Thought Catalog
April 15, 2017

Why Stereotyping Single People Is Making Us All Jaded And Undatable

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What is the issue?
Sex and the City

Charlotte York once said, “I’ve been dating since I was 15, I’m exhausted where is he?” Despite the fact the Sex and the City has been my Bible since 1998, it drove me nuts how marriage obsessed she was. In most episodes, especially that particular one, she was on a mission to find the white knight to save her from dating hell. While they all had their own personalities and desires when it came to men, something about Charlotte’s desperation represented one of the major misconceptions about single quarter-life women everywhere.

It’s sad to say, but to most men, there’s something about an unmarried woman in her late 20s through her 30s that just screams desperation and clinginess. It’s such an unfair assumption, especially when not all of us are this girl. And, as a divorced, single 35-year-old woman who’s been there and done that in the happily ever after game, I find it hard to portray who I am and what I want from a man because of this.

When did it become okay to put all single girls 25 and over in the “dying to get married” box?

Just because I don’t want to get screwed over and I expect consistency and demand respect from any man, that doesn’t mean that I fit into that category. Yet I always feel the need to prove this to guys that I end up in being interested in.

A guy once told me not to be “that girl” just because I expected a response to a message. Knowing I am definitely not, I responded by telling him not to be “that guy” then. What we were really referring to in code language that single people everywhere know, is the girl who becomes too invested and needy and the guy that gets what he wants and doesn’t want much more. Aka: the single male and female archetypes.

I know I sure as hell am not needy, so it pisses me off that I constantly have to prove that I’m not. Yes, I’ve really wanted something with someone so bad that I fought for it until I just couldn’t fight anymore. And I’ve also really liked someone early on and not been afraid to show it. But if I do certain, very common things, I have to worry that I’m going to scare a man off, even if I’m sure he likes me. It’s childish and stupid, but it’s unfortunately where we women are at in the dating game.

Whether a woman is simply making time for a man she likes, letting him hit it whenever he wants, talks about him to her friends or introduces him to them or her family members, if they randomly run into them somewhere, that does not mean she’s dying to lock him down so she can marry him. Yet, often when any of these things happen, he starts planning his way out.

When did it become such a problem for a girl to make an effort when she actually likes a guy and wants to date, hang out, and hook up? It’s ridiculous that woman have to be so conscious of their behavior when men can do and say whatever the fuck they want and not think twice about it.

While it’s obvious that for some, the issue lies within the man who can’t and doesn’t want to commit, the issue is also with the women who chose these men and let themselves get caught up in trying too hard to win him over. In trying to get him to want her and only her, she digs her own grave by going to extremes which actually push him away. And honestly, how can anyone blame the guys that run for the hills when she starts laying it on too heavy?

Any smart, self-aware, single girl knows that if he isn’t reciprocating in actions or feelings, he’s just not that into you. So she really should stop texting, calling, driving by, and showing up, not only for her own dignity, but also for the ladies out there that she’s giving a bad rep to.

Not every woman is driven by a desire for a future or a serious relationship with every man they meet, and that’s the thing some guys just don’t get. More importantly, if he’s into her, why does that even matter?

The answer is very simple. Because most guys have encountered this stereotypical woman several times over and it’s unpleasant for them. So much so that when they encounter one that is NOT like her, they are too weary and paranoid to even realize it. It’s a prime reason why there are so many missed opportunities with a person that may actually fit.

If men could just realize that single women don’t have to fall into one of the two categories of either dying to get married or girl who just wants to fuck, they might actually find a perfect balance within the girl who is somewhere in between. That is, if they can relax a little and just let it go where it goes and not bail before she expects too much from him.

At the same time, she needs to be aware of how she presents herself and her level of interest. He doesn’t want a hoe, yet doesn’t want a stage 5 clinger either so he is cautious of every woman that comes his way. While she doesn’t want a fuckboy or serial killer, she has to pretend she’s cautious too until he has proven otherwise.

There’s no doubt that these misconceptions on both ends can fuck up everyone in the dating pool at a certain age. So we’re all just really sabotaging it for ourselves. If everyone can just view that new person they meet as a blank slate, until proven fucking crazy otherwise, I bet single people everywhere would stop complaining about dating hell and start to enjoy their single life. TC mark