I understand the good intentions behind asking, “How in the world are you not married yet?” You’re trying to be flattering, telling me I’m a catch. You’re being rhetorical because you’re flabbergasted a treasure like me still wandering about on her own. But since you asked, I am going to interrupt this sour attempt at charm by telling you exactly why no one’s put a ring on it.
1. I date “potential.” I dated a guy who was my best friend in college and didn’t have any idea what he wanted to do in life but he sort of thought he wanted to travel and live in the mountains; we could have had all sorts of adventures together on our wonderful hippie sojourns. I dated a guy who was just starting out in law enforcement; we could have teamed up to reform inmate education with his connections in corrections and my love for higher education. I dated a guy who was a serial monogamist and wanted to maybe eventually go back to school; I was going to show him the beauty in being with one girl forever and in living his dreams.
And all of these imploded one way or another because I can’t always be someone’s rock, standing solid while they waffle on indecision after indecision after inaction. I don’t want to be someone’s anchor if the there’s no reciprocity in that support.
2. I can’t reconcile “not settling” and “not being lonely.” Related to point #1. I have a difficult time distinguishing between whether I’m actually not settling on a partner because he’s nice and he has a job, or whether I’m just, yet again, tired of being single and afraid of ending up alone. I have dated guys who are not great matches, and most of the time, I’ve known this going into the relationship. Yet I keep on doing it.
3. I’m kind of a slut. Some people get adrenaline rushes from driving too fast or gliding down a snow-covered hill on a plank. Me? Nothing will duplicate the rush of meeting a new pair of lips with my own. Simply fantastic.
4. I get bored after about 18 months, but I can’t bite the bullet. Maybe it’s because I date terrible matches, but once those “honeymoon” chemicals wear off, I’m done-zo. Even so, I am historically known to still second-guess my lack of feelings, causing me to stay in the relationship because “it would hurt his feelings,” and therefore leading me to have probably missed a ton of opportunities with better matches. I recognized this pattern finally and ended a relationship after five months recently; it was still about three months too late.
5. I’m waiting for Mr. Right — because very few guys can actually hang with me. Now that I’m aware of the patterns, I’m holding out for a hero. Kind of. I’m so many different things all at once that I need a partner who’s like me, too: outgoing yet reflective, brash yet caring, funny yet sensible, adventurous yet rooted. And so forth and so on. The matching game is difficult when you’re awesome.
6. I’m kind of married to my career and education. My high school boyfriend cited the fact that I never shut up about school as part of the reason we broke up. Well, fine. I was always raised to value my education and subsequently, my future career. And you know what? I spend just as much time dreaming about doctoral programs as I do dreaming about a fairy tale wedding. In fact, I’ve thought about having a photoshoot with my Bachelor’s and Master’s diplomas; I certainly invested enough, and we are definitely life partners.
7. I’ve got traveling to do. Take me back to Europe! I have to go to the Philippines! And Australia and New Zealand! And Iceland and Thailand! I have so many places on my travel bucket list, and I haven’t had a partner who shares the same enthusiasm for travel as I do. He needs to be an adventuring partner, even if it means sitting in the Paris train terminal, wondering why the fart the Internet isn’t working and dammit, I need another cappuccino. He’s got to be ready for anything, and my travel agenda isn’t always glamorous.
8. I don’t have the resources necessary at this point in time. My money goes to the gym and to travel. I don’t have the money for a new car, a new house, nor a pet; I certainly don’t have the money for a new husband.
9. I’m just kind of into working out. A lot. I do CrossFit now, and that in and of itself says, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!” in regards to marriage.
10. I’m a tad bit crazy. I’m intense! I’m loving, passionate, emotional, smart, funny, sarcastic, motivated, assertive, etc. I’m feminine and independent, but I can hang with the guys day-to-day.
(Pause: In regards to #9 and #10, you single CrossFit guys are just as crazy as me… sooooo… Moving on to my final point.)
11. Look, I’ve explained myself as best as possible, and now you’re looking at me like you still don’t believe that all of these things could keep a lady from her life partner. I’m going to say one more thing before I walk out of this room, and I want you to take it to heart. It all boils down to this:
I’m unlike any other girl you’ve ever met, and it scares you.