So I’m single. And have been single for some time now. I’ve dated and had casual relationships, but no boyfriends since college. It’s safe to say I’ve done a lot of things on my own or been lucky enough to have been some kind of odd numbered wheel. I don’t mind being independent or tagging along with friends and their beaus, but it does wear on you after a while. And now, I realize I’m only 24 (turning 25 AH!) and not at all in a place where I should be seriously concerned about never finding anyone and become a spinster cat lady for the rest of my sad, pathetic life, but sometimes I am. After meeting enough people you start to question is this it? What’s worse is that you have to listen to your not-single friends console you. At this point I’m waiting to hear something I haven’t tried to tell myself.
Us single people get reminded daily about how single we are. The forms vary, but here are a few that I can think of. Unsatisfied with my list? What reminds you of how lonely you are? Comment below so we can wallow in self pity together.
1. Hearing about your friends’ relationships and double dates.
A majority of my friends are currently in relationships. Some just began and others have been in them for years. That means I’ve either stored away years of happy memories and double dates I wish I could have been on or I lost a single friend to someone that likes her back. If you sense bitterness in my tone when I say how happy I am for you, you’re right, it’s there. That doesn’t mean I’m any less happy for you and your blossoming relationship, that means I’m thinking about how lonely I am and a tiiiiiny bit jealous. Okay, 80/20. Uh…70/30 happy for you.
2. Having to do things alone to experience them.
Just because I’m single doesn’t mean I have to stay in every weekend crying about my relationship status. I get out, I do things. I just happen to be doing these things alone. Now, my first summer in South Dakota I had to explore on my own because no one was there with me. It was a nice rush of independence. For the first time I was doing things for myself, albeit by myself. The downside is that you have no one with you to be awed by nature, laugh at crazy tourists or stand in line with you – you’d be surprised how lonely standing on a long line can be. When I went to Mt. Rushmore I wanted to turn to someone and say “wow”. Instead I just said it to myself and creepily stood alone next to a bunch of families with small children and cuddling couples experiencing American beauty carved into a mountain.
3. Seeing happy couples.
When you’re alone you’re given the opportunity to become more observant and really take in your surroundings. Generally, that includes gawking at people in love and pining for that to be you. Yup. This past weekend I visited the Boston Commons, you guessed it, alone. My goal was to finish “Looking for Alaska” by John Greene (recommended!). I read a few pages until the couple playing guitar together and singing were so distracting being in love that I kept reading the same sentence over and over again. Those two hooligans led me to people watch and my eyes fell on a ridiculous amount of couples enjoying the nice weather together. And that’s pretty much the only thing I see anywhere I go: the farmer’s market, the T, the zoo, the street, at a bar…HAPPY COUPLES ARE EVERYWHERE! CAN YOU GUYS TONE IT DOWN SO US SINGLE PEOPLE CAN DEAL! K, thanks.
Thanks to modern science, women are constantly reminded of how much time they have left to be fertile. I would very much like to have a family at some point and if my eggs will last another say, 10 years for me to lock someone down thaaat’d be great. Another weird thing I think about… I have to wait years before I reach the comfort level my friends have with their boyfriends. That doesn’t happen over night. And since I’ve never been in a long term relationship I’m still not even sure what that comfort level feels like. Already setting myself up for failure. This is why when I go to the bar I shout “Somebody date me!” to try and speed up the process. So far, a total of zero people have responded to my request.
5. Family pressure.
Possibly the most frustrating for single people is the pressure they receive from their family. I’m pretty sure my grandmother is afraid she’s never going to see any of her 7 grandchildren get married. I’m the oldest and am showing little promise. Fortunately, it’s not my mother. The constant nagging must really get to people and I know it does. I know people that break down from unsolicited pressure to find someone, either through hurtful criticism or poor advice. Parents, you need to chill. Your adult child experiences daily reminders of their singleness, the last thing they need from you is a “gentle” push to find the one. The one will come without you setting them up with someone. That’s right, I’ve been set up before…clearly it was a success! Not. So chill. If anyone has seen Princesses: Long Island on Bravo, you’ve seen what family pressure can do. Chanel was not the prettiest crier.
What I’m starting to realize is that this piece of advice may actually be relevant to finding someone:
You’ll know when it’s right, but you have to be patient.
I hate hearing that, but it’s true. You do have to be patient. That person will appear eventually, but that also means you can’t just wait around for someone to find you. Maybe in a perfect world we’d all get matched with someone a higher power deems a good fit, but wait…then we’d be living in some kind of Utopia where they either kill people by lethal injection and claim they’re “leaving” or they probably take away our ability to love because it’s a sickness and makes us crazy. Yes, those are both from books. The first might be The Giver and the second might be Delirium, a YA series that I recommend. Either way, you need to put yourself out there. Go out. Talk to new people. Explore. You might even end up with a great story.
Be patient, but outgoing.
And don’t let the above reminders upset you. Unless you need a good cry. Crying is healthy. That’s why God invented ice cream.
Don’t worry, you’ll meet someone 😉
…I’m not worried.