JEREMY ALLEN WHITE (JAW), star of mega-hit The Bear, is single. We know this not because we’re particularly eagle-eyed internet cyber sleuths trailing digital breadcrumbs but rather because since JAW’s former wife, Addison Timlin, filed for divorce in May, the actor has been relentless in his efforts to communicate how unattached and available he is.
There was the thirsty shirtless run through LA on a hot afternoon, his torso glistening in a pair of skimpy shorts. There was his recent footpath make-out session with model Ashley Moore. And this week, he took things online, jumping into the comments section of photographer duo Inez & Vinoodh, who recently shared a Calvin Klein commercial featuring Euphoria star Alexa Demi, where JAW offered a single, full-blooded “WOW”.
Any man who’s recently found himself back on ‘the scene’ after a lengthy relationship will tell you that those first few months can be tough as you grapple with novel concepts such as freedom, opportunity, autonomy, as well as despair, solitude and loneliness. There’s a tendency to want to sample all the previously forbidden fruits and fair enough. At the same time, communicating that you’re available without arousing undue scorn from jealous mates is tricky, particularly if you’re the self-conscious type.
Thankfully JAW is currently giving a masterclass in managing this tricky transitional period. His modus operandi appears to be one that prioritises enjoying himself and getting shots off, with the implicit understanding that he probably won’t be single for long and this period will be one he looks back on with nostalgia and possibly some longing. As we said, a masterclass. Of course, not everyone makes being newly single look this easy. The temptation to drink too much, party too hard, act too thirsty, is real and ever-present. Suddenly, rather than slaying like JAW, you’re cutting a forlorn figure, perhaps even becoming the dreaded object of pity among your couple friends as they discuss your plight over their Shakshukas and eggs benes. Soon these friends are lining you up with all manner of unsuitable dates.
To get ahead of that and live your best newly single life, here’s a few dos and don’ts to consider.
In your mentally fragile state, hitting iron and pounding pavement can help restore battered self-esteem. Pursuing goals—say, 3 sets of 10 chins—gives you purpose. Chuck on ‘Lose Yourself’, ‘Stronger’ or whatever rousing, pounding anthem gets you locked in, pull up your hoodie and get after it. You’re building a sick new rig and a sense of self-worth at the same time.
Post a shirtless selfie
We get it: you want to show off your hard work. You love the way the striations in your trapezius pop under your bathroom’s downlights (seriously, you could marry those lights) after a session under the rack. There are suddenly contours in your abdomen that, with a little more work, could soon transform into the more severe topography of VISIBLE ABS. Don’t do it. Yes, plenty of celebs that have put it out there, even Tom Brady did it after his split with Giselle. But, for one, Brady has his own underwear line, so he can just about get away with a flesh trap in the name of promotion. What’s that? You have an underwear line coming out in Spring? Then you don’t need to be reading this; get out of here, you lurker.
That leaves us with JAW’s shirtless-run-on-a-hot-day play. Couple of things: make sure it’s a scorcher; you want a valid excuse for losing the T. And tip off the papps first (c’mon bro, this is 101 stuff, we shouldn’t have to spell it out). Failing that, keep your shirt on, shoot for a less-is-more-mystery angle and hope someone clocks your forearms and wonders what else is hiding up those sleeves.
Get on the apps
Why not, that’s what they’re there for. Go out and meet new people, have fun, get pent-up energy out of your system.
Game your profile
You’re not really into bouldering even though you did it once five years ago. Nor are you really a fan of European cinema, even though you flick on World Movies now and then. Try to keep things reasonably real, without going into too much detail about your recent heartbreak.
Get a haircut
Yeah sure, you want to look presentable. Nothing wrong with a trim.
Dye your hair
Combined with the sick new rig, a new ’do is probably too much of an obvious marker of a makeover. For younger men, a bleach, for example, telegraphs an overt transformation play—as you’ve probably worked out by now, the key with all of this is to make a concerted effort to look desirable without seeming to give a fuck. For older gents, while the temptation will be to hide the greys, it brings you right up to the line of ‘mid-life crisis’, which you know is a label the friend circle is just itching to slap you with.
Party too hard
Yes, you’re entitled to a few blowouts, particularly in the immediate aftermath of the split. But it can be a swift descent into sorry and regretful drunk dials of your ex at 3am. Plus, party too hard and you undermine your #gainz, dummy.
Find a new hobby
You now have plenty of time on your hands. Use it to better yourself. Everyone has things they’ve always wanted to try but never had time. Now you do. Bonus, it may make you more appealing to prospective partners, and it at least gives you something to talk about (we’ll even allow you to mention it on your dating profile). It could become a passion or just be a passing fad… like that bouldering weekend five years ago.
Slide into DMs
Okay, like JAW, you’re in the shot-shooting game right now. Players play. Jump in there off the back of his or her post about their new house plant with a self-deprecating comment about how you killed an unkillable succulent and you’re away. They don’t respond? Tough but, you know, you miss 100 per cent of the shots you don’t take, etc, etc.
Enter the comments section
There’s shooting your shot and then there’s misguided audacity. Yes, JAW’s doing it but the man is shooting magma right now; he can pretty much do anything he wants. But fine, we’ll kick the can around a little bit, there are levels to this, after all. If you’re friends with the person, a compliment on an innocuous pic, like the houseplant, is cool; it could inspire a little back and forth and then you can take it to the DMs. But to show up in the comments under a pic of the person in their swimsuit, for example, with a JAW-inspired ‘WOW’ or the even higher stakes gambit of ‘DAMN’ is such a bold, public and high-risk move that it may be difficult to come back from if it’s not received well. At the same time, perhaps it’s creepier to drop a ‘WOW’ or a ‘DAMN’ in a DM. Perhaps the public, transparent nature of the move is so confounding, so ambiguous, so brazen, that the recipient can’t help but be intrigued. Maybe, and this is a big maybe, they posted this pic hoping for just this type of reaction. Maybe you’ve just elicited a surge of dopamine in their dendrites.
And maybe, JAW’s playing chess, while we’re all sitting here playing checkers.