Every few weeks or so, the internet goes through different cycles and my news feeds are inundated with 50 different variations of the same topic. Lately, the focus seems to be all about the single life, the woes of online dating, and oh, the same five questions all of us single ladies are supposedly hearing every single day.
I’m single and with the exception of my one long-term relationship (where I went through the full cycle of moving in with him, getting engaged, taking engagement pictures, calling off the wedding and then living with him for close to year after we’d broken up before moving cross-country), I’ve been single my entire life.
I used to be really bitter about being single (but still a hopeless romantic at the end of the day). My best friend and I were talking about it the other day.
“When we first met, sometimes it seemed like all you could talk about was meeting guys and online profiles.”
I met her 7 short months ago. I know exactly what she was talking about, because I was trying to fill a void in my life. I thought that my life would be better and I would be happier if I had a boyfriend. I was terrified that calling off my wedding meant that I would never have anyone love me again. I was letting my relationship status define me because I was feeling like a failure at life (unemployment and depression will do that to you.) The reason I can write this post is that I climbed out of my funk and stopped letting my relationship status define me.
One of my favorite movie quotes of all time is:
“Every woman has the exact love life she wants.” - The Wedding Date
It’s not the popular opinion but it’s true. When I was desperate for companionship and attention, that desperation only drew in certain types of people (or none at all). Maybe stop talking about your dating life for a while. When you’re catching up with an old friend, instead of talking about that awful date you went on last week, talk about your work. Talk about the great new restaurant you tried out or the last great book you read.
Give back to the community. Pick up a new hobby.
I bet you the questions about your dating life will stop being the first thing people ask you, unless you’re a dating blogger and you get paid to talk about relationships.
Chances are, though, you aren’t.
Here’s the thing about being single: Some days it sucks. Others, it’s awesome. Then there are those days we go through all of the stages of being single in the span of 12 hours.
Sure, we sometimes get asked the questions that drive us crazy. But not as often as these articles will make you believe. Maybe that’s just me, because I rarely have people ask me questions on whether or not I’m gay, or if I’m being too picky or if there’s something wrong with me. Am I just not hanging out around these people? Is there a conglomerate of old ladies that I manage to avoid on a daily basis or are these single women just going to a lot of weddings and family functions?
You know what? Maybe I am being too picky. As a 28-year-old woman who has been on a lot of shitty dates, who has been the rebound girl, and who has spent a few nights regretting a lot of bad decisions, you bet your ass I’ll be picky about the next person who enters my life. Because I’m a busy person. My life isn’t defined by my relationship status. I have worked really hard to create a life I am proud of and that makes me happy at the end of the day. I have a group of great friends that I love hanging out with (yes, they’re married couples and I’m the single one, though that’s never an issue), I have my own hobbies (that I would love to share with a significant other) and I just moved to a new city I am dying to explore. I have nerdy shows to catch up on Netflix, hundreds and thousands of books to read and ya know, sleep at some point.
What I’m trying to say is that let’s take the focus off of our relationship status. Ladies (and gentlemen), you have a lot to offer to the world. So start offering it.
If you feel like your life isn’t interesting enough, then maybe you should do something about that. Take yourself out on dates. Learn to love your own company. Do the things you love by yourself, so that when the time comes and you share them with a significant other, it’ll be a brand new experience.
Example: There’s a spot near Pike Place Market in Seattle that I love. I always say it’s the spot where I fell in love with Seattle the first time I visited. I go there often, even if it’s just to drive by. A few months ago, I spent a whole day sitting on the grass in that spot with someone I had started dating. It was great to see the same spot through his eyes. It was interesting to see the things he pointed out, to watch where his eyes were drawn and the different way he appreciated the same experience.
As far as the loneliness goes, let me be real honest here: I was more lonely when I was in the wrong relationship than I have been the entire time I’ve been single. Does it suck sometimes? Sure. We all get lonely.
I’m not being hypocritical or preaching. But as a single woman who does have an online dating profile (but doesn’t feel the need to check it every single day), I know the woes about online dating. I know the ups and downs of being single.
There are bonuses to being single and bonuses to being in a relationship with the right person. There’s also a hell of a lot more to your life, so go celebrate it.
But if you are going to read an article on being single, make sure it’s this one. I promise it’ll be the most valuable thing you read today (well, about being single).
The spot where I fell in love with Seattle