Illustration by Maxine Crump.

I had my first kiss two months ago and started a casual relationship (my first romantic relationship) with the guy I kissed. It basically consisted of us hanging out a few times a week. Eventually I realized that it wasn’t working because he was boring me and I ended it. I don’t want to be mean, but I feel like it’s important for me to recognize when a guy isn’t giving me what I need out of a relationship. Now, I have decided to rededicate myself to being single and really enjoying it. Problem is, I don’t really know how. Do you have any sweet tips for activities and fun things to do as a single, happy person? Thanks a bunch! —Thalia, 18, New York City

First of all, I want to commend you on knowing when to bow out of the relationship. I was in a similar situation recently. I sat across from him, realized the allure had worn off, and questioned what I was getting out of it all. That’s perfectly fine. If someone isn’t willing to meet you halfway or at your standards, parting ways isn’t mean. Why maintain a boring relationship if you don’t have to? A marker of relationship success for me is whether or not my time spent with a person is just as fulfilling as my solitude.

I’m perpetually single. However, I often take myself out on little dates that pertain to my interests. As a broke college student, I’m constantly typing “free things to do this weekend” into Google or checking the events pages at my favorite cultural institutions.

You live in New York City, which is teeming with art-related events, tiny cheap restaurants, and free activities. I suggest going out on a limb and doing things that are seen as “couple stuff.” Take yourself to a movie! Take a ferry ride, something I wish I could do more often because I love being on the water. Consider going to museums and seeing exhibits that spark your curiosity. Hit Groupon and get a discount on a manicure. Make a commitment to try food you’d never considered trying before. Your location is ideal to thrive as a single, happy person. Who knows—you might even meet a friend along the way. —Tayler

Scratching your head about one of (your) life’s many mysteries? Send a question to [email protected] and include your name, age, and location. We will try to assist!