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April 1, 2015

Single Status: What’s (Self) Love Got to Do with It?

Party is over

This spring marks the fifth anniversary of my singlehood.

The fifth year I’ve had to learn about myself. To date different kinds of people. To make new mistakes. To create better experiences.

Five years is a long time to be single these days.

Sure, I’ve had some long-term relationships squeezed in there, and a few flings and six-week romances that end in radio silence for both parties. It’s fun, but mostly it’s exhausting.

I love being free to make my own decisions, go when I want to go, stay when I want to stay, and yet despite evidence to the contrary, being single is really not my thing.

But experience suggests this is not the energy I’m putting out there.

One of the groups I write for is hosting a “most eligible bachelor and bachelorette” event this week and next, and while I’ve been to many singles events over the last few years, it will be the first time I’ve attended a showcase of that very status.

My friends find this rather intriguing. So much so that two of them, on separate occasions, while learning about the event, asked me:

Oh, why weren’t you nominated?”

Followed immediately with:

Well there’s always next year.

Yes. That’s right. Next year. Because apparently I’m still going to be single this time next year.

Ummmmmm, how about no? How about not?

Except, if I’m being honest with myself, if I don’t knock a few bad habits off here soon, I just might be.

I’ve hit a point in my dating life where I’m starting see a pattern in the type of men for whom I keep falling.

It’s not a good one.

Apparently, the way to my heart is to possess some combination of the following (questionable) attributes:

Confidence. Not arrogance. Smooth charismatic confidence.

A head that rises at least an inch above mine

A wicked sense of humor and full mastery of the art of sarcasm

An April birthday (don’t ask)

Athletic prowess, abilities, and interest

A massive sense of adventure

Compassion the size of Texas

The ability to pick me up (and not just at the bar)

A Hey Girl smile

Happy eyes

And, most significantly:

Total emotional unavailability or interest in having an actual relationship

No really. If you’re smoking hot, successful, sporty, intelligent but only call me when you feel like it, I might love you forever and think wistfully of receiving just one minute hour of your attention.

On the contrary, if you smother me with compliments, let me know right off the bat how you feel, put off any vibes that feel less than what I’ve (likely erroneously) categorized as manly, I’ll be bouncing like a superball baby.

I’m a little nauseated just admitting that.

That’s just… not okay. Unless of course I want to remain perpetually unattached or heartbroken, in which case I have really got this game dialed in tight.

But I don’t.

(Sigh.)

Because this is what we do, we imperfectly perfect humans. We want what we can’t have. We like the adrenaline rush that comes with the chase. It’s exciting.

Until it isn’t anymore.

Until we learn better, and do better. Until the version of ourselves we’ve been waiting for shows up and represents. Until we see below the surface of our images, accept what we deserve and invite it home to stay.

Perhaps it’s time I choose differently. Proceed more wisely. Stop chasing my own tail and looking for gold at the end of the rainbow. Slow down. Observe and then respond. Be vulnerable, but with discretion.

Be open, so I can see and receive that which is truly prepared to be given.

This round, maybe I can for once and for all get this love thing right.

Maybe.

And if not, then I suppose there’s always next year…

 

 

Author: Michelle Sweezey

Editor: Evan Yerburgh

Photo: Flickr

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