Things you should do while you're unmarried, no matter your gender, relationship status, or whether or not you ever intend to marry
- Spend several years being single.
Childhood doesn't count. I'm talking several years after, say, age 15. Being single is good for you. You have much more freedom to pursue things you're interested in. If you've pretty much been in one relationship or another since puberty, you probably haven't spent enough time alone with yourself enough to know who you really are and what you want out of life.
- Play with Daddy's/Mommy's tools.
Everyone should know how to use a screwdriver, sewing needle, hammer, matches, etc. by the time they're teenagers. If a button pops off your shirt or you need to put together the new desk chair you bought, you should be able to do it yourself.
- Learn to cook.
I feel sorry for all the grown men (and women) out there who don't even know how to boil water to make spaghetti. Not only is cooking fun and potentially delicious, it's kind of one of those skills you need to live. And watch Good Eats on the Food Network. Alton Brown will show you how to make food you want to eat, the best ways to do it, the science behind it, and even if you have severe ADD, you won't be bored watching the show.
- Live by yourself or with a platonic friend or two.
College dorms don't count. I'm talking about having an apartment or house and paying bills and living expenses. Living by yourself or with people you're not romantically involved with and/or financially dependent on. It's a coming-of-age thing, or something.
- Get a job.
Preferably a rewarding career you like, but really anything that sufficiently pays the bills.
- Become financially independent.
This pretty much goes with the last two. Besides... if it's your own money you've earned, YOU decide what to do with it!
- Embrace your guilty pleasures, and find efficient ways to hide them.
If you live alone, you can jump on your bed singing along with the Spice Girls all you want, but your spouse probably won't appreciate it. Also, it could potentially get embarrassing if your wife storms into the room angrily saying "WHOSE '13 Going on 30' DVD is this? It's definitely not mine! Did you have ANOTHER WOMAN over?!?!?!" and you don't want to admit that it's your favorite movie and you sob like a baby every time you watch it, because she'll totally laugh at you and then go tell her friends, who'll tell their husbands, who will then laugh at you and won't invite you to go see the next Spiderman movie because you secretly love girly romantic comedies.
- Find out what you're allergic to.
You never know, you might be allergic to your husband's fluffball of a cat, Snowflake, or your wife's slobbering lab, Bif. Or that disgusting patchouli-scented lotion your wife insists on using. Or your husband's grandmother's prize-winning blueberry pie.
- Decorate your bedroom as ridiculous as you want.
Paint the walls fluorescent orange, hang up New Kids on the Block posters, hang plastic (or real) skeletons from the ceiling, whatever you want. It's YOUR space and nobody else's!
- Have best friends of both sexes.
You'll have a much more interesting perspective on life if you hang out with people of more than one gender. And that whole "a man and a woman can never really be friends because the sex gets in the way" thing is total bullshit. Even if there's attraction involved, you can still have a satisfying, healthy friendship.
- Drive somewhere that's at least 8 hours away all by yourself.
It's good for the soul, it gives you lots of thinking time, and you can sing along with the Spice Girls for 8 hours straight even though the kids in the Winnebago next to you are pointing and laughing. Not that I advocate listening to the Spice Girls. I prefer Hannah Montana, myself.
- Eat at Taco Bell for 3 meals straight.
It does interesting things to your digestive system. Things that probably nobody else will appreciate, but interesting things. I got my last 3 meals from Taco Bell. And sadly enough, I'll probably end up eating that leftover burrito in the fridge for lunch tomorrow. This is what happens when you're in a transitional stage. You eat a lot of Taco Bell.
- Befriend other singles... who are waaaaaay out of your age group.
You should befriend people who are much older/younger than you anyway, but those who are also unattached will have more time for you and won't just prattle on about their son's soccer game or husband's toenail infection and other boring Married People stories.
- If you have serious unresolved issues, seek therapy, and work on resolving them.
It will be good for you. Besides, nobody wants to marry an emotional train wreck. I'm not saying you shouldn't marry if you have issues, just that you should start to resolve the serious ones so they won't become a problem. Also, for the record, it is NEVER fair to expect your partner to be your personal therapist or depend on another person for your emotional well-being. Seriously.
- Go to as many ethnic restaurants as you possibly can.
Of course, you can do this even if you're married, but if your spouse hates or is scared to try one particular country's food, and you love it or really want to try it, it's going to make things difficult. So stuff your face with weird delicacies from obscure countries you've never heard of while you can, before you have a spouse who constantly vetoes your restaurant choices.
I'm sure I could think of more, but I'm sleeeeepy.