“Why are you still single?”
“Have you tried online dating?”
“You should get yourself out there; hasn’t it been long enough?”
“Don’t you want someone to be with on your kid-free nights?”
“Do you think you’re being too picky?”
I have been asked all of these questions by well-intentioned friends but whenever I respond, I find myself feeling defensive, like I should give them a conclusive explanation, when the truth is, I can’t. Why am I still single? A million reasons. First of which, is that it takes time and effort to date. My time and effort go to my kids, my career, my friends, my family, and after that, there’s just not that much time left. And if you know me at all, you know I’m an introvert and I need my alone time. So the few nights I don’t have my kids, I’m usually sitting at home by myself, re-charging.
Have I tried online dating? I sure have! Do you want to hear about the married dude, the foot-fetish dude, the homophobe, or the stalker? Listen, I’m sure there are good guys on those apps, but I have yet to come across one, and after the stalker episode, I think I’m good for a while with the online dating scene.
I should get myself out there, you say? I am out there. Every day. But keep in mind, I’m a middle aged mother. I’m not going to the bars or clubs to meet guys. That wasn’t even really my thing when I was in my twenties. I mean, who knows, maybe I’ll meet Prince Charming in the frozen food aisle of Price Chopper, but so far, it just hasn’t happened.
Do I want to spend time with someone on my kid-free nights? Yes, sometimes I do. I love to cook, and there are nights when I would just love to cook a nice meal, pop open a bottle of wine, put on some music, and spend time with someone who is older than seven and can discuss topics other that Legos, Minecraft, and poop. Yes, I would like that. But here’s the thing, which brings me to your last question, “am I too picky?” No. I’m not too picky, but I’m picky. Over the years, I’ve compromised my truth, and in doing so, I’ve lost myself time and time again. I’ve made excuses and tried to rationalize relationships that I knew in my heart were not healthy. I’ve ignored and looked the other way too many times. After spending some time healing, I’m finally getting back to the real me. I’m not going to settle for just someone. I’m not looking for a body to occupy space and relieve some of the loneliness. I want someone that complements me as a person; someone who shares similar values and ideals. Someone who I can laugh with. Someone who is easy to be with; someone who is comfortable; someone who appreciates and respects my situation.
So, yes, I am still single. And no, I don’t need your sympathy. My life is full of love as it is right now. I am complete as is. Being honest with you (and myself), I do hope to meet someone one day, but I’m also aware it may never happen. And I’m ok with that too.
…so…Prince Charming, if you’re out there, you know where to find me, right over there between the frozen waffles and tater tots.