If you are friends with me... or if you have a single lady friend in your life... could I please just ask you to set aside some time and listen to this podcast, Forever Alone Part 1? Please.
Hello. This is me.
The woman in that podcast could not have described and portrayed my life better than if she was an alias for me. I think its really important that if you know me, that you listen to her story.
In the past few years it has felt exhausting to share my true thoughts and feelings on being single with friends. Especially if they've known me for a while. Sometimes it sounds like a broken record on repeat. Occasionally I feel like maybe they trivialize the newest "guy", the guy I had a great first date with and am excited about.
"Call me back when he'll commit to being your boyfriend... until then, which one was he?"
No. No one has ever said that exactly, but sometimes its easy to feel that someone who has been married for a while just doesn't get it. That they don't get the excitement of actually CLICKING with AND being attracted to someone on a first date/meet-up... sometimes I have to cling to these moments and chase them wherever they lead.
Because otherwise? Otherwise, I'd give in to exhaustion, keep my sweatpants on, my hair in a crappy bun and just binge-watch Netflix at home for the rest of my life.
The effort can be exhausting. I am constantly putting myself out there. Continually trying to not only conjure fascinating conversation, be cute and be myself, but also trying to figure out if the guy across from me is worth my time, or if he'll just be someone who will try to get me to spend the night, then never talk to me again.
That on the RARE occasion I get butterflies in my stomach when meeting someone ( I mean, unless you've done dating apps, YOU HAVE NO CLUE HOW DISAPPOINTING IT IS.) ... I want to tell my friends about it. To you, it may feel like I've told you about 10 of these sorts of guys over the past year... but, to quote Chelsea from the podcast "I've been on lots of dates....I haven't dated lots of guys."
All of this leads to so many questions, it leads to thoughts that my friends reassure me have no truth- and I believe them. I have grown to be a confident woman, from a shy, timid girl, to someone who accepts herself. I'm silly and weird and quirky and sometimes too serious and sad, but I also am sarcastic and you'll never find someone who loves laughing more than I do. I like to dress creatively and wear hats, and I have never been able to pinpoint a career because I love too many things. I have an extensive religious background that doesn't necessarily play strongly into my current life, but the influence is there. I love my family and friends, and have traveled all over the world. I take photos and play music, cut hair and design interiors. I can build things and write, cook and bake, and vintage shop, I read books and listen to NPR and try to stay informed on politics....
...and yet I find myself doubting whether the cute AND interesting guy I had drinks with will keep interest in me. That he won't just hug me at the end of the date, and keep swiping as soon as he gets home.
If I'll forever be the single friend making light of her newest awkward Tinder date at the couples dinner party, traveling solo to hang out with my friend's and their families... staying at my parent's on Christmas Eve in whatever unoccupied bed is available due to my siblings and their families/spouses requiring more room.
I've said it before, I'll say it again. I'm great. I'm happy. I haven't been waiting around for someone my whole life, I've gone and LIVED life. Again, if you know me, you know this. I am not afraid of doing things alone... but, I will confess, I am a little afraid of growing old and finding myself alone.
I love people. I love connecting with them. I think true, deep relationships is what a full life is made of. I just wish with all my heart that if you are in a happy relationship, married or otherwise, take a moment, listen to the above podcast, and BE excited for your friends who want to share about dates, crushes, lonliness AND heartbreak. Even if it feels silly. I can assure you it is anything but silly. Be grateful and graceful with the singles in your life, as we are with you and understanding your commitments and familial/spousal obligations. I definitely enjoy laughing and sharing my awkward date stories with you, but my solo life isn't a source of entertainment... its my life.