“Oh my gosh, you are so great! Why are you still single?”
While my gut reaction is, “because Justin Timberlake is already married, duh”, this question used to haunt me. I used to get so irritated when people asked me this. Like, if I knew the answer to that I probably wouldn’t be single, would I? Luckily, I’ve had plenty of time to figure it out and guess what? I’m STILL single! Here are the real reasons:
- I am allowed to be single.
AND THANK GOODNESS! I am so grateful to live in a time and place where being married to a man does not define who I am as a human being. No offense to generations before me, or to cultures/people that have more traditional values than I do, but I am not made for a life where my worth is measured by the man I marry. I am so lucky that I can be loved by my family and friends for the work I do on my own and that my family loves me unconditionally.
- Why wouldn’t I want to be single?
I have created a pretty sweet life for myself. Sure, I don’t have a ton of money, and yes, my parents can and do help me out if/when I get in a bind; but, I have been living on my own for about six years now and I am constantly growing and challenging myself to be a better version of myself. Have I had some low (and I mean really low) points over the past six years? You bet. But I am a stronger person because of them. It’s hard to add someone else into this life. Dating usually involves rearranging my schedule and when things don’t work out, I feel like I’ve lost some valuable time to improve myself or work on the things that I am trying to accomplish. Sometimes it’s easier to just continue living my single life. Being a teacher and graduate student doesn’t make rearranging any easier. It can be so hard to take a risk when meeting someone, especially when my track record hasn’t been so great in the past. I guess to sum this one up, dating is exhausting and being single is just easier. Easier on my lifestyle and easier on my heart.
- We all need to get over ourselves.
Okay, brace yourself for a little saltiness. It’s no secret that many people use dating apps these days, and I am one of them. These apps can be so degrading and disheartening; even the ones that are supposed to be different, or give women the upper hand. Most of the time when I send a message to a guy, I get no response. If I do, we exchange a few messages, and then the conversation dies. I might get an occasional date or two, three if I actually like the guy and vice-versa (rare) and then I hear nothing more from him (ghosting), or he’s too into me and I’m not that into him, or I’m into him and he’s not that into me, or I had food in my teeth and that was just a deal breaker for him, or (Heaven forbid) he hates baseball so our values just aren’t the same, etc. Not to mention that half the time guys don’t respond to a simple, “Hey, how’s it going?” but yet, when I come up with a solid witty one-liner, I also get nothing! If I came up to a guy in a bar or in the organic produce section of HEB because he’s so healthy or in REI because he’s just looking for someone to go on an adventure with, I would most likely say something along the lines of, “Hey, how’s it going?” and if he is a normal human being, he would respond to me, am I right?! There are SO many people in this city, and in lots of ways we put on a ridiculous front on these dating apps, and we all just need to get over ourselves already. Say hi. Be nice. If you aren’t interested, let them know. I am a firm believer in the “it’s not you, it’s me” excuse (not that George Costanza is by any means a dating expert), but because there have been some pretty nice guys that I just haven’t been interested in and I have no other way to explain it other than “it’s not you it’s me.” Either I’m not ready, I don’t think we have enough in common, or I’m not willing to sacrifice my happy single life for them. And I’d much rather be told when someone isn’t interested because knowing me I’m going to jump to the conclusion that it IS because I had food stuck in my teeth and that was a deal breaker. Or because my self-tanning lotion made me smell like B.O. Or because I wore the same outfit as in one of my profile pictures. Or my personal favorite…he must have died since he’s not texting me and/or hasn’t responded to my text. (Okay, but there was a Sex and the City episode about this so it could happen right?) But, see? So many conclusions! We all need to get over ourselves…myself included!
- It’s none of your business. Cue the Salt ‘N Peppa song….1993, S ‘N P…Packin and mackin bamboozlin and smackin suckas with this track aaannd…throw tha beat back aaannddd…
(if you don’t know the song, please disregard the previous two lines…)
But seriously, it’s really no one else’s business why I’m “still single”. It makes it sound like something is wrong with me. And while I’m not perfect, being chronically single is not one of my problems. I prefer to see it as an opportunity to travel the world, meet people from all walks of life, devote some of my best years of life to establishing myself as an educator, a scholar, and develop a world-view that is uniquely my own.