So many millennial men I know are single and have been single for a very long length of time. Some of them for five years or more. And it’s not because they aren’t constantly meeting amazing and beautiful women every day, it’s because they are choosing to stay single, some consciously, some subconsciously. But it’s usually for the same reason: they have “Peter Pan Syndrome,” where they’re so resistant to the idea of growing up and moving to the next stage of life. Sometimes they will claim it’s because they just haven’t met anyone worth being in a relationship for, but I could throw a rock and hit seven single friends that would make a perfect match for those dudes. Others will claim they aren’t in a position to provide so what would even be the point? and then make absolutely zero moves to elevate that position. It’s not because they aren’t capable of being a good boyfriend to someone it’s that they don’t WANT to be.
I live in Los Angeles where everything is on a different schedule, time frame, pace, and trajectory. Sometimes my data is skewed because of that. And this artist lifestyle that the majority lead out here certainly plays a part in men choosing to settle down at a later age in this strange and wonderful city. But don’t they want to share their life with someone while they are on the journey of success? Are they waiting until they are fucking forty-five and exhausted before they finally start looking for a mate? This whole thing simply just blows my mind. They hide behind their ambition while not really doing much at all and blow all of their money on partying while claiming to not have enough money to support another person.
It’s okay for these men to admit that they just want to be alone. I understand that better than anyone. But once being alone turns into almost a decade of singledom it starts to seem odd. And a lot of these men tell me that they do want a relationship and they are dating, they just aren’t really as open as they could be and date women whom they know they don’t have a future with. And then continue on with that cycle for years and years and go solo to weddings of their friends wondering if it will ever happen for them.
They tell themselves that they love the single guy life and that they love having their freedom. They think ahead to living with a woman and possibly getting married and all they see is BONDAGE and DEPENDENCY. They love sleeping with a different girl every month and eating takeout every night and playing video games until five in the morning. They love not feeling responsible for anything or anyone more than a house plant or a friend’s pet.
But then cold hard reality hits and they wake up one morning and their roommate decides to move out so that he can live with his girlfriend and his best friend decides to propose to his. Suddenly this man who refuses to grow up is without his core group of guy friends being at his beck and call. He tries to tell himself that he still loves the single man life and gets some new, younger friends to hang out with and go to Vegas with at the drop of a hat. But it doesn’t have the same high that it used to. He starts to feel like the creepy old man at the parties and life starts to seem lonelier and lonelier…
I just want to shake these men and tell them that the grass is greener on the other side. They will look at Facebook and see all of their childhood friends surrounded with kids and think, “that looks awful” but then will struggle to find a new, interesting show on Netflix for the third month in a row and feel reclusive and aimless. Being in a relationship certainly comes with challenges and frustrations but being solo all the time is depressing.
“It’s too much work,” they’ll say. “I like being on my own,” they’ll lie. They will waste their best years regurgitating these phrases to inquiring aunts and nosey people like me who just want them to be happy. SNAP OUT OF IT, yo. You’re not doing yourself any favors by prolonging childhood/early adulthood. Relationships are not a trap and the longer you go without one the weirder you seem and the harder it is to make one work.
To all the Peter Pans out there: I hope you meet an amazing girl soon that has the patience to push past all of your walls. I hope you realize that being with an amazing partner elevates your life, and doesn’t destroy it. A woman can be an amazing teammate for you and not a burden. No one is perfectly happy by themselves for too long. It’s a dangerous place to be inside your own head 24/7 and have no one holding you accountable for anything. Have some integrity and grow up.