Anybody would kill to be with you.
You’ll meet someone, it’s just not the right time yet.
They’re out there, I promise.
You’ve heard it in various forms, a million times over. All said with good intentions by people who genuinely care about you. People who really believe that you’re going to find someone, and who want you to believe it too.
But how many times can you force a smile, nod your head, and put on a happy face in order to placate your friend with the worried look?
How many social events or family gatherings do you have to go to before your singleness can just become a simple aspect of your life right now, instead of an urgent, complicated mystery that your aunt is convinced she can solve?
I would like to say the same things to you that everyone else is saying. Just hang in there. There are plenty of fish in the sea. You don’t need someone else to be happy. You’ll find them as soon as you stop looking.
But that’s not going to make you feel better. Because well-intended or not, you’re sick of hearing that crap. Those things are just going to make you feel even more frustrated than you already are. If somebody’s out there, where are they? Wouldn’t I have found them already? If anyone would kill to be with me, why am I alone? If I don’t need someone else to be happy, then why am I so unhappy being by myself?
But the thing about falling in love is that it does’t make any sense. There is no predictability to who gets to be in a loving relationship and who does not. If you’re closed-off, negative, selfish, and difficult to deal with, then sure, your loneliness is your own fault. But most of the single people I know are the most genuine, loving, open, and warm people in my life.
But they’re still alone. Not because their job isn’t good enough, or they’re not exciting enough, or because of an “extra twenty pounds” they think the need to lose. They’re alone because sometimes that shit just happens. Being a kind, generous person does not automatically lead to love. Neither does a certain level of attractiveness, or a salary range, or an outgoing personality.
There’s nothing you’re doing wrong. There’s nothing you’re missing. Your friend who just got married isn’t more deserving of love than you. They just happened to find somebody, and you haven’t yet.
So when do you give up? When do you stop chasing love and start telling people you’re at peace with your “situation” and this is just the way it is for you?
The shitty answer is that there is no answer. There is no age where you owe it to society to just throw in the towel. There’s also no rule saying you can’t change your mind. If you’re twenty-seven and sick of sifting through Tinder, and you just want to accept that you’re alone right now, just do it. Take a fucking break. Be alone. Hate it. Love it. Decide for yourself how you feel about it instead of politely listening to others. And if you decide at thirty that you don’t want to accept the fact that you’re alone anymore, change your mind if you damn well please.
People are always going to try to tell you how to feel. I’m doing it right now in this essay. If it helps, great. If it doesn’t, ignore me. Besides a select few, we’re a species built on empathy. We want to help each other. When we see someone struggling, we’ll say anything we can to make them smile, to make them feel even just a little bit better. So accept the love, accept the good intentions, but remember that at the end of the day, it’s up to you when you want to just accept that you’re alone. You can always change your mind.