“Are you pretty, are you intelligent; and if you’re both, why are you single?”
A few months ago, I’d downloaded Tinder, and a Tinderello dared to challenge me before introducing himself.
Can’t an attractive, intelligent female want to be single? Choose to be single?
Clearly, he hadn’t read my bio — being a professional traveler and building a brand left little time for dating.
I wanted to say that I like being single. A lot of men and women enjoy being single. Some don’t. I was in a position where I was open to dating again, and made the decision to meet new people as I re-integrated into Los Angeles. I was not looking for anything, but I was open-minded. I don’t remember what I said, and we were both likely distracted by a buzz from another “swipe.”
With the holiday season upon us, people tend to pair up, or flee from their informal relationship or fling.
And while I cannot speak for everyone, I can assert that chances are, some of our reasons for being single or avoiding commitment overlap…
The truth about why we are single or “just dating:”
1. FOMO — “Fear of Missing Out” of being single.
Sometimes, we run away from relationships because being single is easy. Being single is fun. If there are activities and privileges you tap into because you’re single, you’d be missing out on those when you are committed. There’s a bunch of people you’ll never date (or maybe even meet) when you’re not single.
Pretty much, why settle if you’ve got a good thing going on?
2. We have other priorities with our time, and relationships are work.
Being an other’s “half” takes time, energy, even money. Sometimes with academics, our careers, our hobbies, it’s just not the right time to commit to someone new. Yes, in veteran relationships, you make it work — but starting a new relationship takes work, and some of us don’t have time to add to our to do list.
3. When single, we can be selfish.
When you’re single, you can be selfish. You do what you want to do, and only consider how it may affect your own life. We already have to calculate how our choices effect us, our friends, and family…. who really wants to add another person to that mix? Being single is convenient.
4. We’ve been hurt – and we’re afraid.
Partially because I’ve chiseled a few hearts myself, and partially because I’ve dated a few as*holes, I’ve been scared. Trust is like money, it doesn’t grow on trees. If it wasn’t for the phenomenal friends and family I have, I don’t know if I would even believe in love. When we are single, we don’t have to be vulnerable, or dependent.
Now, that’s a reason to glorify being single.
5. We are too conscious of our personal brand.
If you are going to declare your affection for someone, privately, and publicly, you want to make sure that they aren’t going to hurt you. The only thing worse than being hurt is being hurt and everyone knowing about it. Then you’re hurt and humiliated. It’s easier to date someone privately than publicly, or not date someone at all, because we’re protecting ourselves.
6. The truth is we’ll be single until we meet the person whose love out-benefits the risks.
We aren’t really “players” when we glorify being single. It’s just easier to ignore text messages, cancel plans, or boast about being independent than to admit that we were enjoying someone’s company for fun, until someone better comes along — or that we like a person, but not enough to deal with the inconveniences and sacrifices.
And when that someone better comes along, when the activities we do while single are morefun with a significant other; when we are willing to share our time, when we can’t help but considering another because we care about their happiness; when we have met the person whom we trust to value, respect and appreciate us; then we realize…
Maybe it’s not that I love being single, but I just hadn’t or haven’t met the right person to love more than I love being single.
***Author’s note: I’m not making excuses for people who mistreat people while dating, this message is for those of us who glorify being single.***