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Remember you living alone and loving it? New hostel/job/people in a new city? Unmade beds, unwashed clothes, unplanned outings. Remember missing it once in a blue moon? So the breaks couples get from each other due to work travel (or any other kind) may not always be unwelcome – provided they’re short ones. Only to discover (surprise surprise) that the change is kind of “permanent” (much like those irreversible chemical reactions from school, and yes the “chemistry” reference is intentional), and even when “alone”, you are really not alone in your head anymore. Bigger surprise? You don’t mind that! So here’s the lowdown on what you do during “single life as a couple”.

1. Search IMDB for the “romantic comedy” list – that’s just something you don’t end up watching much anymore. Somehow sit through two agonizingly sappy movies before realising you’ve already watched the best ones, and they ain’t making them like they used to anymore. The music has well and truly died. Feel slightly cheated and hear the “told you so” in your head.

2. Forget what Hallmark had to say…divine revelation on the meaning of “true love” happens everytime you get up to answer ALL the doorbells.

3. Sleep diagonally on the bed, revelling in all the extra space. Wake up with a stiff neck and the feeling that there’s just too much space.

4. Rejoice a while in the silence of the cricket/football/tennis/kabaddi commentary. Suddenly find the house too silent and turn on the music – but keep listening for the whoops of “GOAL” (a feeling probably not shared by the unsuspecting cook who faces it on her first day).

5. Leave the washed laundry and not feel guilty. Watch it pile up and still not feel guilty. Ok this one has absolutely no side effects…just enjoy it.

6. Go partying with friends, dance, get very drunk, and sit through a late-night movie wondering why there are so many “double roles” – and then harass the poor popcorn guy about it. Resolve to do this more often – the dancing I mean, the rest are just business-as-usual weekends.

7. Get used to at least daily 3 calls from home, 2 calls from in-laws, long-distance calls from siblings all checking-up on you…as compared to a weekly call when you were living alone in new cities at a much younger age. Go figure!

8. Chicken out of going to the smelly chicken-shop and decide you can be vegetarian for a few days. Get tired of it and finally go get it over with. Have same realisation as Pt.2 above.

9. Argue belligerently to your heart’s content with the crabby neighbour “uncle” over parking space, unconsciously waiting for calm intervention and diffusion of the issue with a smile, before you remember that’s not happening. Realise you’ve taken it too far and can’t do the smiling bit (or the calm bit for that matter) and walk off in a huff.

10. Read/watch something funny and go looking to share it. Realise the house is empty and finally start counting the days.

So what do you do?