December 17, 2013

Why Don’t We Believe That Women Are Happy Being Single?

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Hitch (Widescreen Edition)
Hitch (Widescreen Edition)

I’m the perpetually single one of all my friends and I don’t mind it at all. I’ve watched my friends go in and out of serious relationships, I’ve seen them move in with partners and sometimes move out, I’ve been to countless weddings and cried with happiness at almost every single one, I’ve watched people adopt pets, have babies and start real families with their partners. And throughout this all, I’ve been happily single and single by choice.

I’ve never taken a plus one to a wedding, I’ve never considered living with anyone other than a roommate, and since college I’ve only had 2 guys I’ve considered to be enough of a boyfriend to introduce to my friends. I’ve dated here and there, but it’s just simply never been a priority. Since college however, I have moved into a large city, become financially independent from my parents, spent time living abroad, earned a Master’s Degree while working full-time, and am currently in the process of applying to PhD programs.

Because dating has never been as important to me as education, a career, and my relationships with friends and family, I thought my close friends understood my goals and truly believed me when I said I was happy and fulfilled being single.

Recently, I went to my high school reunion. Despite my reluctance to go, I ended up having a great time catching up with old friends, reminiscing over old stories, and seeing people in person that I had only seen on Facebook. One old friend and I in particular (let’s call him Daniel) seemed to really hit it off and he ended up escorting me home (to my parents’ house) at the end of the night. We hooked up, had a good time, and I drove him home in the morning with the parting words “Well, see you in 10 more years!”

Daniel was a great guy in high school and I truly believe he’s still one of the best. We laughed a lot, shared stories about our former classmates and laughed over some poetry we wrote in our creative writing class. It wasn’t awkward. It was a fun night between two old friends that hadn’t seen each other in a long time.

Two of my best friends from high school had been with us the whole night, and obviously demanded I tell them the story when I got home in the morning. I ended up sharing the story with some college girlfriends later that night when I got back home, simply because it’s a funny story. Most of the reactions consisted of laughter and confirmation that it was indeed a great story. However, I was surprised by the responses I received from a few close friends.

I just think it’s so great. Really good for you. You needed that. You two would make such a cute couple. You should contact him.

I can’t believe you left it like that. You two are meant to be together! You should have gotten his number.

When are you going to see him again? I think that’s so awesome.

Time out. When did I ever say I was going to see him again? I don’t recall mentioning that as part of the story. Yes, Daniel is a great guy and if he contacted me down the road and wanted to get together again, perhaps that would happen. But I’m certainly not losing sleep over it. We live 3 hours apart and he’s busy getting ready to start grad school and I’m busy applying to schools. Don’t misinterpret this as me making excuses; I’m simply stating that I have no plans to see Daniel in the future and never expressed any desire to do so. So why did my friends think that was necessary to say?

I can’t speak on behalf of my friends, but I’m certain they didn’t intend to be condescending and insulting. They’re all dear friends, and I think they have my best interest at heart. However, two of those statements came from women in serious and happy relationships and I think their commentary come from the rose-colored love glasses they view the world through. I am so happy for both of them and completely support their relationships, but just because they are happy partnered up doesn’t mean that I’m unhappy single.

I feel confident that I’d be happy and fulfilled in a relationship but the thing is that I’m happy and fulfilled now. I’m able to focus on what is important to me and what goals I want to achieve in my life. I surround myself with people I care about and am able to spend my time exactly as I please. I have no obligations to anyone outside of employers and can jump at the chance to go abroad again this winter. I am happy. I am fulfilled.

To my friends who understood that my night with Daniel was just one night with Daniel, thank you. Thank you for realizing that some moments are simply meant to stay moments and pushing them into something else ruins their specialness. Thank you for laughing at this story and knowing that I am fulfilled by a night of laughter, with no pressure to extend it.

For those of you that don’t understood that, that’s ok. I am so happy for you in your relationships. Please be happy for me in my singlehood. TC Mark

Elizabeth Zimmerman

Elizabeth Zimmerman moonlights as a roller derby referee despite her education at Dartmouth University. Her interests …

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