“I can’t believe you’re single!” I mean, you’d be better off just saying, “what’s wrong with you?”
I’m done with it. I’m done with it all. Online dating. Offline dating. Talking about dating. Talking about not dating. Dating is a full-time job and I just don’t have the capacity for it.
Photography by Matteo Rossi
Those 5 Chilling Words…
I was recently (2 months ago… that’s recent, yeh?) on a date with a guy. He was attractive, chatty and interested in me. It was going so well (I at least thought so) until he uttered those 5 chilling words: “I can’t believe you’re single.
You seem to have it all together. You’re doing well in work. You’re funny and attractive [it was a good hair day and I was working some very flattering post-7pm lighting]. So, why are you single?”
The question stopped me in my tracks. I had gone from super-chic, oozing confidence with my casual hair touching and gin sipping to a bumbling, “Erm, well, eh, oh…” idiot. I’m not sure if I was more surprised by the fact that I couldn’t answer, or that I was being asked the question by a man who was also single.
My Longest Relationship
He then went on to ask me about my relationship history – nodding, smiling and judging – as I explained that my longest relationship was 4 months long.
“Oh, no, I mean, what’s your longest relationship?” he questioned. “I don’t mean dating.”
“Erm, yeh, 4 months.”
He laughed for what felt like 5 years. Enough time to get a mortgage, start dressing like each other and build our own Angelina Jolie-style family together. “Oh, I don’t call anything a relationship unless it’s 6 months or more.”
Unsurprisingly we didn’t see each other again. I’d like to say that it was my choice, but he text me to say that he was seeing someone else. I’m guessing it was a guy who could manage at least a 6 month relationship. Sure.
Back to the drawing board… and thank God I didn’t start decorating the kids’ rooms.
So, Why Am I Single?
He hit a nerve. And he made me really think, “so, why am I single? Am I doing something wrong?”
There’s several reasons why I’m single, or at least I think there are:
- I’m career-driven and spend a lot of my time working, at the expense of meeting people;
- I have [unrealistic] high standards;
- I struggle with compromise, especially with my time;
- I’m bad on dating apps – I like to think I’m better in person; and
- I know how to be on my own and now feel comfortable on my own.
But the longer I’m single, the harder it gets.
The Value of 2
There’s a common – largely unsaid – belief that 2 is worth more than 1. That when we’re with someone, we’re at our best; and when we’re single, we’re failing at life.
Where did this come from? And why do we allow ourselves to be dictated to in this way?
These smug identikit couples do my tits (both left and right) in. They’re so happy… or at least they tell themselves they are. And all they want to do is to help you find your other half. Like they have.
Well, actually Helen, your boyfriend bores the life out of me and he does nothing to compliment you. I’d rather be single that have what you have.
I’m Looking For My Other Whole…
I also have a real fear of losing myself in a relationship. When people talk of their other half, it makes me feel nervous.
I feel pretty much complete and I don’t want to have my own identity diluted by someone else. I’m not looking for my other half, I’m looking for my other whole (not to be confused with other hole). Someone to add to me, not drain me. Is this possible; or am I once again asking for too much in life?
We Can’t Have It All
Life is hard and we only have so much time in a day. If you’re putting all your time into work, then something else will suffer. Even if it doesn’t look like it, it is.
And if you’re putting all your energy into your love life; I guarantee that someone else will be winning at work.
Maybe I’m a cynic or perhaps I’m just realistic: We can’t have it all. It’s a fairytale and that’s a fact.
The real power is in knowing yourself and what you really want. Knowing that you can’t have it all, but you can decide what you have and when you have it.
For now, I’m single and I’m focussing on my career. When I’m ready, I’ll pop my light back on and get to it. So, you better believe it, I’m single and I know that I don’t need to be part of a two to be complete.