Today I read the latest “Modern Love” column from the New York Times and, like most columns, I reflected.
The author addresses, what I imagine is, a common occurrence for single people. Single women, in particular.
When you meet a stranger, the second or third question is typically “What do you do?”. When meeting up with a person you haven’t seen in a while, the second or third question is typically “Are you seeing anyone?”.
I balk at such a question. By itself, it seems like a fairly innocuous question. Taken in the context of a single gal’s life, it’s annoying. I don’t think it’s any more a part of my identity than what I do for a living.
And if it was left there, I’d ignore it. But how often is the inevitable follow-up not included?
Example: I was chatting with a lady I know very well, but hadn’t seen for a while. She asked the question. I said no. Then…
“What, have you just not met anyone good? Like at the gym or church or your political stuff?”
A gentleman I know seems to think I should be hitting up the political pool, too, as our reunions always seem to come around to “Have you met a nice Republican boy yet?”
I was clearly unaware I was supposed to be looking for dating prospects in such arenas. Noted. They must have been unaware the numbers are not in a singleton’s favor:
Sometimes when people inquire, they take that “What’s wrong with you?” connotation. Because, obviously, singleness is only for the ugly & tragically flawed and for college kids whoring around campus.
I’m certainly not whoring around a campus, so…
What’s the rush? I don’t feel like I’m falling off of some prescribed life timeline. My evenings aren’t screaming for formulaic dates. My uterus isn’t imploring me to give it a fetus to cradle.
(If yours is, might I suggest giving your gynecologist a ring? Maybe your mental health specialist?)
Ultimately, I think we’re just in an awkward generational transition. Older folks who married young wonder how a 26-year-old girl isn’t pursuing a husband. Heck, even people closer to my own age might be wondering the same thing.
One step at a time, people. Like the columnist said, your pursuit is really just about finding a person who is cool with your flaws. Reminds me of a song I love from a film I love. I had never and have not yet heard another philosophy of love that makes more sense than this (maybe not including the whole Thor & Zeus thing).
(If you’re sensitive to brief animated nudity, don’t watch)
I understand people are concerned for my well-being, as evidenced by the occasional “I want to find you someone who will make you happy”. Because I must be a morose person who dwells on my singleness.
I can’t speak for all singles, but I’m okay with my single life. I’m not averse to dating, but I feel just fine when I’m not dating. Besides, I think “to feel better about myself” is a terrible reason to be in a relationship.
Let’s revise the reunion conversation:
“So you’re not seeing anyone? Not that there’s anything wrong with it…”