Thought Catalog
April 11, 2017

I Don’t Have A Girlfriend And I’m Not Looking For One

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What is the issue?
Ethan Sykes

I saw an old family friend last night. Here’s how the conversation went.

Family friend: So, how’s the girls? Got any women in your life?

Me: Nope.

Family friend: RIGHT ANSWER.

Look, I have many friends who are happily married or linked up with a significant other. I’m not taking shots at them.

I’m just saying that for me, right now, a girlfriend simply isn’t in the cards.

I want to travel the world.

I’ve been single for almost two years now, and it’s taught me a ton about myself. There’s tons of days I wish I had a girlfriend, and there’s also tons of times I feel inadequate or unwanted as a possible boyfriend.

But for every time I feel this way, I get reminded how stressful relationships can be. For one, if you’re doing it right, your life kind of revolves around that person — especially at my age, when many of us have marriage on our minds.

Not that this borderline obsession is wrong (catching the sarcasm yet?), but I can’t help but feel we rush into things with someone not because we like them, but because we simply can’t stand feeling unwanted.

Nobody texts me during the day. I don’t have someone telling me they love me every five seconds (the sarcasm just leveled up). So there’s kind of this void in my life — a void of self-affirmation, that’s visible now, but also immediately visible directly after a break-up.

I’m convinced that that’s why breakups are so hard. We get so used to that other person being there — and that self-affirmation and confidence they bring — that it’s borderline unbearable.

Almost every older person I’ve spoken with has told me to wait for a relationship. And they’re not saying that with a half-smile and eyebrows bouncing up and down as if to say I should just enjoy being single — they’re saying that because to them I should spend time working on myself for a second.

My brother’s in a relationship, and whenever she comes around it’s like a magnet pulls him out of the house. My sister got serious three years ago and I stopped getting calls.

And here I am spending time with my parents at (nearly) 24, just trying to appreciate these moments while I have them. Because I know, without a doubt, that if I had gotten serious with someone, I wouldn’t have them at all.

That’s why I don’t have a girlfriend, and that’s also why I’m not looking for one. TC mark

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