There is a major difference in good advice and those who want to tell you what you should be doing with your time. And lately the Shouldbes have been telling me I should start dating. Great, thanks.
Unfortunately I didn't just walk away and continue along with my daily routine of coffee, laughter, and friends. Instead I began to contemplate dating and immediately choked back the urge to vomit. What is dating now? A long time ago when I did date it meant awkward conversations and moments of hand brushes and lean-ins. Yuck! After the Shouldbes tell me I should start dating there is usually the following statements: "I know this really nice guy", "You're a catch", and "You need to put yourself back on the market".
Let's address the statements.
1. "I know this really nice guy" - Good for you! I'm glad you know a nice man; he sounds lovely. However, if you're going to imply that we need to meet I will probably give you a blank stare. No words, just a stare. Because while you may think it is impossible for me to meet people, you couldn't be further from the truth. I meet people every single day of my life. I meet great people. I meet attractive people and some of them are men! Yes, men! But I have no interest in meeting this really nice guy during an awkward dinner at your house while you and your husband study us to see if there's a connection. And if you don't see it sparking, you push and try to force it to happen. And each time I get up to go to the kitchen you follow me and ask "Well, what do you think?" to which I will reply "I'd rather be eating glass". And that may end our perfectly polite acquaintanceship because let's face it, this will never end. Next you'll want to introduce me to your weird cousin who has just seen some "tough times".
2. "You're a catch" - I'm sorry... I'm a what? A catch? I'm a fish? What are you saying? I understand that you're not trying to be a jerk, I know. But let's talk about this statement. To catch something is to trap it, to keep it, to cook and eat it...or mount it in a wall. Considering where I currently reside, in the Bible belt where gender roles are expectations are still clinging to a 1963 way of thinking, being a catch makes me feel suffocated and....colorless. Most of the time people who say this don't mean anything harmful, but it is still very much a statement living in the universe of a severe male gaze and I have no intention to be caught in that
3. "You need to put yourself back on the market" - My least favorite of all these seemingly polite comments made to single people the world over. And exactly what market are we referring to here? Because you seem to think I need to invest myself in playing the relationship stock market; trading up and down to find a mate. No. No, no, no..and no! I am aware of Match.com and eHarmony which are two resources for single people needing assistance and a marketing plan to meet people. But see, I'm not that desperate. Yes, I said it. Those institutions are not meant for me. I am a people person and I enjoy talking and getting to know humans -not inflated, self-indulgent profiles that shed little light on the real person and hide the underlying reason for most singles using these sites, which is "I'm looking for sex". There is no market to which I need to make an appearance.
I know someone reading this may think I'm over sensitive and touchy. To that I say - think what you wish. I don't really care. All I want you to do is stay out of my business when it comes to how I choose to spend my time. I like my friends. They make me laugh - a lot! I have the best time and feel the most fulfilled when I've had a lovely night of zero pressure and loads of laughter. That is what makes me glow. That is what love feels like to me. If this bothers you I'd be inclined to ask you what your definition of a relationship is because you've been so interested in the lack of one in my life that you've neglected your own.
I'm a happy person and I don't want to waste another single second lamenting on the things I don' have when love and companionship is sitting right next to me in the form of a loyal friend. I don't want to waste time feeling sorry for myself because I don't have children or because I may never find "that guy". And I refuse to do something I do not want to do just to make the Shouldbes feel better.
I'm doing okay, guys. Really. Are you?