Raise your hand if you’ve ever been asked “why are you still single?” Now, look around you: anyone who’s relatively normal has been probed with these words at some point. Someone asks me this question at least once a week. The implications of the inquisitors have always been lost on me; is the question meant to be a backhanded compliment? An insult? And, do they really expect me to come up with an “ah-ha!“-inducing answer?
I’ve found what people seem to assume is that choosing a great partner is like choosing a great dress. Newsflash: it‘s not. A dress gives it all up at first glance, whereas a potential partner always has tricks up his sleeve, both good and bad, and whether or not you should be with him isn’t a choice that can be made hastily.
In New York, every characteristic of every guy is magnified by 1,000, the same way precipitation is; a rainy New York day isn’t just a rainy day. It’s a circus. Your hair gets ruined in seconds, your umbrella turns inside-out and decides it no longer wants to serve a purpose, and you’re huffing and puffing by the time you’ve made it out of the storm. This, my friends, is exactly what it feels like to date a guy with issues in New York (and more often than not, he has issues). In the past few years, I’ve dated many-a-man. Sit tight as I walk you through a myriad of disasters:
*all names have been changed so as to protect the privacy of the dudes, just incase they happen upon this blog when I’m famous*
There was Mike, an acquaintance from high school, who took me to a Brooklyn indie-rock concert, and screamed “I wanna do you!” to the singer when she paused in a moment of pin-drop silence to ask the audience for song requests.
There was Oliver, a guy I met in a coat check of a nightclub, who thought it would be funny to ask random strangers questions about their grooming habits in 5-minute intervals on our date. You’re not a damn reporter, Oliver. You’re my date.
There was Kyle, an incredibly driven 9-5er working in a field where finance and law intersect, whom I met in my bar when I worked as a bartender. He was so perfect that he couldn’t get it up. Ever. Not once.
There was Declan, a witty Irish dude I met at a Long Island bar. On our first date, he made it abundantly clear he was a raging alcoholic. (For those of you who were wondering, yes, the stereotype holds true: Irishmen are unapologetic beer-guzzlers and are absolutely not chivalrous drunks).
There was Williamsburg Joe, a music producer who picked me up in a cafe in, you guessed it, Williamsburg, whose priorities were so well-formed he’d leave immediately after super intimate moments to go to his “friend’s” (read: half-naked and fully manic).
There was Bay Ridge John, whom I met at a hip Halloween party. He tried his best to convince me he had an Australian accent. I never told him I knew his accent was fake. When it came down to it, the situation was more sad than it was funny.
There was Bob 1, a college friend of a college friend, who had a pointer finger for a you-know-what. This isn’t hyperbole, it’s fact. There was Bob 2, a study abroad fellow, who ALSO had a pointer finger for a you-know-what (ok, seriously? In my defense, Bob 1 and Bob 2 had incredibly gorgeous faces).
Last, but not least, there was the guy with perfect proportions (if you catch my drift), whom I met on a sidewalk. Unfortunately, yet not surprisingly, he was so emotionally unavailable that he admitted he hadn’t cried in years. Years. Ladies, stay away from musicians. Just do it.
What’s my point, and what does all this have to do with what you should say when someone asks why you’re still single? My point is there’s always a catch. At least, up until now, there always has been. I’ve chosen to expose my seemingly bad judgment to the world because any writer who has the intention of making a difference would do just the same, and single girl, I empathize with you.
So, when someone asks you why you’re still single, should you say:
A) I’m too busy doing me
B) Men are bat sh*t
C) All the good ones are taken
D) All of the above?
Your answer is D) All of the above. D is the best choice because it indicts both you and men, and doesn’t imply that you’re a crazy b*tch, a man hater and/or a lesbian. Yes, I’ve run into bad luck, but I also fully acknowledge that I’m a work in progress. You, reader, most probably are, as well. And you know what? That’s okay. When people ask you the “single” question, respond with transparency and dignity, and they’ll back down.
I’ve dated the alcoholic, the limp d*ck, two pointer fingers, the emotionally unavailable, the bipolar personality, the insecure, the musician…the list goes on. Eh, at least now I know what I don’t want, right? The dating world is cruel, but it’s a trial-and-error process, single girl, so experiment away. At the end of the day, I’m still wide-eyed and hopeful, and you should be, too.
Remember: everything happens for a reason. As much as I wince and whine about being single, I probably inadvertently impose my single-dom onto myself. And if I didn’t, well, then I wouldn’t have anything to write about.