life is what you make of it and you’ll be a hell of a lot more interesting to a guy if you have something going on. You won’t seem like a needy bird who’s fallen out of a nest, but instead you can be a big, full-feathered, soaring hot mama, who can find as many worms as she wants to eat when she’s good and ready. OK, enough with the bird analogies. I do get it. If you are a parent, when you don’t have custody of your child, it’s hard to want to be around married friends with children. A) because it reminds you that you are missing yours and B) because if you really want to watch Nickleodeon and eat macaroni cheese you’ll do it on your own kid’s time. So if you don’t have a lot of single friends, that leaves you to a pretty lonely Saturday afternoon. But my suggestion is get out. Get outdoors, go for a walk, visit a museum, sit in the park and read, go to a beach, feel the sun, listen to music. Do something to move your body and make yourself feel good. It’s only by putting out the positive ‘yes’ energy into the world that you ever get anything back that’s good — and even if you don’t believe that spiritual crap, well, the other choice gets you nowhere either. Sitting around feeling sorry for yourself, spending hours on a computer, is not sociable and it’s not healthy. Take a photography class. Imagine who you might meet while working on your photo projects. All in all, you have to make yourself happy and then when you finally do meet someone, they won’t be burdened with making you happy, cause you already will be. And guess what, that’s attractive. Take responsibility for your own happiness and it will multiply. I promise!

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