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Home » Dating

“Single” is Not a Problem That Needs to Be Fixed

24 October 2009 21 Comments

I’m not a disabled caterpillar and I’m not dying.

At least not at any more than any other healthy 24-year-old human.
 
So why do people treat my relationship status as something that must be fixed or treated?

“Any new guys in your life..?” – Friend
“Nah, not really.. kinda focusing on work and..” – Me
“Ahh.. well.. you should meet my friend James! He’s great.. he likes to drink and stuff…” – Friend

Welcome to my life.

I’ve been on the dating scene for over two years now. And during that time, I have:

• Exhausted the bar scene
• Really ironed out my booze dancing skills
• Gone on more bad dates than I can or want to recall
• Called one guy my “bf” for three weeks (after which I found out that my friends thought he was so annoying that they actually slipped Tylenol P.M. into his beer one night)
• Had a Facebook relationship for almost four hours (I was not the initiator. I stand by my claim that Facebook relationships are scarier than real ones)
• Joined and quit every online dating site. Twice.

Now, in month 28, my friends (and parents) are starting to get a little nervous.

And how can I blame them?

I mean, no one, including me, really expected this to spill into year three.

My single stints in college were nothing more than the couple weeks it took me to find a new cute, beer-drinking guy who wanted to eat lunch on campus, hang out nightly after practice and cheer on my volleyball team on the weekend.

But as I entered the dating scene in the summer of ‘07, I was finally fresh out of a situation serious enough to make me realize just how much time and energy is demanded by relationships. And further, it made me realize that before I risked spending additional weeks of my life listening to “Tuesday’s Gone,” I should make sure there was a chance this time and energy was being spent with a potentially “right” candidate.

Now, countless dates of progression from my dating scene reentrance, I sometimes eliminate contestants due to just one word, one mannerism or one hint at a truly conflicting ideology.

Sure, some things can be worked on. Diversity is refreshing and enables future personal development. But when someone looks you in the eyes and says, “Aww yeee-ahhh!” and shakes his hand like he’s rolling chew tobacco, it’s time to signal for the check.

Recanted stories of these quick dismissals have caused some problem-solving friends to inquire, “Do you think you’re being honest with yourself? I mean, how many men do you actually think fit into your dating guidelines?”

So to answer these inquiries, I made a little list that highlights only the most important of my quirky demands:

Zoom out was purposefully chosen, as I wanted to share length, rather than fully itemize my quirky needs/demands.

But here are a few highlights:

#1: Male
#12: Thinks marriage is irrational but will eventually put a rock on my finger
#16: 5’11” or taller (I would say 5’10”, but from past experience, men who say they are 5’10” are actually 5’8”)
#23: Likes me
# 27: Looks that could pass for John Cusack to a partially blind observer

I know. I’m picky. But why shouldn’t I be?

I’m 24 years old. And I’m more concerned with my career and my personal goals than I am with getting a free dinner once a week (although, it would be appreciated.. hollaaa).

Does that make me better than people my age who have found someone to share their life with? No. But I also don’t think it makes me a busted caterpillar or a dating scene trauma patient.

Sure, I joke about becoming a cat lady or a cougar and I love “Beast of Burden,” but at the end of the day, I do think it’s a beautiful idea to find someone you want to walk hand in hand with and share sunsets. That kind of shit.

I just hate when people come running at me with defibrillators flaring. And I think too many people, women in particular, are frightened by the dating scene. They’re afraid of over-stepping the time table prescribed by American society. You know, the one that ensures proper child-rearing by age 30.

They get so consumed with the quickly dissipating sand that separates them and their notion of domestic tranquility that they forget to enjoy the bad dates. They forget to enjoy dancing and talking with goofy strangers with foul breath.

They forget to enjoy coming home from work and doing whatever it is that makes them and them alone happy.

To fill their weekends with whatever comes to mind on Friday afternoon.

To take those guitars lessons. Go surfing. Book a flight to Europe. On their credit card.

Live life for themselves for a while. Map out their own future before it becomes a joint decision.

So these are my questions to the singles out there who are bemoaning their existence on the dating scene but still haven’t worked things out in the mirror.

If you don’t do it while you’re young, how will you ever do it when you’re older?

If you don’t plan out the life you were meant to live while you’re single, how will you ever know if you’re doing what you were put on this funky little planet to do?

How will you know if you’re rocking out your own rose colored glasses or just borrowing someone else’s?

I agree, when you find the person who is made for you, it should enhance your life. But it shouldn’t be in place of your personal enhancement. Your contentment with your partner should be in addition to your contentment with yourself.

But I’ll stop preaching. I just remembered, I still have a lot to do.

This has been a guest post by Jenny over at Workin’ On A Ramp. Go take her 2 cents while she’s still offering. It’s a recession.

Want to write a guest post for Shite I Like? Pitch an idea!

21 Comments »

  • Fatima said:

    I feel like that too at times. Being single is like some sort of deasease to some women and they feel like they always have to jump from one relationship to another. It all depends on how ready you are and if you just don’t have time then keep doing what you’re doing and improving your life. All the more power to you!

    Reply to Comment

    Jenny Reply:

    @Fatima – Thanks for checking out the article and I’m glad you agree. It is definitely a little scary at first to be out on the dating scene, but once you get used to it I do think you start feeling a little more comfortable in your own skin.
    .-= Jenny´s last blog ..Guest Post: Single Is Not A Problem That Needs to Be Fixed =-.

    Reply to Comment

  • Gerry said:

    I loved the list, really crapped me up. This guest post is a killer and I’ll be checking your site out definitely. Working out things in your own life and self should be the main goal of everyone, before they try to find someone else for themselves unless of course they believe getting a new partner will be that improvement.

    Reply to Comment

    Jenny Reply:

    @Gerry: Thanks! There are many more qualifications on the list, like..
    #45: No history of Meth addiction
    #65: Decent jump shot

    But I figured it was okay to just put in a sample. I look forward to chatting with ya more and please let me know what you think about my site!
    .-= Jenny´s last blog ..Guest Post: Single Is Not A Problem That Needs to Be Fixed =-.

    Reply to Comment

    Gem Reply:

    Ha! Don’t ex-meth addicts need love just like everyone else? LOL Great post Jenny – my non lesbian crush on you continues to grow… Have a great weekend!

    Reply to Comment

    Jenny Reply:

    Ex-meth addicts probably do need love. And a discount dental plan? haha.. shameless day job plug-in. Hope you have a very good and non-lesbian-ish weekend as well!
    .-= Jenny´s last blog ..Guest Post: Single Is Not A Problem That Needs to Be Fixed =-.

    Reply to Comment

  • Jenny Blake said:

    Jenny – LOVED this post and the way you eloquently and humorously described what it’s like being single. The absolute joys of alone time and the frustration of others treating it like a problem that needs to be fixed (such a great title!). Just yesterday, out of nowhere, a co-worker asked me why I was single and said maybe it was because I “project an air of unavailable-ness.” Ummm OKAY – thanks? I’m doing just fine being me – and it’s fun to cross-paths with others who feel the same way.
    .-= Jenny Blake´s last blog ..A note of compassion for those pesky things called FEELINGS =-.

    Reply to Comment

    Robby G Reply:

    @Jenny Blake: An air of unavailable-ness, eh? You should get that checked out, maybe it’s contageous. :P That’s such a rediculous thing to say to someone, but funny none the less. Jenny (the guest poster) has a great way with words and the list she posted is quite a thing.

    Reply to Comment

  • Kristen said:

    loved #12 – could not be truer. BTW im so blogstalking you now because this post is genius!

    K
    .-= Kristen´s last blog ..Me Time =-.

    Reply to Comment

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  • Carolyn said:

    Wow, amazing post! That’s incredibly succinct, but hits the nail right on the head. I’m married now, but just a few years ago, I would have rallied up right beside you (as it is now, I’ll just stand slightly behind and whisper words of encouragement!) Keep up the fantastic posts, I’m already a huge fan!
    .-= Carolyn´s last blog ..A Good Day (And A Rocking Horse) =-.

    Reply to Comment

    Jenny Reply:

    Thanks so much Carolyn! Glad you enjoyed and I’ll definitely stop by your blog and say “hello.”

    Reply to Comment

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