It has become evident that I am slightly obsessed with the fact that I am in my mid 30’s and currently single with no prospects on the horizon. I’ve spent some time during my recent dating hiatus trying to figure out why this has become an obsession of mine (I mean, I started a blog about it for f*ck’s sake!), and I have reached certain conclusions.
I am not unhappy about being single for the same reasons that I may have been unhappy had I been single 10 or 15 years ago. In my 20’s, being single was concerning for a variety of reasons, the biggest of which having to do with “time.” When will I meet someone? When will I get married (if ever!)? When will I have children? Time was the enemy!
Now that I’m in my 30’s, the idea of a ticking clock doesn’t really cross my mind or stress me out anymore. This is probably surprising, since if anything I should probably be more concerned than ever about time!
At least according to my gynecologist…
But perhaps the reason that time isn’t as much of an issue for me now as it once was, is because I don’t have the same fears as I did in my 20’s. I don’t worry about whether or not I will get married because I’ve already crossed that bridge. I wore the beautiful dress and had the big, lavish wedding. At this point in my life, if I ended up getting married again, great, but it’s really not one of my main motivators anymore.
I have also, after a long journey of contemplation and self-discovery, come to terms with the idea that I will most likely not end up having children of my own. For many years, “time” was my biggest nemesis where motherhood was concerned, when that was something that I wanted and when it was becoming something that seemed more and more unattainable. I have since reached a point of acceptance about the topic, and I feel like whatever is meant to happen will happen. For me, not having children has become more of a preference than a punishment right now. Figuring our what I want, or can live with, has definitely taken a lot of pressure off of me.
So I don’t NEED a man – not for a husband and not to procreate. But I WANT a man. And understanding the difference is pretty powerful.
Having this outlook can be both a blessing and a curse. Clearly I am not getting any younger (as my upcoming birthday will attest to), and it’s not as if I don’t still hear the ticking of the clock in the background once in a while. And sometimes I do wonder if it would be different if I wanted to get married again or have children. Would those things be big enough reasons to help make me become more open-minded when it comes to dating, and to potentially give men I normally wouldn’t go out with a chance?
I doubt it. Regardless of the reasons, I still want what I want.
Besides, I believe that type of thinking can end up leading a woman to my exact spot – divorced and alone. Too many women let their fear of running out of time propel them in the wrong direction when it comes to love and relationships. They meet someone at a point in their lives when they “should” be getting serious, getting married, and starting families. Sometimes they think that if they pass up the opportunity with a willing guy who wants to give them all of the things that they think they need at that moment in time, that they may never have another opportunity with someone potentially better suited for them. Being a little older, somewhat wiser (I’d like to think), and with different motivators when it comes to relationships, has made me less likely to just date whoever comes along.
So if time is not an issue, than what exactly is my motivation and my obsession with meeting someone RIGHT NOW? This is what I have been contemplating. Why do I wake up feeling more and more depressed the longer that I find myself single? What is my infatuation with finding someone, the right someone, and being in a committed relationship?
It finally hit me that it’s not about walking down the aisle or starting a family. but rather my reasons are so much simpler than that. The truth is, I just want the little things that come with being in a relationship that most people in a relationship either never really think about or take for granted most of the time.
These are the 10 really simplistic reasons that I am looking so hard for love right now:
- I hate cooking for one. For practical reasons as well as emotional ones. It’s actually quite difficult food shopping and cooking for just one person. You’re either stuck making single sized portions or eating leftovers for days. Add to that, then when one is single and cooking for themselves, that person not only has to do all of the cooking and mess making alone, but all of the clean up alone as well. Plus eating by yourself every night is just plain old shitty. I miss having someone to cook for and to share meals with!
- My mattress has become lopsided. No, really! There is a clear indent on the side where I sleep. The same can be said for my couch. One ass-print. It’s actually rather depressing. I miss having someone taking up space on the other side of the bed and couch – someone equalling things out, literally and figuratively.
- I enjoy small talk. Nobody really gives a shit about the random or minute details of your day, not even your best friend. But when you’re in a relationship, giving a shit, or at least pretending to, comes with the territory. I miss having someone who knows what assholes some of the people at work are and who can follow my stupid day-to-day continuous stories and rants.
- Not having an automatic date to events and holidays blows. Showing up alone all the time or having to ask the few guy friends that I have to be my date (or worse, a girl friend), can be a mortifying reminder of how single I am. At times I choose to opt out of events because I don’t want to go alone. I miss having a ride-or-die by my side for any occasion.
- Mornings and nights are not the same when you’re single. A good morning text or a good morning kiss can lift one’s spirits more than most people realize. The same goes for good-night acknowledgements. When you go back to living without those, after you’ve had them for awhile, it can feel pretty lonely. I remember what it’s like to be on the receiving end of those kisses and texts and how great it felt to know that I was first person that someone was thinking of when they woke up in the morning and the last before they went to bed. I miss not having that. Nothing is louder than the silence of a cell phone.
- Having to take care of EVERYTHING by yourself sucks. There is nobody but myself to help maintain my household, and we know how great I am at that! I am responsible for everything – the cleaning, the laundry, shoveling the snow (fucking NY winters), walking the dog, taking care of the bills/car/shopping/etc., or having to make all of the calls to find someone to help fix things when I can’t do it on my own. It’s a lot, and it can be overwhelming and frustrating. I miss not having someone to shoulder those everyday burdens.
- Fact – feet do not get rubbed on their own. Neither do backs or shoulders. And although I can technically hug myself and hold my own hand, I’m not that fucking pathetic. I miss the daily human contact that you get when you share your life with someone. And I really miss foot rubs while lying on the couch watching T.V…
- Having someone around is motivating. When left to my own devices, it is not a rarity to spend entire weekends unshowered and in my pajamas, I’m not even going to lie. When I am in a relationship though, I actually always try to look my best, even if just lying around the house, since I know someone else has to actually look at me and smell me! Having someone around also motivates me to leave my house since there is always someone to go on adventures with. I miss having “my person.”
- When you’re in a healthy relationship, you automatically get a built-in best friend. You get to spend time with someone who knows you inside and out. I miss having secret jokes, sneaking knowing glances at someone from across the room, and bonding with someone over shared experiences.
- Sex is pretty fucking awesome. I would like to be having some of that again. I miss getting laid on a regular basis! I’m much less cranky when I am getting some!
So at the end of the day, it’s really not about finding myself a husband or a baby-daddy. I mean, I suppose that could be nice, but who needs that type of pressure. Instead, and probably more importantly, it’s become about finding the person who can leave an ass-print behind on the other end of the couch while they’re taking out the garbage.
Now THAT sounds way more romantic to me than any other “Happily Ever After” story I’ve heard in a long time!