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
10 thoughts on “Confession: I’m Sick of the ‘Single Life’ Articles”
This is great. Thank you for writing this.
I can honestly say, it goes the other way too. I’m kinda sick of marriage articles and I’m kinda sick about talking about marriage and baby planning with my girlfriends. My life isn’t defined by that stuff, so it gets really overwhelming at times. I too find myself charged with the task of creating the life I want (while being considerate of my husband, of course) and it’s good to not place so much responsibility on only one area of my life! I’ll be the first to admit, in my early twenties I definitely believed my relationship status defined me…but now that I have what I searched so desperately for, I’m learning that true wholeness comes from within. I really wish our society stressed that more. Because although some single people might think otherwise, marriage is not a sanctuary, free of pain and loneliness and hard work.
Oh, I completely agree. And I have a lot of friends who are married and in relationships who feel the same way. This is just from my personal viewpoint, based on what I’ve learned about myself and what I’ve observed with the other single people in my life.
Thanks for sharing your perspective as well, Akirah!
Hi! I spent a lot of time writing about the single life on MySpace, as you know, and I can say without a doubt that dating is just a PAIN, especially after the age of 30 or so. It’s like you’re too smart–you know too much. When you’re young and naive, you don’t overthink things and, of course, you end up getting hurt in the process. As we get older, our prospects dwindle, too, because most men are married and those who aren’t usually aren’t for a reason. (Learned that one all too well!) I’m just one of those people who’s far better off married, but I know that isn’t the case for everyone. Just as society shouldn’t pressure people to have kids, they shouldn’t pressure people to get married, either.
Hey Stephanie, thanks for reading and taking the time to comment! I totally agree that dating is a pain in the ass (But I tend to overthink everything, and did when I was younger too). I think it goes both ways, as far as any kind of pressure from society.
OMBob……….I love/hate “Every woman has the exact love life she wants.” – The Wedding Date BECAUSE, just like, “You are living the life you want RIGHT NOW”, it throws responsibility right back on you, and destroys 17 layers of excuses and bs we tell ourselves…more precisely, we are living the life we demand, are willing to work for, are willing to hold out for, are willing to turn down second best or accept second best for…..it’d take a book to unpack that awesome sentiment….(oh, and AMEN to the deeper loneliness of being in the wrong relationship!)
James "Shoes" Walker
Hi from one of your SITS Tribe Challenge group members! http://www.lynchburgtnmama.com 🙂 I am not single but I have a really good friend who is. There are times I see her posting on FB about how happy she is being single then the next week, she’s posting the ‘single’ articles you’re talking about. I know it’s really cliche but a true love happens when it’s supposed to and when you least expect it – it can’t be forced. From my point of view, dating has become more difficult because everyone is exposed to the idea of ‘finding the perfect one’. Well, it’s not out there. We’re almost forced to be fake – to be someone we’re not – just for the sake of not being single. I think it’s terrible! I have an old soul that believes there is that ONE out there for everyone – it’s just a matter of fate as to when we’ll meet that person!
I believe that there is no such thing as being picky when it comes to picking that special someone… How can one be too picky when you are looking (or not) for the person that you may just spend the rest of your life with. Relationships as much as we like to think the opposite are just like games; some people have beginner’s luck and find Mr. Right the first try and others have to learn how to play the game and go through all of the different moves before they can truly say that they have won and claim there prize…
Learn to love your own company.– this is by far the hardest thing anyone has to learn. For some, it takes a lifetime.
Thank you for saying this – I have nieces, friends and a sister that are so stuck on hating the single life and then getting into crappy relationships – I wish people would just stop. They need to start focusing on themselves first. Just saying hi, I’m in your SITS Tribe!
I love this! I was married once upon a time & I’ve had a couple of long term relationships and being in my 40’s my friends all say “you’re not getting any younger” which is exactly why I intentionally don’t date. These travel plans that I have aren’t going to make themselves while I sit around hoping & wishing for Mr. Right. I’m out doing way more than many of my attached girlfriends that are meeting resistance with the Mr. Right’s in their lives & complaining the whole time. Screw that nonsense, I say exactly what you said, if your life isn’t interesting because of the lack of a relationship, you need to do something about it. I have learned to golf, gone parasailing, been on a few trips (brought in the New Year in Vegas). There’s too much to do to sit around in wait mode. Getting out has introduced me to lots of new people, who knows, perhaps my adventures will bring me a fun, adventurous relationship. Until then, party on! 🙂