I’ve often wanted to write blog posts about dating and relationships, as like many modern women today the topic is of great interest to me. Plus I’ve watched a shit load of Sex and the City and have often fantasised about being Carrie Bradshaw. Writing away all my modern dating experiences to laugh and pose thoughtful questions about love, sex and relationships. However, I’m not actively dating. Nor do I have to desire to. And I haven’t had the desire to since February, and even then I wasn’t really feeling it or fully invested myself into it. So I couldn’t help but wonder, can I really be Carrie Bradshaw if I don’t want to carry the burden of modern dating?
I jest. But still, you see my conundrum. No dates means no writing material for me. Until now, as I want to talk about being single. I must state straight off the bat that this was entirely inspired by bestdressed’s latest YouTube video where she takes herself out on a date and talks about being single as a woman. I found myself relating to it a hell of a lot and the comment section also seemed to suggest that a lot of single ladies felt the same. So, I thought I’d throw my hat in the ring too and have a little chat about being single.
I’m single, I’m a woman, I’m not actively dating and I’m happy about it.
I don’t feel a deep loneliness in my soul. I don’t feel unloved. I don’t crave another. I don’t fear that love isn’t out there for me and that I’m going to die alone. I’m not worried, because I know it’s out there and that when I stumble upon it, I will build something great out of it. And it’s also worth noting that I don’t feel as though my life is incomplete up until that stumble, trip and fall into love. However, I’ve noticed for many people that understanding this simple concept is challenging.
As far as being single goes, the worst thing about it for me is having my singleness called into question, as if it’s some terrible burden, when in reality it’s not an issue. The idea that I have stepped away from actively trying to force conversations with any guy who seems like he might be alright on a dating apps translates to some as me giving up on the idea of love completely.
For some I need to be getting out during my “good years”, so I can find someone before X amount of time and therefore, won’t risk failing at life. It’s annoying to be made to feel weird about something that I’m content with. If I organically meet someone and we hit it off and it develops then that’s great. If it doesn’t, then at this moment I’m totally fine with myself. I’m not blocking love I’m just not actively seeking it out. It’s not my quest. My quest, to be frank, is figuring what the fuck I’m doing with my life. If I pick someone up along the way, then so be it. If I don’t then that works too, as long as I have a vibrator and the ability to orgasm, your girl’s good.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a romantic. I just don’t worship at the altar of romantic love. Being single has taught me a lot about love, more than the majority of the romantic relationships I’ve been in. I used to believe that the love I knew I could give and share was wasted on “single” me. I couldn’t wait to have someone to pour all that love it all into. However, this is complete bullshit and it’s bullshit for many reasons.
For one it floods future potential partners with too much expectation and too much of yourself, whilst saving little for your relationships with your family, friends and yourself. Reserving activities, quality time or gestures of sweetness for one person can give you momentary huge highs for sure, but when they aren’t mirrored back it can feel fatal in terms of heartbreak. Sharing out the love you know you have and investing it into your non-romantic relationships and your relationship with yourself gives you a constant feeling of support and contentment. That place you want to visit? Take yourself. That holiday you want to go on? Book it with a friend. That present and thoughtful message you wanted to surprise someone with? Do it for your mum. Just because these aren’t romantic acts of love does not mean they are any less meaningful or any less joyful or exciting. Non-romantic relationships don’t have to be second best, they can easily be equally fulfilling.
When I figured this out for myself, I found the happiness that I was looking for in some stranger I hadn’t met yet, in my single self instead. It also made the dates that I did go on feel so much less intense. There is no longer a pressure for it to have to “happen” and “be the one”. Things can still be disappointing and piss me off, but they aren’t crushing me. They don’t whirl around in my mind as failures or missed opportunities. In fact, I rarely think about them at all. It’s like I’ve reached a little version of single gal enlightenment… which is why it drives me crazy to have that called in to question. All this hard work I’ve done on accepting myself, only for it to be discredited? I think the fuck not. Learning to love yourself is valid, difficult and should not be overlooked. And as the great (fictional) dating scholar, Carrie Bradshaw, once said: “The most exciting, challenging, and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you find someone to love the “you” you love, well that’s just fabulous.”
Amen, Ms. Bradshaw. AMEN.