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© 2015 mo'adore | Content and design by Morag Lee | Powered by Blogger.

"How are you still happy being single after all this time?"

That's the question I regularly get when someone finds out just how long I've been single.

For those of you who have been reading my blog for a long time (or even from the start) you'll notice that I've never mentioned a relationship. If you subscribed a bit more recently and don't know when I started my blog, well, it was January 2011 - so you can do the maths.

While it does feels weird to acknowledge that it has been seven years since I've had an official relationship, it's not something I think about much or am particularly concerned about. The only time I ever mention it is when someone asks me about it (or, eh, when I decide to write about it openly on the internet).

The people who ask me the most about it aren't even family members (I used to get those invasive old-fashioned questions, but I think my family have got to the point where they expect cats instead of children) or rude strangers - it's actually girls who are newly single or women who can't get comfortable in solitude.

And I get it. I might be nonchalant about it now, but it took me years to get honestly comfortable with singlehood - especially the prospect that I might single forever. When my last official relationship ended I found myself lost in a sea of internet advice about learning to live as a single person, while convincing myself that being by myself was temporary. It maybe took three years for me to finally settle in and not wonder if every new guy I met would be my next boyfriend.

But when I did get comfortable I discovered something wonderful. When I lost the fear of dying alone I felt powerful. I now no longer date guys I don't really fancy just so I can have something. I shape the life I want. And I'm comfortable in my own company, and lead a great life. Only a really terrific guy who I was madly in love with would realistically stand a chance.

While I can't give you advice on how to find love, I can give you advice on not being too sad if you haven't found it. So if you're still not okay with being sans-partner here's my guide on how to be single and not give a damn.

1. Shape your life
The number one benefit of not having a partner is being free to carve out your own life. Want to relocate? Go ahead. Thinking of buying a flat in a loud city centre? There's not a second person moaning about the noise. Fancy altering your appearance in a noticeable way? You don't need to fear that your partner won't find you attractive anymore.

Think about how your ideal life looks (even if that ideal life involves a partner) and begin looking at a way to shape that. I think there's a proverb somewhere that you're more likely to attract like-minded people if you live your most authentic life...

2. Be honest with yourself about why you are single
Time to get blunt: some people are single because....well, no one with standards would want them. Can you confidently say that you are single (either short term or long term) because the right person never came along? Or is there a deeper rooted issue? There's no shame in the latter, but it something to think and deal with head on if there is.

3. Don't stop dating
I've not been sitting around for seven years like a nun. As you might have predicted by my fascination with dating apps, I still have an active romantic and sexual life. It's very personal and I know some people really aren't into hook-ups and, if that's you, I am not suggesting you get yourself into situations that you're uncomfortable with. But it's certainly not hurt me...

4. Build a great social and friends' circle
I'd argue that platonic relationships are just as important as romantic ones, single or married. But when you don't have a life partner you'll find yourself very lonely if you don't have strong ride 'til you die friendships.

5....but don't be friends with people who judge your singlehood
I still receive patronising comments from strangers and elderly family members, but I don't put up with them from friends. Being woke and modern are essential qualities I look for in friends, which includes not assuming single people are automatically unhappier than those that are taken. You don't need people in your life who make you feel shitty about your life choices or things you can't control.

6. Remember that it's better to be single than settle
This statement is a little cliche but anyone who has ever been in a relationship that was unhappy, unhealthy, unfulfilling, toxic or abusive will tell you that it holds truth. I've wasted time in dead-end relationships (or held out for the idea of a relationship with someone for too long) so I know first hand that it's better to have nights with no one to snuggle than to put up with the wrong person.

If you've never had the misfortune of being in a shitty relationship, you might lose your sense of realism on this one. But surely you know a couple who are just so wrong together and should call it quits? They are your muse.

7. Invest in something and create your safety net
Time for some boring and very unromantic chat. I am on track to buy my own flat before I turn 30, which is obviously exciting. While I could have saved up money quicker if I had a partner, I also think of this as my silver lining. My current flatmate is a lawyer and explained to me that if I buy a property prior to marriage, it is mine and a partner cannot take it from me in the event of a messy divorce. I've known people who have split up with long-term partners in their 30s and are forced back into flatshares and I'm so grateful I'm not in their situation - and never will be.

8. Moving on doesn't have to mean moving on with someone else
When someone you care about goes through a break-up or divorce, it's tempting to say "here, here you'll find someone new". And while your heart is in the right place, it's problematic in the long-run because it reinforces the societal brainwashing that being single is a bad thing, and should only be temporary.

I can assure you that I stopped mourning the end of my last official relationship many years ago, despite never having found a 'replacement' for my ex-boyfriend. Moving on simply means that you've closed that door, and are building a new life.

9. Don't keep tabs on your exes
I've dated many men over my time, and I think only three of them are still on my Facebook (I even have a few blocked on social media). A friendship with an ex is possible but unless you have children together, there's no obligation to keep each other in your lives. I do have an active friendship with a guy I met on Tinder two years ago (and ended up casually with for almost a year) but we ended on very good terms, the split was somewhat mutual and he's not an ass-hat. But most importantly: I wouldn't be jealous if I seen him with someone else.

As much as you can tell yourself that it's not a competition to see "who moves on first" (see point above) it's very hard to not feel a little blue when you spot your ex with someone new, especially if things didn't end well. Find somewhere new to drink, stay away from their end of town for while, stay off their social media profiles and leave them where they belong: in the past.

10. Date yourself and take care of yourself
I always shave my legs, moisturise my body and paint my toenails - even though no one else sees me naked on the regular. And you know why? Because I still have to see me naked and I deserve to look good for me. 

Dating yourself can invovle so many things. From keeping your house clean at all times, even when you live alone. Or buying yourself flowers. Or having a solo bubble bath with music, candles and wine. Or even going to the theatre yourself.

11. But be honest with yourself if you want a relationship

While being single has worked out for me, it's not necessarily for everyone. I've always been very independent, I don't want children and I'm introverted. But some people are highly monogamous, love the company of others and consider having children to be one of their big life goals. If you're the latter, be honest with yourself and make the effort to find The One (without settling). There's no shame in preferring a relationship - just make sure that it's the right relationship.

Later that day I got to thinking about relationships. There are those that open you up to something new and exotic, those that are old and familiar, those that bring up lots of questions, those that bring you somewhere unexpected, those that bring you far from where you started, and those that bring you back. But the most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you can find someone to love the you you love, well, that's just fabulous.
A bit of musing from Carrie Bradshaw will always make you feel better.

morag | mo adore
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Trying Violife Vegan Cheese at Pizza Hut

If there's a vegan food variation that I'm always on the hunt for, it's vegan pizza (it's even on my Instagram bio...).  
Long before I was even vegan, pizza has always been my favourite food. It's tasty but also simple and gets the job done when you're hungry. When I first went vegan (or when I made lots of little stop-and-start attempts) vegan pizzas weren't all that common. But in the last few years we've seen them pop up all over the place. Pizza Express, DiMaggio's, Paesano, Zizzi's, Pizza Punks and Italian Kitchen all have their own vegan pizza offerings. 

And now Pizza Hut have added vegan cheese to their menu that you can upgrade to for £1. 

Yeah, yeah, I know you everyone knows that Pizza Hut now have a new vegan option and I'm late to the party blah, blah. But I managed to blag mine through their PR company so it was worth the wait because, you know, free pizza is the best pizza. 

Admittedly, I hadn't been to a Pizza Hut for years and can't even remember what their pizzas are like. From what I remember they've always been no fuss and their restaurants are great for casual catch-up with friends - especially if you're young or have young ones in the family. 

The vegan cheese upgrade is used to replace mozzarella, which leaves two choices: Margarita, and Veggie Supreme. I don't normally eat much in the evenings so I opted for the lighter option of Margarita, while Gail went for the Veggie Supreme. 

As with all Pizza Hut options, this was no-fuss and did the job. At the table next to us were two teenage girls, and I honestly think I was their age the last time I was ever in a Pizza Hut. And across the room was a mother and her daughter, who looked like she was 10-ish. Pizza Hut has definitely stayed true to its brand and target audience for many years. 

While Pizza Hut's offering was the most simple of the vegan pizzas I've tried it's great to know there's another option out there - especially for vegan parents who need somewhere to take the kids, and for teenager vegans looking for an after-school place to hang out. 

Have you tried the vegan option from Pizza Hut? What did you think? 
morag | mo adore
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