I’ll start by saying that writing this feels all too much like another installment of Brigette Jones’s diary, but without the British accent and seemingly interesting British men…
So, I’ve recently turned 36, and it’s the first time in my life that I’ve become conflicted about my age. 36…. single….white …. female.. never married… no kids… It seems as though to many that I’ve failed at life due to this status. However, rare it might be to be single at my age and not have a previously failed marriage and kid to go along with, it is apparently in some dating scenes like finding a unicorn. However, just like a unicorn…. no one ever really wants the unicorn once they’ve seen it…. determined it to be real, what’s the need to trap it and keep to yourself. The idea of being 36 isn’t what gets to me, I don’t think. It’s the idea of being 36 single and childless in the dating world that is so confusing that I can’t tell which way is up…is.
I like to think of myself as a bit of a free spirit following where ever the moment takes me, but the moments of direction are becoming fewer and less clear. Just follow your gut, do what feels right, when it’s meant to happen it will…For many things in my life, this is what I’ve done. I’ve set goals, but sometimes I wonder if they’ve set me. I’ve made plans, but I’ve always had a sense that the plans were already there and I was just following/listening to them… Then people say, you just have to wait for the right time…. don’t worry you’re ‘young’ single educated and independent… any guy would be happy to have you…Then… you can’t just sit and wait….you just need more friends… just make your own life and have fun…. you have to do something… online dating… blind dates… meet people at the gym..join a club…. you need quantity to find the quality, it’s like a needle in a hay stack…Ahhhhhh Dating SUCKS!!
The amount of mixed information out there about dating, never mind dating in your 30′,s when you’d rather just be home with a bottle of wine watching Mad Men, is daunting. Not to mention that aside from all of the know it alls, is the fact that it’s taboo…. Talking about “why I’m single” seems embarrassing. If another person asks me, what’s wrong with me….or why I’m single like it’s really a problem with me, I might just freak out. I’m single because I haven’t met someone who was right. Someone who I’m interested in, and who is equally interested back, where we both logically make the decision to be with one another. Seems kinda simple doesn’t it!? … I sure wish it were so simple. Just find someone I like who likes me… I can do that… can’t I?
First of all, why is being in a relationship this #1 life goal of most people, and even if you’ve accomplished so many other things, not having this one thing makes all of those other things meaningless. I’ve traveled, lived overseas, have my own condo, do my own things… However, admittedly so, I probably do too much alone, I’m shy, I don’t have very many close friends with similar interests, and to find the effort to continue the search is waning. Then I go out and just watch people… and I see the couples…odd couples.. perfect couples…and I honestly can’t figure out how they do it. How do they find that person and choose to be with them. Is there something I’m missing? I just don’t think that it’s that simple… I mean it is… but I just can’t walk up to anyone and choose to be with them, it’s not that simple.
Being that I’ve been single for a… ehh hemm… ahhhh… let’s just say, a significant amount, it’s really hard to explain to people what it’s really like, what people really go through, and how much flipping work it really is. Do they really think I’ve just been sitting around at home alone not thinking about it, not doing anything about it, not trying to meet people everywhere all the time? Online dating profile, blind date, excitement, delete the profile, disappointment, create the profile again. I know for sure that I am not the only one. I do have some other friends in the lovely over 30 singles boat, and from what I can tell from the dating sites, there are plenty of others. What I can not tell you sure sure, is the intent of these other people. Dating is definitely like fishing. You can cast off multiple times and come up with nothing, or you can get one that just fights you until it gets away, others are too small, sick looking, or…. you just get a boot… yup a boot. I hate to say it, but there aren’t many keepers out there. OR…. it’s quite possible that I don’t even know what a keeper looks like or how to find one. Maybe the boot is good? …. I don’t know.
Cinderella, Prince Charming, and a magical kiss. Seems like she’s got it made. BUT… how does she get it… destiny, fate, it’s all up to the stars. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not looking for a magical ending. Ok ok… what girl doesn’t fantasize about her Prince Charming riding up on his white horse to save the day, and then living happily ever after. That’s a fantasy yes, but in reality for a girl to find a guy who really loves her, who just wants to be with her, who looks at her like she’s the only girl in the room, that’s the fairy tale…. I kinda feel like guys weren’t raised like that.
I’m definitely not the prettiest girl on the block, but I also don’t think I’m one of the ugly step sisters. I do have standards and would like to be attracted to the man that I wake up to in the mornings, but am I setting standards that are too high? Should I lower them? To be honest, I don’t really discriminate. I try to judge a person on who they are. I mean, there’s gotta be some physical attraction to start, but…. I’ve given up the grocery list of needs and wants out of a romantic partner. As much as educated, tall, dark, and handsome sounds great on paper, I don’t know who is out there for me. Guys can get more attractive as you get to know them, and they can get less attractive with conflicting personalities, so why limit the search.
However, I think that I’m definitely starting to limit myself in the lack of interest in the blind meet up phase. For those of my single friends who know me, you probably know that I’ve been on a multitude of “meets” for lack of a better thing to call them. It usually takes a matter of 1-2 seconds of that first impression to know if there is connection. This could mean, after 2 seconds you’re stuck for drinks or dinner with someone you’ve immediately determined not a match. No, I don’t mean that you don’t give them a chance, you go in and be polite and have a nice conversation, but looking back you can tell that your first impression said more to you about this connection than the entire rest of the time spent together. Then there are the ones who…. seem ok at first. You really do need some more time to see what this person is about and tell if they are a match or not. These guys can be tricky. Typically the ‘players’ land into this category, for me anyway. They are kind and charming, and they really know what to say and how to act. Think of a really good sales person, and yes many of these guys are in sales for a living and therefore… know how to have a great first meet. Then you wait… if there was no interest either way there is no loss, but when things went well, and you’re interested… then you wait… They’ll call or text right?… maybe after one day… some people do still follow the rules right?… nope… then you never hear from them again and you never know why. Even if you want to contact them to find out why, what’s the point… they played you once… they’ll do it again. Saving face in the dating world. Even when someone is super nice, and you really want to like them, but you really don’t… it’s hard to get up the guts to tell them… and so… people just don’t call back.
In the end though, it’s all in the energy. We all give off and attract energy in all directions. Within the first 2 seconds of meeting someone you get that gut feeling…. the energy in your gut just doesn’t feel quite right. You may never really know what it is, or you might find out that the guy is married with kids, dating 3 other girls, but in the end… you just know it doesn’t seem right no matter how good it looks on paper or how great the conversations were before you actually met in person. If it’s not right when you meet in person, it won’t be recovered and therefore…. you start all over again…. The story of my life….. 36 single… and starting all over again… daily.