I have been single for about a year and a half now and while my needs may have changed during that period, I have never stopped searching for a romantic partner. In my fundamental core I want a person that I am attracted to, am compatible with, have great sex with, and can grow with — is that so much to ask?
Apparently it is, because I am still searching for that partner to cuddle up on the couch with, go out to dinner with and have adventures with. It just never seems to work out. Maybe it’s because they are seeing multiple women at the same time and I’m not apparently ‘enough’ for them to settle down their philandering ways. Maybe it’s because they just wanted to have sex, and maybe it’s because they just didn’t feel the connection. Maybe it was because I just wanted to have sex, or I didn’t feel the connection.
Whatever the reason is, I’m still single and I’m still looking. But is that so wrong?
Based on the collective knowledge from most of my paired up friends and family, I’m never going to find my soul mate if I am looking for them. One of the things single ladies are told constantly is ‘you’ll never find the right person if you are out there looking for them. Just settle down, work on yourself and once you have the confidence in yourself someone will see that and come along.’
Yet single ladies are also asked ‘why don’t you have a husband yet?’ or told that if they don’t find someone soon they will lose all of their good eggs and end up a crazy lady with too many cats.
So why do you tell us to stop looking, and then condemn us if we do? Why is it that people tell us that we just need to be ‘happy in ourselves’ and then see older single ladies as pariahs if they decide they are completely happy and that they don’t need a man or a child to fulfil their lives?
Once again, the single ladies are damned if we do and damned if we don’t.
Meeting new people and searching for a potential partner in this day and age is a hard thing to do, and I have been informed by many people (who I will state are in long-term relationships with someone that they met prior to the rise of social media) that using apps such as Tinder and Bumble is not the way to go about things. These people tell me that the guys I meet on Tinder ‘just want to get drunk and fuck’ and that I should ‘raise’ my standards to avoid fuckboys’.
Um, no. If I am going to be looking for a person that I want to spend my precious time with they have to meet certain qualities that I am looking for. Just because I have standards (and everyone should!) doesn’t mean that I just ‘go for fuckboys’. I am open to many different races, religions, looks and interests and the guys that hurt me the most are usually the ones that aren’t considered ‘fuckboys’. Besides, you can tell a ‘fuckboy’ on Tinder from miles away.
But in defence of Tinder, there have been so many cases of people meeting on a dating app, hitting it off and even getting married. There are as many success stories as there are ghost stories, and it is honestly a great way to open up a wider net of people to get to know that may be in your area.
Because let’s face it, meeting through friends doesn’t work. As you get older, you make less and less friends. Sure there are people who are acquaintances who enter your orbit during your life, but the chance of meeting your next boyfriend in your new job is a lot slimmer than using a dating app on an iPhone.
So you can’t widen your potential for dates through your friends and unfortunately, not everyone has the exciting opportunity to be backpacking through Europe and chancing across their soul mate in the next door room of their hostel. Your chances of even walking into a crowded bar and having your soul mate do a double take because he wants to marry you rather than the fact he is drunk and horny is also just as slim.
Yet, despite the fact us single gals know this and are still looking doesn’t mean that we’re simply looking in the wrong places. I have also been told time and time again that I ‘can’t just meet people in bars because they just want to have sex with you,’ because apparently people are really concerned that I am only talking to people who just want to have sex with me, God forbid. I should ‘get a hobby’ and meet someone there.
Like I’m going to connect over a coffee with a guy in a beret at a slam poetry meet.
The thing is, I have also tried this. I developed an interest in a male-dominated sport not to simply meet guys, but because I was focusing on myself and my mental health. I met a lot of awesome people and made a lot of awesome friends — and yes I have a crush on one of my classmates — but they all have girlfriends, or are too busy with their training for a relationship.
At this stage, I have tried most of the suggestions that my coupled up and cosy friends have unintentionally demanded of me. I have met people on dating apps who have come and gone, I have met success at speed dating events, developed great friendships with different hobbies, made out with people in far flung destinations, gone home with people after too many tequila shots, flirted with friends of friends and even started new work in a hope to meet new people. I have also done nothing. I have sat at home ‘focusing on myself’ and still no one appeared at the bottom of my wine glass.
The thing, my dear friends, is that you can do both. You can be single and looking and still be focusing on yourself and doing what is best for you while you experience new things.
I have been on the lookout and dating and having great sex, all of which has given me the experience and knowledge to learn and grow as a person and as a woman. I’ve discovered things about myself I’ve never known — both in and out of the dating world. I have been focusing on myself and what makes me happy and am moving towards my goals.
And dating hasn’t stopped me from doing any of that. It hasn’t stopped me from growing and focusing on myself as a person. It might hurt sometimes to fall for someone who doesn’t feel the same way, but it doesn’t mean that I have to sit at home and wrap myself in cotton wool and simply wait for the perfect person to enter into my life.
Because if I do that, the only person who is going to enter my life is a home invader.
So stop telling your single friends to give up and then berate us if it seems like we do. Your advice isn’t going to stop us from trying, looking, dating, fucking and living. We are going to experience our lives in the amazingly free way that we can.
Because we’re not damned if we do — we’re damned if we don’t.