I've Been Single for my Entire Life, Too
Today, I learned that's not true.
I read an excellent blog post on HuffPost called 'I've Been Single For My Entire Life' by Katie Heaney, author of the book "Never Have I Ever: My Life (So Far) Without a Date."
Katie is 25, like myself, and has never had a serious relationship or even a real date to speak of:
"And I don't mean that I haven't had any major long-term relationships, or that I haven't dated anyone in a really long time, or that I've only dated people for a few months at a time. I mean that I have been wholly and totally single for my entire life. Not one boyfriend. Not one short-term dating situation. Not one person with whom I regularly hung out and kissed on the face."
She talks in the post about being the only one of her friends who has been single for so long, and doesn't really know of anyone else who shares that experience. Well, Katie, you and I are kindred spirits, I suppose, because I am also a Bermuda Triangle (a term she uses to compare herself to her constantly-dating friends that she calls 'lighthouses'.)
Personally, I have always felt quite fortunate that I've never felt the need to be in a relationship. I never felt insecure or bad about myself for not dating anybody, I just figured eventually it will happen like it does with everyone else. Right? Well at 25, that logic starts to crumble while you slowly but surely become the last person you know to never have dated anyone. Then you start to develop this sentiment:
"Sometimes it feels like this is something I should be worried about. Sometimes, during a couple days every month in particular, I want to spend some time lying on the floor and feeling like there must be something terribly wrong with me. I am at the point in my life where I no longer know another person in my shoes."
For the most part, I really don't think anything is fundamentally wrong with me that makes me un-datable, but every once in a while I have to look at it from an outside perspective and realize that perhaps, there is. The most frustrating part I find about that realization as that you can acknowledge it, but if you don't know what the problem is you can't really fix it.
You can only chalk up being single to bad timing, high standards and the 'I don't want to be tied down' excuse so many times before it really starts to get weird.
Then you start to get bitter. You look at girls with boyfriends or long-term relationships and say to yourself, "I'm way cuter, funnier, and more intelligent than her. WTF." Then you start to feel like a judgmental bitch and realize that you're just being a hater. But those thoughts start to pop up more often the further along you go as a single lady.
It also starts to work against you as time goes on. Because when you meet someone at 25 who has never been in a relationship, you think something has to be wrong with them. I mean if no one anywhere has been attracted to you enough to date you then you must be seriously psychologically damaged, an intolerable bitch or a serial killer. I can't say that if I met someone my age who has been single their entire life that I wouldn't think it was kind of weird. So how can I blame others for sharing the same sentiment?
I am by no means perfect and I have my moments of being intolerable, but I think I'm still young enough to stick to my guns. At 25 I refuse to settle just to fit into the social norms of the dating world. I'm not going to join Match.com or date someone I'm not truly attracted to just to look 'normal.' I think I'm lucky that I have other things going on in my life to focus on and have never been at risk of falling into a black hole of depression because I'm single.
So Katie, let's embrace it! Yes, we are unlike the majority of people our age. So? Who's to say what's normal? A string of unsuccessful, unfulfilling or boring relationships don't sound that interesting to me either. I can't say I would change my past even if I could.
I've been single for my entire life. But I think for now, I'm perfectly fine with that.