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How to Be Single (According to Classic Literature)

You’re probably thinking, “If there’s one thing I know how to be, it’s single. Seriously, I don’t need help with this.” But trust me, there’s definitely a right way and a wrong way to do it. The right way involves learning to be your own person and living your best life; the wrong way involves constantly checking your crush’s social feeds and accidentally becoming Facebook friends with his mom.

Personally, I learn most things—how to flirt, how to kisshow to wage a decade-long war against the Trojans—from classic literature. So if you want to do this single thing, and do it RIGHT, here’s how to go about it:

1. Take some time to be by yourself. Break up with your lady because a wizard told you to, then travel the lands in search of a dragon to slay.

2. Develop a hobby or two, like throwing parties, bootlegging, indulging in excess, and ultimately dying alone.

3. Find a creative outlet. Build an unsightly monster and then release it on the unsuspecting townsfolk.

4. Treat yourself. Never deny your gluttonous, hedonistic self a single thing that you desire.

5. Put yourself out there. Tell everyone your fifth husband recently died and you’re looking for a sixth.

6. Surround yourself with supportive people. Murder them for arbitrary reasons and then hide the body.

7. Learn to be happy by yourself, unless that’s not possible, in which case feel free to make everyone else miserable until all of you die.

8. Make new friends. Accompany them on an epic journey. Get caught in the crossfires of a war between men, wood-elves, dwarves, goblins, and Wargs. Return home battle-worn and jaded.

9. Find your passion. If that means accusing people of witchcraft and seeing Goody Proctor with the devil, so be it.

10. Don’t dwell on your loneliness. Dwell instead on the great injustice a former friend has committed against you. Wall him up in his own wine cellar. Leave him there to die.

11. Try new things, like fighting monsters underwater and coming to terms with your own mortality.

12. Take a chance and ask out that girl you like. Ask her to cast off all societal chains and run away to the woods with you. Insult her when she says no.

13. Make a deal with the devil.

14. Turn into a giant insect and be a burden on your family.

15. You’re not actually single. You have a lover. Your lover is the French Republic.

16. Travel. Be a migrant farmer. Drift from town to town in the Depression-era Dust Bowl, looking for work and a purpose in life.

17. Learn to love being on your own. Pine for your long-lost girlfriend and never take another lover.

18. Make a pact with your friends not to date anybody for three years. There’s no way love will find you when you least expect it.

19. Self-care means having a baby out of wedlock with the town reverend and just hoping your husband stays lost at sea.

20. Embrace your freedom. While you have it, that is. Ultimately you will be imprisoned and condemned to death for crimes you didn’t commit, but you will meet the guillotine with your head held high.

21. Focus on your family and friends. Play matchmaker for them and ignore them when they beg you to stop. They will fall in love and they will like it.

22. Help others in need. Specifically, help one socially awkward individual seduce the girl he’s in love with. Neglect to mention that you are also in love with her. Be sad about this. Die alone, a tragic figure.

23. Don’t spend all your time looking for love. If it’s meant to be, love will find you. Seriously. Even if you live on an island in the middle of nowhere, just wait around and marry the first man that gets shipwrecked right in front of you. It’s bound to happen eventually.