Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash
I ran into one of my old friends from college the other day. We haven’ t seen each other since graduation. We were chatting in the shopping aisle when she suddenly asked me “So, are you still single?” It’s a simple enough question if you don’t personally know me. It’s a basic thing you would ask anyone you haven’t seen in a while. But for me, that question still hits too close to home.
After multiple terrible dates, boring conversations on Tinder, and of course my workaholic personality over the years, the answer my friend was looking for was an obvious yes.As the perpetually single friend, that was the answer I gave. I wasn’t upset at the moment, me saying that I’m single is just second nature at this point.
I haven’t been in an official relationship in over three years. I know, that might sound extremely depressing, but it’s just how I chose to live my life. I’m not sad about it or anything, but the realization does take its toll. There is a huge laundry list of why it has been so long since my last “real” relationship. I would like to say that its because everyone’s a jerk and I all the good ones are taken. I wish it was that simple. Don’t get me wrong, that is a small part of it, but not the biggest part by a long shot.
If I had to write a list of all of the reasons I am perpetually single, it would be way too long and definitely not interesting enough to post on a blog. So let me just boil it down to the top ten.
I’ve been a workaholic for the past three years
I have tried my best to support myself as much as I could so that I don’t have to rely on someone to pay my bills. Yes, mom and dad still support me when I need it, but I feel terrible when I ask for money. I have worked a full-time job since I was nineteen. When I was in college I worked over 40 hours a week at a hotel and doing internships every semester. I took five classes a semester and was a part of two clubs on campus. I was always moving, always busy, and always tired. I worked two jobs up until three months ago.
When your main focus is on working and paying your bills, it’s hard to give other people the attention they need in order to have a healthy relationship. It is also hard when you date people that are around your age who are not in the same place in life as you. Most people I meet around my age are still only working part-time, going to classes and binge drinking on a Tuesday. And all of the ones that are on my level are as busy as me and don’t really have time to date right now.
I live my life on my own terms.
I’ll admit that I can be stubborn. I’ll give people that. I live my life the way I want to. I travel when I want, hang out with my friends when I want, and I eat what I want. I don’t have anyone in my face telling me what I should do and when I should do it. Nothing pisses me off more than someone trying to control my life or giving me unsolicited advice for something that I didn’t want advice on in the first place.
I don’t have time for mind games, lying, and manipulative behavior
One thing I hate about dating culture in 2019 is how manipulative people can be. People think that just because you buy me dinner and drive me home that you are entitled to sex. When you refuse they try to make you feel bad and make you out to be a stuck-up gold digger who is only out here dating to get free meals. I have done that, but that’s not the point.
A lot of people love to push their limits. They want to see how many people they can cheat with before getting caught. They try to coerce people into doing things that they know the other person is uncomfortable with. And many times they will still be meeting up with random people when they’re dating you and then saying “well, I didn’t think we were exclusive.” Dude, did you even ask?
Just be straight up with people instead of trying to go behind someone’s back. They’re not stupid, so stop treating them like they are.
My response time on phone calls and texts are apparently “completely unacceptable”
I am terrible at responding to phone calls or texts in a timely fashion. I like to have my phone turned off when I’m working or if I’m out with friends and family. I will respond when I have time to, but apparently, that is terrible dating etiquette. Who knew?
People are so impatient and unwilling to understand that I am not glued to my phone for every second of every day. Usually, if I don’t reply within 10 minutes I get a passive-aggressive response like ‘I guess you’re not that interested then’ or ‘guess you’re too busy talking to someone else’ or my personal favorite ‘sorry for bothering you. have a nice life’. People are busy. They have jobs or classes or doctors appointments and can’t respond right away. If they don’t respond for over 24 hours, then just move on and leave your rude comments to yourself, damn.
I’ve fallen for the wrong person, multiple times
Many people who know me, and those who read my ‘A letter To The Person I Officially Cancelled’ post, know my rocky history dating back to 2016. And honestly, Cancelled wasn’t the only person I dated who treated me that way; and frankly, he wasn’t the worst one. At least he wasn’t the person who called me a selfish b*tch when I tried to end things after six weeks of dating.
There are a few more people that were canceled over the years. Between the one who “commit without the commitment” to the one that said ‘I love you’ after week one and bought an engagement ring by week six, I seem to attract exactly the wrong type of romantic partner. I fall for the person I don’t want or need.
I’ve been told I’m TOO low-maintenance
I didn’t know this was a thing until a literal child pointed this out to me. I am a pretty chill person when it comes to dating. A little too chill from what this child told me. I don’t need to see or speak to someone every single day. I am completely cool with just staying home, watching trashy reality T.V. and drinking wine instead of going out to eat. I don’t care if you want to hang out with your friends without me instead of hanging out with me. How else are you going to complain about me behind my back?
This bite-sized child- let’s call her Kelly- said that if I don’t care about those things that they will think it’s okay to treat you badly and will wonder why you’re upset. Yep, I just got truth-bombed an eight-year-old girl. Because I choose not to care about certain things, I can’t get mad at the person I’m with for not doing those things that I said I don’t care about.
Basically what “Kelly” told me was to raise my standards and stop thinking I’m so cool because I would rather stay home and drink wine instead of going to Chili’s for date night.
Too many terrible dates, too little time!
Guys, do you know what sucks about dating? The long string of terrible first dates that wind up with me lying and saying that I had an early meeting the next day. First dates are awkward enough to begin with, but some of these people really take the cake!
I once went on a date where we went to Bar Louie and the guy spent more time watching a soccer game than talking to me. He didn’t even make eye contact with me and only said two words to me. I don’t use dating apps anymore because people blatantly catfish people and then say that we’re “body-shamming them” for choosing looks over their personality. Dude, No! You said you were six feet tall and used your friend’s photos. You don’t have the moral high ground here!
People are disgusting on dating apps
I have met some terrible people in my life, but every person I have met on Tinder, Hinge, Bumble, and every dating app that I tried, makes me lose faith in human society entirely. I am not implying that EVERY person on dating apps is a terrible person; but let’s just say you gotta kiss a lot of frogs to find a prince.
I’ve had to deal with passive sexism, angry men that demand I send them nudes, and especially the people who decide to slide into my DMs on social media because “they couldn’t wait for us to match on Tinder to talk to me”. I don’t use dating apps anymore because I am tired of sifting through terrible people to find a single decent human being. Some people might be okay with some of the comments some stranger on a dating app says, but I personally don’t think those things are okay, especially for someone trying to “get to know someone”.
If this makes me stuck up then fine! But I’d rather take my chances with the universe then have another “nice guy” degrade me because I wont give him my Snapchat after only 30 seconds of interaction.
“To be honest, your stubborn, selfish, and emotionally crippled” – an actual quote from my ex, and yes, he did use the wrong conjugation of you’re 🙂
If this doesn’t give you and indicator of the type of people I have dated in the past, then you haven’t been paying attention. My last boyfriend (from three years ago) not only called me a selfish b*tch during a FaceTime call with his mom standing behind him, but did so with a majority of my drunk college friends in the background on my end. It took me over a week to get him to acknowledge that I broke up with him and then sent me various messages along the lines of me being selfish, manipulative, an emotional succubus, and I think he actually told me to “burn in hell with my gay family”, which is not only offensive but is somewhat accurate. I could not make this stuff up guys!
I have mentioned several times that I am not an emotionally open person, but that’s because I have been burned in the past. I can be stubborn if someone is trying to get me to do something that I don’t want to do. But to use those things to make me out to be a bad person is completely hypocritical, and makes it very hard to want to be in a relationship again since the last time it ended with someone basically burning me at the stake for not “wanting to be a stay at home mom with seven kids”. Again, an actual quote from the ex.
I’m currently enjoying the single life
I am at a time in my life where I don’t feel like I owe anyone anything. I am my own person who doesn’t have to compromise and deal with the drama of being in a relationship. Putting up with people’s crap is tiring. I already have too much going on and enough stress to go around. I really don’t want to add the stress of a relationship on top of everything else going on.
A huge part of a relationship is willing to deal with other people and their problems. The key word here is “willing”, and right now i’m not willing. Maybe if you’re cute enough… or just maybe not a psychopath.
I’ll find them when I’m ready
I am not totally against meeting someone and being in a relationship. I haven’t given up and crawled under some rock watching Netflix and eating Ben & Jerry’s out of the carton. For me, I need to meet that person that will make me want to start dating again, and for the past three years I haven’t found them. Eventually I will and I will see where it goes, but I am not going to stress myself out about it like I have to the past three years.
For three years I have felt this immense pressure that I had to be in a relationship, and it has led me to make some pretty poor decisions. The seemingly harmless comments that single people get from their friends and family can do nothing but make us feel bad and that we are not happy because we’re not in a relationship. I find it to be an extremely toxic when your only motivation in staying in a relationship is just be in a relationship.
You should only date someone if you want to get to know them. You should stay in that relationship if you want to grow with them and have them in your life. Being single isn’t depressing or sad or unfulfilling. That is what I have learned in the past three years.
So if you are perpetually single like me, just know that it doesn’t have to hinder on your personal happiness. You are still valued, loved, and accepted despite your relationship status. Don’t put pressure on yourself and just live your best single life, fam!
And also someone please take one for the team and date me! You’ll most likely be the cute one.
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