Confession: I’m Sick of the ‘Single Life’ Articles

sculpture garden

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).

"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."

The spot where I fell in love with Seattle

What You Should Know About Dating Writers

*I have been seeing so many pieces circulate the web on how to date a girl who writes, how to love a girl who reads, etc. This was my reaction to them.  There is a reason it’s written in the first person and not as a sweeping generalization. The beauty of us who cherish words is that we each approach our love and passions differently. So yes, find a girl who reads and writes, but then take the time to find out why. This is my take on what you should know about dating a writer.*

I am that girl who always has a book or a notebook in hand, even when I’m having a beer at a bar, because I never know when inspiration will strike. The thing is, while I’m overflowing with the desire to express myself, the words don’t come so easily.

Writing is how I process the world. It’s how I validate my life. It may be surprising for you to find that writing is how I figure out my own feelings. Because it’s how I can separate my own thoughts from the overwhelming impulse to put everyone else’s feelings before mine.

I’m a talker, for sure, but I’m a better listener. I listen. I process. I don’t blow smoke up your ass. Sometimes, you might get an email from me hours, or days after a conversation, because I can finally articulate my thoughts and feel that you should know them, even if you have already moved on. It’s my way of showing you that I listened – even if I couldn’t reply right away.

I read. I consume books. I lose myself constantly in literary worlds but to be honest? There is a good chance I won’t want to talk to you about it. Unless we’ve both read the same book. Then maybe I’ll want to spend some time discussing our favorite moments and if we’ve re-read the book over the years, how many different nuances we’ve noticed in the writing. Other than that? Reading is a personal experience to me. Don’t expect to spend hours and hours talking about literature. But then again, sometimes I’ll be so moved, I’ll want to share it with you. I’m all over the place like that.

I do need you to understand that it’s hard for me to get into the groove of writing, so when I do, don’t interrupt me. Walk by and give me a kiss on the forehead, but don’t try to talk to me. Don’t ask me how it’s going. More than likely, when I’m ready, I’ll ask you if I can read it out loud to you. Let me do that. Just listen. If you want to make suggestions, wait until I’ve finished. Ask me if you can have a copy of it to read in your own time.

I want you to read my writing, because it’s the best way to understand me but it’s not the only way. It’s scratching the surface so don’t be afraid to talk to me. Don’t make the mistake of assuming you will know me inside and out just because you’ve read through my blogs. I will ask you random questions. I want you to ask me questions and I want you to challenge me. There is so much stirring under the surface and sometimes, it’s only through unrestrained exchanges that I can reach the “a-ha” moments of my own life.

Understand that I write about almost everything that happens in my life, in its own time, but that doesn’t mean I don’t respect the sanctity of our privacy. Because it’s hard for me to express myself, sometimes you’ll get a text message from me with my thoughts. I don’t want to discuss it over text. I want you to know where my head is but I want you to look me in the eye when we talk about it. I have a hard time starting the conversation in person – I get tongue-tied. I ramble on. Let me ramble. Don’t interrupt, because it was nearly impossible for me begin talking in the first place.

When you come in to my home, you will see books and notebooks scattered everywhere. That part of the cliche is all too true for me. I will never give up my love for the ability to hold a book in my hand and turn its pages. I will never trade in my library card. Don’t even think about leaving me unsupervised in a book store, because you won’t see me for hours and my bank account will take a hit.

I’m a girl who reads and who writes, but I’m not a cliche. I’m just me – full of never-ending passion for the most random things in life. You won’t find me obsessing over sonnets or the classical literature. I just cherish words.

So talk to me. Be honest and open. Share your passions. Be prepared to be challenged and be willing to challenge me.

That’s all you really need to know about dating me. The rest? Well, we’ll figure that out together.