CatsNowadays it’s easier than ever to die alone. Well, technically everyone “dies alone,” but for this article’s sake, “dying alone” means dying without a spouse or significant other at your side. And I believe that if everyone just tries hard enough (or, hell, doesn’t try at all), you too can die alone with the comfort of all 15 of your cats, purring beside you, meowing you into the great beyond.

Mmmm. Sounds peaceful, doesn’t it.

So how do we get there?

#1. Attitude: If you’re going to go this alone in life you first need to officially not give a crap. I mean really. Don’t care. Especially what others think, because the world is surely going to impose on your view that life is better alone. Everyone wants a man, right (or woman, I don’t know your life)? Why don’t you? Because I JUST DON’T. That’s why. Your mom wants grandkids? Too bad mom. You’re not trying to get pregnant. For the last ten years to shut her up you always tell her, “I’ll get pregnant when I meet the right person” and you’re 47. Girl, you ain’t waiting for the right person, you just have that “attitude.”

#2. Perception: This is a tricky one, but an alternative for those who still want to “care” and can’t develop an “I don’t give a crap” attitude. Basically, if you want your perception to be wrecked so badly that you can’t have a functional dating life just read every article in existence about “how to get a man” or “what men want?” or “how women can’t have it all” or that book “Lean In.” If that doesn’t make you feel bad enough because you’re a black woman and you look in the mirror and go “I’m still cute,” read all the articles that tell you why black women aren’t getting married because they’re too angry, overly educated, fat, successful, poor, or undesirable to marry. If you had high self-esteem (like most black women do), let that go and let the world do its work to destroy it. Only once you go truly into despair or full on man panic mode you almost guaranteed to make the poor decisions (and non-decisions) to ensure your loneliness.

#3. Hygiene and Appearance: I find that nothing gets people to ignore the crap out of you like not bathing for several days. It works for the homeless. Look at how people just step over them in the street. It’s that powerful. Also, let yourself go. You don’t want to “accidentally” attract someone by still “being cute.” Nooo. You need to go the opposite of cute, which is wearing things with elastic waist bands and everything three sizes too large. Definitely don’t do anything with your hair. And I mean, anything. Just wear it in the same pulled back sloppy bun, sloppy afro puff or sloppy ponytail everyday no matter what. You don’t want to put too much thought in it. Whatever’s easiest will do.

#4. Me Me Me: If you can’t bring yourself to be a hot smelly mess (maybe you’re a germaphobe who likes expensive shoes), not give a crap or hate yourself, what you can do is be so wrapped up in yourself that there’s simply no room at the inn for another ego in your life. Be rude. Be selfish. Be critical of others because you’re the only one who matters. Throw fits when other people’s lives intrude upon your time. That will show them for thinking their life has value to you. Because it doesn’t. Only your life has value now. Life is a stage, you’re Gladys Knight and everyone else is the Pips. (Or for you not-quite-youngins … you’re Beyonce and everyone else is an ex-Destiny’s Child member.) Relish and luxuriate in your greatness. Love yourself above all others.

#5. Rejection: Sometimes, even if you do all of one through four you’ll still have the misfortune of accidentally attracting some man (or woman) who thinks you’re “still cute” despite being a generally negative and selfish person. This is an unfortunate reality in life that love is often a complete crap shoot and some of the absolute worst people you know have boyfriends and girlfriends, husbands and wives. You’re all, “How did that person get someone? They’re a jerk.” For all we know, it’s because they did one through four, are an actual jerk, but didn’t follow through on this important step on the road to dying alone. After all, this is a tough step. This is where you have to hold firm and ruin whatever chances there are at a relationship, every time, not matter how you feel about the other person. Forget birthdays. Forget to call. Forget to text. Lose numbers. Stand people up on dates. Refuse to go on dates. Curse someone out. Cheat on them. Waste their time and money. They’ll get the point (eventually) that you’re not interested. Unless they’re a masochist. In that case, Mazel Tov, you’ve become one of those horrible people who have someone who loves them anyway.

#6. Access Denied: Let’s say you don’t want to be a horrible, smelly, self-defeated, miserable person. You still want to be nice and respectful and live a good life. Simple enough. You just have do things like not date, not go out, not pursue people, not even consider a man’s interest even when he’s interested and ignore, ignore, ignore. You don’t have to be rude about it. You just don’t want to be bothered. And you, by far, are the strongest of all six types mentioned here because you simply do not want to get married. It’s not a political statement, or about bitterness. You simply like being alone. Sure, you enjoy friends and family, but a serious relationship? Nah. You’re good.

Now, if for some reason you’re someone who doesn’t want to die alone, it’s probably best to do the opposite of everything on this list. Like for one, you should probably care; two, don’t read those horrible articles; three, take a bath and comb your hair; four, don’t be so selfish; five, have an open mind and open heart when meeting people; and six, stay in the dating game instead of sitting it all out.

But, ugh. Why would you want to do that? That’s too much work. Just hold your cats tighter. Hold them. They love being held. Except when they don’t and they bite and scratch you. But those are bites and scratches of love. A love that can’t be denied.

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