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