I was sitting on the beach with a friend a few weeks ago; talking shop about dating/relationships (as we often do) when he asked, “this is the longest you’ve ever been single, right?” Not counting my childhood and even teenage years for obvious reasons, yes. The answer is yes. It’s now been just about two years of me being single which is the longest stint I’ve had as an adult not being in a relationship with someone.
And I’ve said it a lot but it bears repeating: these past two years have been really amazing for me in terms of self-discovery, growth, maturity (LOLZ) and independence, among other things. At the risk of sounding cheesy and self-helpy, I’ve learned SO much about myself being on my own and…OK, nevermind. This is cheesy and self-helpy.
I’m not bragging, though; just like anything else, being single – especially in my early 30s – isn’t always a walk in the park. And sometimes the hardest thing to deal with has nothing to do with dudes or awkward/bad dates or relationship horror stories (TRUST ME; THOSE AIN’T FUN EITHER). No. Sometimes, the worst part of being single…is comments and actions from other people.
Attention ladies and gents who are currently in some kind of relationship with another person (or multiple people? If polygamy’s what you’re into): it’d be SUPER great if you could stop doing and saying these things to your single friends, mmkay?
The unwarranted sympathy.
I get it. Some people are single and miserable. They’ve gone through tough breakups or can’t get a date to save their life and they’re totally bummed about it. Those are the people you can feel bad for and sympathize with. But those of us who aren’t unhappy in our situations or maybe – just maybe – think single life is pretty damn good most of the time do NOT need you feeling sorry for us. There’s nothing that irritates me more when it comes to #SingleLife than people throwing me a pity party (that I certainly did NOT ask for) because I’m currently not in a relationship with someone.
Examples of things NOT to say to me:
“Ugh, I’m sorry. It’ll happen!”
“You’re so great; you’re gonna meet someone!”
“I’m sure it gets lonely sometimes.”
Nope. Don’t need this. Bye.
Calling me “picky.”
Ugh. I never realized I hated the word “picky” until I became a Single Lady and had that stupid word slung at me a gazillion times. The truth is, if I walked around telling people that I wouldn’t date a man unless he had the face of Ryan Gosling, the body of Channing Tatum, the personality of Jimmy Fallon and the bank account of Mark Cuban, I deserve to be single forever and die alone (however let’s keep it 100 here – I would *totally* date that dude).
But in all seriousness, there’s nothing wrong with a woman who knows what she wants – or should I say, doesn’t want. I’ve met guys that I didn’t vibe with whether it was a personality thing or a chemistry thing and get really pissed when friends conclude that I’m “soooo picky” if I don’t feel a connection with someone. I’m not dating male models over here, so please reserve your judgment and refrain from telling me I’m PICKY just because I’m not into someone.
Giving me unsolicited and contradicting advice.
If I tell people I’m not dating anyone, they automatically become a dating/relationship expert and tell me exactly what I need to do, where I need to go and what I need to say in order to land a man. Uh, thanks? I’m a grown woman and I know how this all works by now, and I can definitely do without the two most popular words of advice and encouragement that absolutely cancel each other out:
“You just have to put yourself out there!”
“It’ll happen when you’re not looking!”
Wanting to meet people I just started seeing.
I get it; some married folk have been out of the game a while and don’t understand how daunting, weird and complicated dating can be. But if I’ve gone out with a dude three times and don’t even know his middle name, I don’t need to bring him to your Labor Day BBQ. I’m not bringing him as my “plus one” to your birthday party and he’s not attending board game night at your house next weekend. Not yet, anyway. Why? Because it’s new. I’m not bringing every Tom, Dick and Larry I meet around my friends because I’ve learned in the past two years that sometimes these casual dating scenarios can end very abruptly and I don’t need to introduce you to someone until it feels right and like a real thing.
yeahhhh, that guy I brought to your housewarming party yesterday? we’re not seeing each other anymore.
The “But don’t you want _____” comments.
“But don’t you want to get married?” “But don’t you want kids?” Even if I did want those things, those aren’t reasons to date people. I never really imagined I’d be almost 33-years-old and single especially since I serial dated and was in long-term relationships throughout my 20s, but alas…here we are. I don’t need the added guilt and pressure about my situation and I’m certainly not rushing or settling with a person for the sole purpose of having a wedding or popping out some kids. If those things aren’t in the cards for me, I’ve come to accept and be OK with that.
Please understand that I don’t mean to sound bitter or unappreciative and I’m fully aware that a lot of these comments are coming from a good place. The truth is I’m still trying to navigate this ship on my own and I really truly believe that I needed to experience fully being on my own before I ever settle down again… correction: IF I ever settle down again. I love all of my friends and family and am thankful for the times they’ve been there for me during dating and single life fiascoes, but just know one thing: I’m doing just fine.
That being said, call me “picky” again and I’m gonna karate chop you in the throat.
Single peeps: what are some comments you’re tired of hearing from others?