I have been mostly single for a long time and I have had every version of the supportive friends conversation.
I appreciate their love but after the best part of 10 years, I have heard it all. Every cliché, platitude and comfort aimed at singles and, in some part, they are all true. They also piss me off. Often because they are a bit true, but that will not stop my rant of platitudes that I would be happy to never hear again.
1. It will happen when you least expect it.
I have been not expecting it, I have expected it, I have looked, I have not looked, I have done the head turn and back thing that models do to see what I can catch out of the corner of my eye. It hasn’t happened. Really, we can all look at the events in our life and retrospectively categorize when things happened—when I wasn’t looking, when I was happy, when I let go, whatever—but that does not help at the time. At the time, every day is your now. You just have to get up and keep going, not knowing if it is going to happen today, next week, next year or never.
How can you make “when you least expect it” happen? He wasn’t just around that corner yesterday, or today. So when would you like to schedule “least expected” into my diary?
2. You need to be open to love.
Well, no, I am not jumping on every guy I see at the grocery store, sleazing up to anything in trousers or running around town in a miniskirt. Yes, I can be a bit guarded, because I am not just looking to go home with any guy that looks at me sideways. So I can seem closed, trying to just go about my day, rather than scanning every man that walks past me for a wedding ring.
Being ‘open’ for singles is a double-edged sword. It leaves you open, not just to getting played or hurt, but it also leaves your energy open to every Tom, Dick and Idiot who comes your way. It is not really a good idea for a single girl to leave her energy open all the time.
So how do you know when to open it? On the bus, in the coffee shop? With this guy? Or that one? It can be very hard to know when to open up those shields and sometimes to tiring to even try.
3. You must have some unresolved things to work out first.
Well, fuck me—who doesn’t???
Of course I have stuff. We all have stuff. Don’t you dare tell me that every person who has fallen in love and made a relationship work has got their shit perfectly sorted. Even Dr Seuss knew better than that:
“We are all a little weird and life is a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.”
~ Dr. Seuss
So yes, I have stuff. I will always have stuff. I expect he will have stuff too. Can’t we just have stuff together and call it love?
4. Why don’t you just find a nice farmer/local guy/accountant? (depending on who your family wants you to settle down with to look like them.)
I love my family and I really do like both of my brothers-in-law, but I don’t want to find a nice farmer. Nice farmers are really not my scene.
I don’t really have one of those list of musts and have-to’s for the guy, but I do have some ball-park concepts. I don’t care about your hair color or profession, I care about your mind, your heart, your soul. If he actually does happen to be a farmer, that is actually cool with me, but he’s got to be a conscious, interesting, self-aware farmer!
5. Be the woman that he wants to be with.
My personal (least) favorite.
As if I am running around being someone else. As if the right man would not accept me exactly as I am. Isn’t that the whole point- that the right guy will simply want me, as I am? Yes, I am doing my own work. In fact, that is pretty much all I do.
Ten years of growing yourself as an individual leaves you pretty self-aware, but tango is a dance for two. Practicing on your own may teach you the steps, but it will not make you a good partner. We can’t practice that on our own. I cannot practice being dipped by myself, so I don’t know what I have to work on. Without someone to reflect my partnership skills, I am blind to the strengths, the weaknesses, the gaps. There are things you can only learn in tandem.
6. But you are such an amazing woman!
Well, thank you, but that doesn’t seem to help. In fact, trailer trash seem to have more luck with relationships (frequency anyway) than many of the beautiful conscious self-aware human beings I know. There are not so many fish in the sea when you move out of the mainstream currents.
I know that all of these are at least a bit true—but, usually if I am having a grumble about being single, it is because I am really feeling it that day. Feeling lonely and a bit left out. Feeling vulnerable. Feeling insecure about my own role in my singleness. Feeling in need of hugs and chocolate, not really feeling like facing the truth.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editorial Assistant: Kimby Maxson/Editor: Bryonie Wise
Photo: Wikimedia Commons