The other day, an acquaintance of mine was talking to me about how excited she was to be single for the first time. Let the record show, when she called herself “single,” she meant that she was no longer seriously dating anyone, and was instead casually seeing a guy, cuddling with him, and sharing feelings with him multiple times a week. Sometimes without sex! A relationship without the title, if you will. She confided in me that she’s “never really been single before,” then continued, “I don’t even know what it feels like!”
First and foremost, she still doesn’t know what it feels like. Secondly:
There are two types of people in this world: relationship people and single people. And I don’t just mean that some people are currently in relationships and some people currently are not. I mean that there are some people who are always in relationships and some people who are always single. Sure, a “single girl” might have had one long-term boyfriend in her life, and the “relationship girl,” might be single for six months to a year here and there, but for the most part, I find, that we always default to our status quo.
And “relationship girls” need to shut the fuck up about it.
If you can’t tell by the bitter tone I’ve set, I am a single girl, and pretty much always have been. My one hot streak was in the sixth grade. I dated three guys that year — Justin B and Brendan M for three weeks a piece, and a kiss on the cheek from Colin L during spin the bottle. We didn’t end up taking things to the next level, because I was moving, and we didn’t want to get our hearts broken. From there, with only one real exception, I’ve pretty much found myself consistently pining for men who either didn’t know I liked them, or worse, for guys who liked me, but not enough. When I’m not pining, I’m absolutely, completely, and one hundred percent alone. And frankly, I’ve just about had it with girls who casually “complain” that they “can’t” stay single no matter what they do. That they just can’t help but have hoards of men like them so much and so regularly that they’ve become physically unable to fight off their love over, and over, and over again. That they just wish so badly that they could fly solo, but they’re so irresistible to men, that it’s impossible.
Fuck that. Fuck you. Nowhere at any point in my soul do I feel bad for you.
Relationship girls act like they’re powerless in their circumstances, which is frustrating. It’s not hard not to date someone. Just don’t date them. Don’t text them back. Don’t agree to see them in any circumstances that might lead to a relationship. Don’t accept dinner. Don’t even accept dick outside the dicking hours. When you feel that you might start dating someone, instead, just don’t. But what makes my frustration with relationship girls worse is that at the very same time, they act as if it’s we, the chronically single girls, who are making this choice. And yes, some of us are! But some of us really fucking aren’t.
“That’s good that you’re single, though! I need someone with me all the time, and that’s bad. I HATE being alone. I couldn’t do it,” they coo.
Guess what. I hate being alone too. And you’re kind of being a bitch when you openly admit that my situation sucks but “I’m so lucky” for being stuck in it. I know, I know… but you do always end up in relationships. It’s not rude, it’s the truth. Just like that girl with the killer metabolism really is skinny naturally, and she can’t put on weight even if she lives on a steady diet of cheese fries and Reese’s pieces. She’s just “cursed” with that perfect body. True or not, you and I both hate that girl for complaining about having a perfect body. And your single friends — at least the ones who want love — feel broken every time you say you can’t help but attract guys both physically and emotionally time and time again. If I may, check your privilege. You and that skinny girl, both.
You want to know what it’s like to be single?
After months and months of not meeting any boys, I’ll find one I kind of like. We’ll go out, and I’ll fall for him. I’ll do all the right things, I’ll say all the right things. I’m cool. I’m myself. I start to feel comfortable. And then eventually, I’ll realize we’re not moving forward at all. And still, I play it cool. Until one day, three to six months in, without me even saying anything, he’ll hit me with the same thing every other guy has hit me with.
“I think you’re really cute, you have awesome tits (always a mention of the tits as if this were any consolation), you’re really fun to hang out with, and I love how things are going. I just don’t think I want to take the next step. I’m not looking for a relationship right now.”
Then he’ll enter a relationship with someone else a few months later, proving that what he really meant to say was, “I can’t really find anything wrong with you or with what’s happening, I just don’t want you to be my girlfriend.” I feel like a mechanic. I put all the work into this car, got it ready to go and operate. I lubed it up. I left it better than I found it. But at the end of the day, someone else got to drive it. Not me. Never me.
Even worse than the guy who doesn’t like you enough is the guy you don’t like enough, because with him comes the guilt. He takes you on a perfect date, and he’s a perfect gentleman, and try as you might, you just. don’t. feel it. And you’re left to deal with the hoards of people telling you that because you’re not instantly in love with the first guy who was nice to you, that you’re too picky. It’s your fault you’re alone. You should ignore your own feelings (or lack thereof) for a guy, just because he likes you. You’re so unhappy being single, after all. You should be grateful that someone gave you the time of day. And if you don’t like the literal only option who’s come your way in five months, then you have no right to complain.
And that’s all you are to someone in a relationship — someone who’s just complaining, or someone who’s “lucky” to be able to be “so carefree.” But the fact of the matter, relationship girls, is that everybody would rather be you. For a time, maybe, you want to be single. For a few years in there, sure, it’s fun to fuck around, make out with some strangers, and have no one to answer to. Your independence — when you want it — can be awesome. But to pretend that every single girl is choosing it, and to act as if you couldn’t choose it if you tried? It just makes your single friends feel bad.
Because being single? It’s begun to feel like it’s a part of my identity — so much so, that I can’t even imagine what it would be like to be part of a real, grown-up relationship. I don’t even think other people could imagine me in a relationship. I’m the girl who jokes about being single, and goes on bad dates, and shows up to functions alone, where I joke with the couples. I’m the girl you rack your brain thinking of someone to set me up with, but come up empty every time. But hey, I’m a trooper, so you tell yourself. I’m comfortable being alone, so you don’t feel bad. People listen to my stories and my trysts with men, and they get invested like you do with a character in a movie — and maybe they laugh, and maybe they pity me, but at the end of the day, they know I’ll have a different story next week, or next month, or sometime eventually. And they go home to their boyfriends, giggle about how I’m “so funny,” and secretly thank God they’re not me.
And I go home and wonder what being in a relationship would even feel like. I literally can’t even wrap my mind around what it means to be loved. I think if someone did actually date me, I’d be so focused on the fact that ~it was really happening~ that I wouldn’t even be comfortable with it. The idea of me being able to say the words “my boyfriend” is as preposterous to me as saying “I won the lottery” or “my good friend Kanye.” Sure, it’s possible, but I can’t truly imagine it happening to me.
Don’t even tell me that it’s my attitude that got me here, because I’ve heard that. It’s not my attitude. I don’t go up to potential suitors and tell them I’m desperate for a guy to give a shit about me beyond three dates. I tell jokes, and I touch my hair, and I make out a little, and I do all the things everyone else does. I don’t need to “put myself out there more.” I’m out there. I say yes to almost every date I’m asked on. And I’m not “trying too hard” to find love. There are millions of people who “tried” to find love and did. And there were years in my life when I didn’t try at all. Where I focused on myself, and my independence, and my career. And when I wasn’t looking? Love didn’t find me then either.
And now I’m at a point where this has become a level of emotional baggage. Where I don’t even know how to be someone’s someone anymore. What would we do? Discuss our days? Cook dinner together? Have someone to talk to and do things with whenever you need to? Go for walks? To concerts? Run errands? Have sex, whenever you want, with someone who loves you? Yes, now that you mention it, I understand why it’s so hard for you to be stuck with that all the time. Please keep bitching that you “can’t stay single.”.