I was struck by an epiphany yesterday, as I left REI with new ski poles, goggles and gloves in hand.

Lately, I’ve been buying some fairly expensive items for myself – camera equipment, clothing, HDTV, etc. Certainly I’m enabled by a comfortable-enough salary for such purchases, but I often say to myself, “Well, you would be spending at least this much if you were dating someone, but since you’re not, you can buy it.” And I proceed the purchase the item for myself.

I think I’ve noticed the trend because of more significant purchases recently. I’ve been single for more than two years now, but if I were instead in a relationship for the last two years, I’d be buying some significantly expensive gifts for the girlfriend by this time – so I instead buy more expensive gifts for myself. It’s a weird economic logic that’s developed, but it’s become the standard buying behavior.

I can even look back to a year and a half ago. I was single for a shorter period of time and didn’t spend as much on myself. My thought then was, “Sure, I’ll go out for food tonight because I’d be spending double if I was dating someone,” which was true. I was at an earlier stage of singlehood then, so I spent less on myself. Now that I’m at a serious level of singlehood, I’m spending more.

I can’t justify why I maintain this purchasing equilibrium, but I can say that when I’m home, watching “The Office” on HD, out shooting photos at a concert, or hitting the slopes at Crystal, I’m at peace with the financial freedoms of singlehood. Company has an unprecedented value, but I’ll manage spoiling myself for the time being, in lieu of a girlfriend.