There is this thing that happens when you are an unmarried 26 year-old guy. All your friends have paired off with their significant others. It’s not a bad thing, and you’re really happy for all your friends (at least the ones whose wives/husbands you like). But they call less and less. Though every once in a while your lost friends will call. (My response to this call is always, “Is your wife out of town?” Usually, the answer is “Yes” or “No, she just wanted a girl’s night.”) With their newfound night of freedom, your friends have gracefully decided to pull you down out of the attic and dust you off just to see what you’re up to. Now you feel obligated to break any plans you already have because you haven’t seen them in three months. This is being single in your later 20’s. If this sounds like you, please keep reading. If not, screw you and your happy marriage.
For those of you continuing to read, I’m with you. Every one of my college friends is either married or engaged (bastards). There is no more texting my buddies on a Friday to hang out. Everything must be planned out a week or more in advance. Usually, I send out a group text to my friends that says something along the lines of, “Poker night at my place on Saturday at 8p. Everyone bring a 6-pack of some good beer.”
Here are the average responses that I get:
- “I’m down but can we start at like 6? I have to get to bed early to teach Sunday School tomorrow”
- “Sorry, man, Ellen and I are going to ‘Paint your Art out’ next Saturday.”
- “I can come, but can I bring Lauren?”
- “Let’s do it! I can’t bring beer though, I’m on Whole30.”
Ideally, my responses would look like this respectively. “No” – “That’s dumb” – “Hell no” – “What the hell is wrong with you.” But instead, I text back, “Some other time” which we all know means that we will never again have a poker night. Gone are the days of staying up and drinking with my buddies. If we do get together, I’m home by 10. I have so much time on my hands that I don’t know what to do with. While everyone is off tackling their “Honey-do Lists,” I have nothing but an endless abyss of time that could drive me crazy if I stared in too long. I could just sit on the couch and watch Netflix, but I don’t want to waste away and do nothing. I want to be active. I have found solace in hobbies. I have become the hobby king, not by willing myself to be but due to necessity to escape boredom. So here I will discuss potential hobbies that can possibly appeal to guys in my particular place in life.
- You will look great
- You’ll feel great
- Good team-oriented atmosphere
- You will be required to refer to crossfit in every conversation you have ever
- They charge like $150 a month
- Back pain
Attractive to the opposite sex? I mean, the results are, but just don’t mention you do crossfit
Crossfit is one of those things that people either love or love to hate. I’ve tried it, and I’ve got to admit, it’s not my thing. But I will say that I am jealous of the results that I’ve seen in some people I know that do it. You show up, you stretch, you get the W.O.D. (workout of the day), pick up and put down heavy things, vomit, and repeat the next day. People there are typically nice and welcoming, and they are good encouragers. But I left my high school football mentality in high school (1st team all-district), and I really don’t want to revisit that exercise atmosphere. But the people who do crossfit swear by it, and I respect them for their commitment to their craft.
Picking up a Musical Instrument
- Exhibiting creativity in a way you might not have before
- Start-up costs are fairly low
- Learning a music is great if you don’t know anything about it
- It takes so long to be any good
- Blisters early on
Attractive to the opposite sex? Only for piano and guitar
If you play an instrument other than a tambourine or a triangle, you have my respect. The time it takes to get good at playing an instrument is extensive. I used to think that music was all relative, but now I apologize for my ignorance. I picked up guitar in November of 2015 just to try it. I fell in love with it. I’m still terrible, but I’m good enough now to play Wonderwall (the song that requires least amount of guitar knowledge in order to get laid). Learning music was challenging because it was a whole different language that I had no prior experience in. I just looked on Facebook Marketplace for pianos and guitars. You can easily get a beginner instrument for under $50. Playing an instrument is pretty rewarding, and it’s one that will make the girls swoon if you can play some crappy country songs. On the other hand, you forfeit that benefit if you pick up an oboe, trombone, or any other orchestral instrument, but in consolation, you still have my respect.
- Nature is beautiful
- Great exercise
- Virtually free
- You can only hike the same places for so long before you have to travel
- The smell of deet
- Dangerous animals
Attractive to the opposite sex? Yes, if that person also likes hiking.
What isn’t there to love about getting out in the woods, smelling the fresh air, and connecting with nature? I’ll tell you what: bees, snakes, bears, poison ivy, etc. I’m joking. I will go for a hike every once in a while so that when I start dating a girl that loves the outdoors (super attractive, ladies), I can have something to talk about. While there isn’t much in the way of hiking here in Oklahoma, there are still great parks that offer fun and scenic trails all over. On a date, it’s a great place to learn a lot about the person you’re dating – Do they avoid the muddy trails? Are they afraid of bugs? Or are they even having fun? Going for a hike is great for the body, mind, and soul. Hiking is great to do by yourself too. As an extravert, it’s nice to get out and interact with nature without being distracted by another person. Just call someone to let them know where you are going before you do. You don’t want to lose an arm like that dude in 127 hours.
- Super fun
- Great way to connect with friends
- Growing marketplace
- 12 year-olds insulting your mother
- High start-up costs
Attractive to the opposite sex? Not at all
In the last 10 years online gaming has skyrocketed. Why not jump on the bandwagon? I have many friends (married and unmarried) that spend an extensive amount of time gaming. I even have a Discord account that lets me interact with my buddies as they play. I’m surprised that I really enjoy watching them play too. But, alas, the world still looks down on gamers as cellar-dwellars. That’s possibly because for some gamers, their online presence replaces their social lives. To get into gaming, you have to drop upwards of $400 – $500 easily. I’ve never really been a video game guy, heck the newest platform I have is a Nintendo 64, but I understand the appeal. Many of you are probably already deep in the gaming world. That’s great! Your hand-eye coordination is probably off the charts, and I bet you have had some cool conversations with other gamers around the world. But I think the benefits my stop there. I hold gaming in the same realm as Netflix. It’s almost pure entertainment.
- Great life skill
- Rewarding to build something with your hands
- Creative outlet
- High start-up costs
- People always asking you to build things
- Occasional trip to the ER
- It’s actual work
Attractive to the opposite sex? 100%
Pardon me if I’m biased towards this one, but woodworking is my passion. I took woodshop in high school and loved it. When I got some disposable income after college, I began assembling my shop. You take some wood and make it into something else. It’s great. I will say, I have had to get stitches twice (in the same month, in the same finger), but that was due to sharp chisels plowing through my finger. Yes, to have a fully furnished shop will set you back more than other hobby, but I would start out small and grab a circular saw, a drill, and some screws to build some easy projects to ease yourself in. Watch out for your fingers and watch lots of YouTube videos to learn. The downside is that once you get good, people come out of the woodwork (one bad pun, sue me) to ask you to build them something. For me, the answer is almost always “no,” this is my hobby, not my job, and I will charge you more for a kitchen table than for you to get on to craigslist and buy a table from a kid selling one for drug money.
- Great way to give back to the community
- Rewarding to help others
- Contingent on where you volunteer
Attractive to the opposite sex? Who doesn’t love those who help others?
There is no nobler hobby than to give up your time for others. Go to a food bank, help out at the animal shelter, or work with high school kids. I can’t say enough in favor of volunteering. I have found my place with a non-profit ministry called Young Life. All I do is hang out with high school kids and be consistent in their lives. I have a group of junior boys that I’ve (for lack of better word) mentored since they were freshman. It’s great most of the time until I just want to pop their little heads off. But spending time with them and inviting them into my life has been my most rewarding experience. They make stupid sex jokes and actively try to get under my skin, but I love those little hooligans. Above all others, this hobby is the one I would recommend most. Volunteering can bring a deeper purpose to your life that wasn’t there previously. Go out and help someone.
There you have it. That’s my breakdown of some hobbies to fill your free time. But don’t let my analysis sway you into something you don’t enjoy. That’s what hobbies are all about. You’re single and in your 20’s. Nobody loves you. Might as well do something you love.
About the author:
Mitch is a 26 year-old guy living in Oklahoma City. He works for an electronics distribution company as a data analyst. He received he undergrad degree in Marketing and Management at Oklahoma State University and his MBA at Oklahoma City University. He is stunningly handsome and extremely charming. When he is not working, you can find him trying to deal with his commitment issues.