Relationship Dupes

A love letter to myself and no one in particular…

Sara K. Runnels
3 min readNov 11, 2022


Photo by brooklyn on Unsplash

Every other TikTok I see feels like it revolves around recommendations for products claiming to be just as good or effective as similar ones — “dupe culture,” they call it. Essentially, “don’t spend an insane amount of time & money on something over-the-top when there’s a more efficient duplicate that does the trick.”

That’s how I feel about being single.

If I wanted to intimately hold hands and gently grasp palms, I’d get a manicure.

If I wanted someone to make me feel like the prettiest, smartest, most interesting woman in the room, I’d give myself a Lizzo-level pep-talk in the mirror.

If I wanted a stunning bouquet of flowers from the love of my life, I’d walk my cute ass over to the market and pick up a bunch so lush and vibrant, the people I pass default to supporting characters.

If I wanted steady, unwavering romance, I’d continue to romanticize even the most ordinary moments of my life.

If I wanted to be gifted a charming playlist replete with sweet songs destined for repeat, I’d indulge the Spotify robots.

If the middle of my back desperately needed scratching, I’d be as resourceful as a wild brown bear and an unsuspecting tree.

If I yearned for a starry-eyed date night buzzed on butterflies and bubbles, I’d swipe until there was a hopeful, handsome man at my go-to date spot at 8:30.

If I wanted to feel, reach, tremble from carnal euphoria, well, that’s easy.

If I wanted the healthy tension of winning a petty fight with an equal, I’d argue with a coworker about the em dash.

If I wanted someone to write me lustful and astonishing poetry, I’d simply dig through the forbidden section of my DMs.

If I wanted to put together furniture with instructions warning it’s a two-person job, I’d risk the injury.

If I wanted to celebrate a win or connect warmly or feel unabashedly and enthusiastically loved, I’d reach out to the exclusive roster of those I adore most.

If I wanted a Sunday Kind of Love, I’d turn up Etta James as high as she could go and sip…



Sara K. Runnels

Copywriter by day. Humor writer by night. Exhausted by afternoon. @omgskr /