Dear ladies and gentlemen, I am as single as the day I was born. And I’ve legitimately been that way all of my life. Yes, I’ve participated in some of the pretentious “hanging out” nonsense that my generation loves to do. But even those occasions were few and far between. My early and mid-teen years, I couldn’t have bothered to date. And because I was still an ugly duckling in my perception of reality, I focused my attention on other things – like being smart, athletic, funny, and generally developing a personality.
For most of college, I was pretty confident about a lot of things but it was not till about senior year that I probably stopped feeling like an ugly duckling. And while college was fun, it was still obviously not the place I would be truthfully connecting with anyone. Fast-forward to post collegiate years and I suppose my opportunities to date have increased, at least in theory. But I still don’t do it very often and like many single people I am continuously asked to justify why I am single. Because being single in society has and continues to be seen as something to be fixed – something that renders a person broken.
And like many single people, I consume and occasionally participate in conversations that obsess about being single. Sometimes the conversations will be self-deprecating humor about how there is not a single human being on this planet who likes you. Sometimes the conversations will be about how an entire gender is intimidated by you. Sometimes the conversations will bring up personal details about how one is too shy or awkward or obnoxious or loud or something or the other around people they are attracted to, or romantically interested in. And sometimes it’ll just be a conversation with yourself analyzing unrequited feelings, intricately examining what went wrong with someone, and worst of all, dissecting what is wrong with you.
But the truth is like a lot of single people, there’s nothing wrong with me. I’ve been told I have high standards (which are probably not going to change much). And sure I tend to be either the extremes of painfully awkward and shy or blatantly “no-time-to-play-games,” but are those really the things that are wrong with me or you or any other single person? No. The people who I have seen in healthy, awesome relationships are that way because they met someone who would complement who they are, and even when it wasn’t the perfect time, it was the right time. And maybe all the single people now – yes even those who are forever alone – our right person and right time has not come yet.
So stop over-analyzing every aspect of who you are in the hopes that tweaking something or the other will end up in you finding the person of your dreams. Change yourself if you must but do it for you; do it because you will like yourself more. Because I am exhausted with listening to perfectly awesome people pick themselves apart because they are single. Being single is fun if you do it right. And like it or not, if you really wanted a relationship just for the sake of having one, you could probably find some human body out there that will have you. You night have to lower yourself and your standards inordinately, but if having a relationship, any relationship, is what you want; well, as they say, “there’s an app for that.”
I suspect, however, that most single people – most people in general -don’t just want a relationship, they want a great one. But before that, how about just focusing on being a great person? How about enjoying your family, your friends, your career, your hobbies, and your single life? How about you stop fixating on what’s wrong with you and focus on what’s right and what you’d like to change for your own benefit? And the next time someone makes a reference suggesting that you being single is an indicator of something broken or wrong – punch them in the face. Just kidding, definitely don’t do that. Do tell them the truth: “I just haven’t met the right person or it’s probably just not the right time…or something.”
Because many of us will hang up our single stilettos someday and hopefully trade them in for a pair of comfortable matching shoes with a significant other. And even though the stilettos may have sucked sometimes, you’ll want to look back on wearing them with mostly fond memories. And hey, if you’re still rocking those stilettos at 90, more power to you. It would hopefully still have been a good life. Whatever your relationship status is, stop obsessing over it; and enjoy living this beautiful, wonderful catastrophe that is your life.