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Few things will force you to examine what you want out of life the way that a four-hour round-trip drive to a baby shower with three married friends, a toddler, and a newborn will.
This was the position I found myself in a few weeks ago. I was happy to be traveling with these ladies; I don’t see them very often and they’re fun to be with. We traded stories about the advantages and disadvantages of everybody’s jobs, choosing paint colors for different rooms, favorite new music, and the best cities to visit or live in. It was nice to be able to chime in on most of those topics. But, inevitably, there was talk of husbands, weddings, daycare, planning family activities—none of which I minded talking about, but also none of which I could relate to, even though I so wanted to be able to.
I’ve said before that I never dreamed about my wedding day as a kid, and I think part of that was because I didn’t think I needed to dream about it. I assumed it would happen. Grow up, get a job, get married. That’s what 99% of the adults in my life did. Those three milestones seemed automatic. Adulthood. Job. Marriage. My friends have experienced those moments in their lives, whereas I seem to be stalling on the marriage part—and not on purpose.
The friendzone can do weird things to a person’s state of mind, like making you think the only person who exists is the one who doesn’t want you back. But you know? That’s total nonsense, and you can overcome that way of thinking.
I’m trying to enjoy single life, but it’s hard, as I hate being single. I was hating everything about it until I realized that such an attitude isn’t going to be very fun, or productive. So I’m trying to embrace it.
There are definitely some good things about being single. All that “me time” I’ve heard so much about is emerging. What does one do with so much “me time”? Well, I’m doing a lot of writing. I’m trying to update my blog more. I’m focusing on work, with a very sharp focus. Which isn’t to say that when I’m in a relationship, I don’t focus on work — no. It’s just a different kind of focus. It’s the same kind of focus I now put on strengthening my body and mind, like with exercise. It’s not that I stop working out when I’m in a relationship, again; it’s just a different kind of meaning. Now I do things to help me grow and change, because I want to be the best version of myself when I’m ready to meet someone.
I am currently not single, and I’m not trying to be — I love my boyfriend and I love being in a couple. But I can be realistic: there are some pretty great things about being single. And I’m not saying I miss these things… well, except maybe #3. Here are the 10 best things about being single.
10. The constant flirting.
You can feel free to flirt with anyone at anytime. Unless you find out the person you’re flirting with has a boyfriend/girlfriend, in which case you should probably stop. But until then, knock yourself out. Be a flirting machine.
One of the melodramatic questions I belabored in the weeks following college graduation was how and where I would find a new crush. Throughout high school and college, I always had a crush. My crushes were like drugs, and seeing them sporadically during the day gave me an adrenaline rush that would last until the next sighting.
I was really good at having crushes. I was usually too shy to talk to the guys on whom I crushed, and if I did approach one of those guys, I’d break into mini hives and my hands would sweat. I’d walk away from the interaction not knowing what I said, but obsessing over it anyway.
I crushed best from afar. In high school, I knew where my crush lived and where he parked his car at school. I drove past his house on my way home from anywhere and I parked my car behind his on the same street before first period. In college, I knew one crush’s class schedule and his extracurricular activities. I passed another on his way to most classes and I ate lunch at the same time he did. I once stood uncomfortably close to another crush at the salad bar to see if he was taller than me. (He was—by an inch.) Isn’t this the type of behavior Taylor Swift sings about?
I’m no Helga Pataki, though, and I didn’t have a shrine to my crushes (except that one time…). I acted on some of them, but it never ended well. One particular instance resulted in a really fun Saturday night, leading me to trance through the following week. I couldn’t concentrate for more than twenty minutes without fantasizing about me and my crush doing ordinary, coupley things, like grocery shopping (that’s what couples do, right?). The crush turned into a hookup, and the hookup turned into…nothing.
Crushing from afar was the safe, fun alternative to disappointing hookups. Running into a cute guy to whom I’m not emotionally attached is thrilling; running into a guy who I hooked up with and who didn’t text me back is self-esteem-deflating. The first scenario is good for morale; the second isn’t.
The holidays are often a time for reflection, and last night around a wheel of brie with my best friends, reflect we did. Brie often causes me to ponder life’s biggest questions; creamy dairy can do that.
We were watching the cherished Christmas classic, The Holiday, when the topic came up. Why as women, do we continue to play the role of Iris Simpkins (Kate Winslet’s character in the movie)?
For those of you who are obviously crazy, joyless, or perhaps haven’t watched The Holiday recently, Iris does something repeatedly that I believe many of us do. She falls for the same idiot, who she knows will inevitably hurt her and will not be half of a productive relationship in any way, time and time again.
Now, I feel Iris on this one. I have stuck my hand in this fire so many times I am pretty sure my skin has melted off. I have met, texted, dated, drank, smooched and agonized over, my fair share of men that I knew would not produce an outcome that I was hoping or wishing for. Men, who for one reason or another were completely wrong from the beginning and all, shared one main fact in common – they didn’t treat me the way I deserve to be treated, with respect and adoration.
I decided, about a year ago on an evening over Christmas break fueled by self-pity and wine, to give online dating a shot. I poured myself another glass of wine (naturally) and began to build out my eHarmony proﬁle. For anyone who hasn’t had the pleasure of dating online, ﬁlling out your proﬁle feels like it takes an eternity—I’m pretty sure it’s worse than most personality tests and Cosmo questionnaires combined.
After my proﬁle was complete, and I had gone on a few dates and a handful of repeats, I made the decision that I wasn’t really interested in online dating. The dates were shockingly bad (including a guy who chewed gum throughout an entire Mexican dinner and ﬁve solo beers), and I just wasn’t interested investing time in feeling as though I had to be searching for a man. My proﬁle stayed online, but I no longer gave it a second thought.
That is until I received an email from eHarmony. This email wasn’t the typical update that dating sites normally send with teeny pictures of your future Prince Charming. No, this email was very different. It was written to inform me that my requirements for who I wanted to be matched with were too speciﬁc.
OkCupid might be one of the easiest and most convenient ways to meet potential dates, but it’s definitely not the only way. There are a ton of other options — both online and offline — for meeting new friends and potential romantic matches. This slideshow over at The Gloss will guide you to a whole new social scene.
Everyone is familiar with the expression dance like nobody’s watching.
Dating & Hookup’s own Megan Snyder explored that very concept a few months back in her article, “I Can’t Dance Like Nobody’s Watching.” It’s a poignant piece about the trouble with being the single girl at your high school buddy’s couple-ridden wedding. Your friends and family want to make sure you’re having fun, so they coax you into the conga line with a liquored up smile. And then they remind you how beautiful you are, and urge you to be confident and let loose. Come on, our only single friend; dance like nobody’s watching!
This past week, I experienced first hand the single girl at a wedding phenomenon (SGaaWP). And I, like Snyder, was urged to be confident and to let loose. To dance. And one thing became perfectly clear:
I have absolutely no problem dancing like nobody’s watching. And it’s a problem.
As much as we’d like for dating to be effortless, sometimes it feels like nothing but hours and hours of hard work: scheduling formal dates, making time for casual get-togethers, choosing outfits, coming up with witty banter, sending the perfect text, etc. But is it really necessary to be ‘on’ all the time? Wouldn’t a break be nice? If you need a brief vacation from checking your online dating profile, check out this article on dealing with dating burn-out from HowAboutWe.
“When you’re in love, everything seems like a sign.” –Leslie Knope, Parks and Recreation
You hear some people say, “I knew within the first couple of weeks that I would marry this person.” And then I’m like, “How? How did you know that? What indicated to you that this was the right person?” But I guess it’s just something you feel, right? Because you don’t actually know until you know. You just…don’t.
And I hate that. I like answers and absolutes. And because I’m this way, whenever I really like someone, I look for ways to convince myself that THIS is the one that turns into a relationship. THIS is the one that was meant to be.
Now, honestly, I am embarrassed to admit to this behavior. I hate the battle between Logical Meg and Lovesick Meg. Logically, I know relationships happen when both parties share a mutual interest and attraction. Pretty simple. But the side of me that crushes hard wants so badly for there to be some kind of sign that I’ve met the amazing person who will make every other guy I’ve ever known pale in comparison. I’m pretty sure most people have done this at some point. If you’ve ever really liked someone, you’ve probably spent at least a few minutes looking for signs, symbols, some sort of indication that you were destined to meet this specific person.
datingandhookup.com is a website that explores modern romance in the Millennial era – which, let’s be honest, looks nothing like we were taught to expect. We feature essays, advice and social commentary with humor, compassion and brains, and we vow never, ever to publish a piece called “The 10 Best Ways to Satisfy Your Man in Bed”. Do click to submit your work to us. We love you.
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