I haven't been on a date in almost four years.
It's not that I couldn't get a date (at least, I think I still could); I just genuinely have zero interest in dating or meeting new people.
That was a bit of an adjustment; for years, I was a desperate, co-dependent gal with low self esteem and a fear of being alone. But with the end of a toxic relationship in 2017, I left the dating pool and settled into a life of solitude. It's been blissful. No drama, no heartbreak, no commitment. Just me, myself, and I.
And for the first time in my life, I understand why women hate being asked about their relationship status. Not because I mind talking about it, but because literally no one seems capable of accepting my answer.
I like being single.
But anytime it comes up, people are suggesting friends they could set me up with, encouraging me to "just get out there," or sympathetically telling me that the right guy will come along. Or, my least favorite: "You'll find someone soon!"
How many times must I say it? I don't want to find someone. Your reassurance that I'll have a boyfriend in the near future sounds more like a threat than a comfort.
And it's so condescending! What you're saying is that you don't believe me when I say that I'm happy. You're implying that deep down I'm really lonely, and that I'm hiding my true feelings from the world out of shame or embarrassment. It's patronizing.
There's also the subtle implication that you think me incapable of securing or keeping a boyfriend. That I've been secretly looking and just haven't been successful. That I can't hold down a man; that I'm the problem my relationships (not entirely inaccurate), and that's why I'm still single after all these years.
I never thought I'd be the type to care, but it is so frustrating not being heard. Anytime I try to insist that I'm happy being single, I'm drowned out with reassurances that I won't be for long.
People asking about my love life doesn't bother me. People insisting that I'm not content on my own or that I'm going to end up in a relationship when I have repeatedly stated that I'm not looking for one does.
I don't want your sympathy. I want you to be happy for me. I want you to see the progress I've made in asserting my independence and stop trying to push me back in the other direction. Dating brought out the worst in me. It negatively impacted my mental health. It stripped me of my identity. It made me unhappy. Solitude doesn't.
My love of singlehood isn't some story I recite to make myself feel better. I'm not secretly pining for romance and hoping that the right man will come along and sweep me off my feet. Don't get me wrong—I love love, and I love to see other people in love. Romantic love just isn't for me right now. Maybe someday it will be, but that's my prerogative, my decision, my timing.
I spent three years in and out of abusive relationships from which I am still recovering. I went from being someone who couldn't wait to get married and have children to someone who isn't sure she ever will. I am perpetually single by choice.
And I am perfectly happy that way.
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