A question that I’ve been approached with far too many times in my adult life is: “Why are you single?” And often they’ll add on something like “You’re so pretty/smart/funny”. As if being pretty or smart or funny are key criteria for finding “the one”.
My younger self would have blushed furiously and just shrugged. She would’ve felt completely embarrassed, almost as if there was something wrong with her.
Over time I’ve made small improvements in my reaction by simply saying, “I just haven’t met anyone yet”, although the lack of conviction behind such an answer couldn’t even convince a brick wall.
In saying that, looking back over the last few years there are some pretty valid reasons as to why I was struggling to meet someone that arose from my own self-sabotage. Most of my life, especially during my younger years, I struggled so much with confidence and self-esteem issues – I didn’t really like or value myself enough to feel worthy of my own love and respect, let alone someone else’s.
Playing the dating game throughout my 20s, I felt so desperate for someone to come into my life that it was probably keeping the right people completely away and out of my life.
These are issues I’ve been working on a lot over the past year and I think I’m making good progress. I feel like I am definitely at a much happier place in my life. So much so that I actually don’t give a damn that I’m single. In fact, I have completely embraced this part of my life. And here, my friends are a few perfectly good reasons as to why I’m still single:
1) In the words of Michael Bublé, maybe I just haven’t met him yet. I mean, it’s not like you can go to a supermarket, pick him off a shelf and take him home with you. Maybe right now, like me, he’s still busy figuring things out, building his own life and doing his own thing. Perhaps, in the words of Greg Johnson, maybe my true love lives in another town. While I’m here in Perth, maybe he’s in New York, Tokyo, Auckland or Paris. Or maybe he’s out in the Outback and we’ll bump into each other at a rodeo show (clearly I have watched too much McLeod’s Daughters). Maybe he’s just not ready for me yet. And that’s OK. He’ll pop up in his own good time.
Maybe your true love lives in another town
2) Maybe because now I’ve gone through the whole kerfuffle of dating a whole lot of guys over the last few years, I now have a much better idea of the kind of person I want in my life. And he’s definitely not on Tinder at 10pm at night begging to “hang out”.
Personally, I’m after someone with big dreams. Someone who loves to travel and explore. Someone with an awful sense of humour and a large collection of dad jokes. Someone full of spirit and fire. And more importantly, someone who isn’t afraid of my own spirit and fire (because boy do I have a lot of it).
And if he can sing, play the guitar and cook amazing food then he definitely gets bonus points.
And he has to love dogs. And it helps if he has a dog.
OK I will stop.
3) I’m definitely single right now because I’ve purposely chosen other things to focus on like my career, travel, friends, family and writing. I’m made a deliberate choice to figure myself out and enjoy my own company. I’ve chosen to fill my life with adventures and build a strong foundation where I am financially secure, active and healthy. And over the past few months in particular, I’ve become a lot less fixated on finding my soulmate/true love/ the one who will “complete” me.
Reflecting back over the last few years, I think I’ve done pretty damn well. I got an honours degree. I moved to another country for my career. I bought a house. I’ve travelled around Europe and South-East Asia. I’ve kept a pretty active lifestyle. I’ve made lots of good friends. Are all these achievements worthless simply because I don’t have a boyfriend? Quite frankly, I think not.
So next time you go to ask someone why they’re single, take a moment to think about the insensitivity of that question. Maybe that single person has their own personal struggles and issues that they are dealing with and working on. Maybe they are genuinely happy being single. Maybe they’re too busy kicking goals and enjoying life. Maybe it’s something they don’t obsess over as much as the rest of society does.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. No one should ever be defined by their relationship status and most certainly not us single people. Instead, let’s focus on a person’s values and achievements, their opinions on different topics, their interests. You might then find that the question “Why are you single?” is pretty redundant.