Based on my experience, the ultimate uphill battle of being single in postgrad life is not work or living on your own—it’s getting accustomed to less dating and, hence, less sex. In college, hookups were relatively easy and there were plenty of dating candidates. As someone who’s dated 3 girls in the last 2 years, I can attest that the most noticeable struggle is the first month of a dry streak. The dry streak officially begins once you get over the relationship (or whatever it was). If it was a great, long relationship, it may take a month or so including a session or two of rebound sex. If it was just a casual relationship, it may take a week or even a matter of days. Whatever the length, at some point you realize that you are now without the ultimate form of stress relief in the hectic world of the postgrad.
The realization has just set in that aside from the loss of companionship, you will also be your primary source of carnal pleasure for at least the near future. The external signs of the dreaded dry streak are minor, just a few frustrated outbursts about easily-fixed typos. You are slowly becoming more tightly wrapped and more minor things get on your nerves, making you slowly grind away at your teeth. Also, your diet begins to change as you begin to seek solace in the fashion of a single 39-year-old woman with 5 cats. No longer do you try to eat healthy and exercise—your endorphins become primarily triggered by entire Dominos pizzas and primetime TV. This is only the tip of the iceberg.
You begin to notice the change in habit and behavior and attempt to rectify it. One trip to the gym and a steak salad seem like a good start, but the inspiration disappears overnight. You’ve become so tightly wound you can hear a pin drop and the sound of a coworker on a phone makes you white-knuckle to the point of breaking your pen in half. You consider texting the last person you casually hooked up with, despite the fact that they are now in a committed relationship and live in another time zone. It’s like being an addict needing a fix, culminating with a terrible spell of whacking it. The shame won’t inspire any tears but may prompt excessive drinking and an eating binge.
It’s starting to get bad. The dry streak is taking a physical and mental toll. You get random shakes and engage in self-destructive behavior. You’ve gone out the past 2 weekends and, fun as it was, failed to obtain anything more than a couple excessively drunken nights of dancing and maybe a BODFMO with an out-of-towner. You’re starting to notice a little insulation development around your midsection from your binge drinking and eating. You have now been labeled the grumpiest motherfucker in the office and spend weeknights beating up hookers on GTA V while watching romantic comedies on Netflix. Any attempts to go to the gym have been thwarted by offers of free food from your parents. You start to have immersive Vietnam-style flashbacks of the last few people you had sex with at your desk during work hours. By the end of the week you are sending suggestive texts to ex-hookups. Will this torment never end?
You’ve pretty much capped out on the self destructive behavior because you’ve gotten to the point where if you let this continue any further you’ll have 3 chins and a perpetual hangover. You are slowly accepting the fact that shower time or bath time will be your best friend until you cut the dry streak and, as depressing as that is, it beats the dangerous build up of sexual aggression that would make you a ticking time bomb of verbal abuse and uncontrollable rage. You still have your blanked out moments of temporary insanity but they are few and far between. Sex dominates your thoughts more than usual and you pray that a week straight at the gym will be sufficient to subdue your primal mindset and ease you into a productive, stable, carefree dry streak. Good luck.