There's nothing wrong with wanting to stay single. Sadly, there are a lot of people around the world who feel like being single is the worst thing ever. This leads to the thought that they must "help" you no longer be single by trying to set you up with those they deem worthy of dating you. Of course, there's a key consultant missing from this process most of the time: you. Be it friends, neighbours, family, or even just the stranger who has seen you a few times and noticed that you weren't with anyone, stopping your single life is something that people feel they are tasked to do even when not asked.
Now, I've already said before that there is nothing wrong with wanting to stay single. The real issue that creates a rocky road for a lot of single people is the pressure around them to "jump back in" to the dating game. There is always some "friend" or "person I know" that people are trying to hook you up with and eventually a lot of single people give in. What could be so wrong with going on one or two dates after all? The problem is that nobody knows who you would really like to date so while they try their best they are far from successful.
Yes, we all hear the stories of the ones who made it into fairy-tale land of a blind date gone happily-ever-after, but the truth of the matter is that most blind dates are not a great match. We're not here to focus on how well a blind date match is though. This is more to make you think about if your single friend really needs you to set them up. We can do this with a few basic scenarios and yes or no questions.
You and your work friend are at a bar and your work friend is dancing with a new person every five minutes while you and a mutual work friend are sitting in the booth with your boyfriends. Whilst your single, work friend is off dancing you, a part of what we shall call "the couples" for now, bring up how single said work friend is. You never call the single work friend over, but the couples begin to plan who they know that has the right height, career, and maybe even minor personality traits for your friend. Your work friend does not know any of this is going on, and the next few times you invite them out you begin inviting these narrowed-down others out with you as well. Is this right? Is this the way you would like to treat your work friend? It should not be. You have just set your work friend up blindly as if they are a dog you are trying to breed. You never consulted the single friend on their opinion, and you certainly did not ask them if they wanted to find someone to start a relationship with in the first place.
The person you have been the guardian of is now old enough for you to consider their lack of settling down upsetting. You know they had a bad relationship a few years ago, but they need to "get back out there" if they want any hopes of not dying sad and alone and leaving you without another generation to see while you are alive. You take it upon yourself to ask a few questions about who they might find attractive and then record this data for later use. Once they leave your home, you set them up a profile on a dating site and begin to monitor the matches that come in. Once you have narrowed the list down to a few you like you pick from there and then casually introduce the idea of these few to them. Your charge is a bit confused but does not question you because you are only asking them to make new friends with different people. Eventually you convince your charge to start hanging out with one or two even when they don't want to so that you can see where things go. This one sounds a bit outlandish doesn't it? It happens though. Did you, again, ask if your charge wanted to start dating again? Did you consider that there was more to the previous relationship than your charge let on? Did you consider that this was not the right time in your charge's life for another relationship (in their mind, not yours)? The answer is usually no for these questions, and that is a problem.
Your friend has never been in a relationship. They have been on one or two sporadic dates over time, but nothing more than a date or two. Your friend has told you that they don't picture themselves as a person who requires a relationship at this point in their life, and they assure you they are not asexual or demisexual, they just aren't looking right now. You agree with your friend that relationships aren't for everyone, and you leave it at that for a while. Suddenly, you yourself have entered into the next stage of your relationship and you would like for your friend to have a more serious relationship too. Your friend still feels the same way about relationships as they did before, the only difference is how you feel about their lack of a relationship. You start to pressure them to find someone to date, and start mentioning in every casual conversation with any single person you meet that your friend is also single. You become insistent and soon your friend stops talking to you or hanging out as much because they don't want to hear about how sick you are of them being single. You are hurt, and don't understand, but you give them the space they ask for. You were doing so well in this situation, but what changed? This is often the most common kind of scenario though. How many times have you found yourself prodding your single friend into starting a relationship they didn't quite care to start because you wanted to do cute couple things? How many times have you made jokes on behalf of how single someone close to you is without bothering to let them lead the joke in a direction they are more comfortable with? This scenario is common, and while not majorly so, is damaging to some people.
Good intentions are great, but more often than not they can go so very wrong. Consider this the next time you are trying to "help" the single person in your life; are they leading the charge in this mission? If the answer is no, I would reconsider what you are doing. Even if you do manage to get them into a relationship it could go horribly wrong or it could change the single person you know in a bad way. Only a person can find what they are looking for on their own. Sure, help can be given, but taking over finding someone else a relationship just isn't a good thing to do—especially in today's time when people are so much more different and opinions vary drastically on different topics.
About the Creator
I fancy myself to be a writer of all trades. So long as those trades are all opinion pieces. I do have varying interests though so my opinions vary too, and every once in a while I have advice. Follow me on twitter @no_ellawillett