[Image credit: Jesús Arpón]
This past Thursday, my friend Olivia and I went out. Tipsy off of happy hour wine and cheap beer, we scoured a sports bar in the midst of March Madness for drunk single men. After making our rounds, having a few nothing-to-write-home-about conversations and ultimately deciding that no one met our expectations, we sat back down at our table, defeated.
Olivia sighed. “I’m not impressed,” she said.
“Hear, hear,” I slurred. We clinked our glasses and drank.
Olivia and I have been single for a long time now. By that, I mean a looong time (two years for me, three for her). It’s been long enough to induce suspicion; when singles have been single for an extended period of time, they tend to turn inwards and ask themselves, “what in the hell is wrong with me?”
So what is wrong with us? Are we, as Gwyneth and Chris would say, “consciously uncoupled,” or are we being dealt sh*tty cards? Are we unlucky or are we just picky?
Now, there’s no surefire answer to this one, but my money’s on the notion that we’re just too damn picky. Over the years, single girl friends and I have been exposed to countless types of guys through every medium you can think of – bars, friends of friends, online/Tinder dates – and yet, no one seems to be “good enough.”
Coming to the realization we’re picky isn’t easy; it was just as hard-hitting for me as it probably is for you. After some intense reflection, I compiled a list of qualities that I and/or my girlfriends have used in the past as reasons to dismiss a guy. Whether any of them are legitimate reasons to stay single over, I haven’t yet decided, but I’ll go ahead and leave that up to your discretion:
he’s too short.
he’s too tall. who does he think he is, lebron?
his voice is too girly.
he doesn’t make enough money.
he makes too much money. ugh, he must overvalue it. how shallow.
he’s way too nice. can’t he grow a backbone?
he’s too all over the place. dunno where the hell his head’s at.
he’s not sensitive enough.
he cries. is that normal?
he’s too skinny, reminds me of a worm.
he’s starting to go bald.
his thing is too small.
his thing is too big. um, ow.
he doesn’t know how to use his thing.
he has absolutely no fashion sense.
he dresses too nicely. do you think he’s gay?
he doesn’t have enough friends. homeboy needs to get a life.
he has too many friends. he doesn’t prioritize me, asshole.
he’s too smart for me, I don’t understand half the words he uses.
he’s dumb. I need my guy to be smarter than I am.
he’s too old.
he’s too immature. I need a man, not a boy.
there’s no thrill; it’s too easy.
it shouldn’t be this hard. I’m not running a f*cking 5k.
The fact is, women have evolved into snobs, myself included. But man, I would hate if I were a guy whose lack of height were being held against him. There’s not much he can do about that; still, he’s got one up on us singles, because he’ll date a really short girl, and they’ll have shorty love and make short babies. Or, he’ll just find love with an average-sized girl who’s less superficial than the rest of us, and we’ll still be single. And picky.
There are no loopholes to this thing; the friends of mine who are in healthy relationships seem to have compromised on something, if not a few things. But for those of us who may be unfledged and unwilling to compromise, it’s time we start cradling our stubbornness. We’re too young to “settle,” but not young enough to not be more open-minded, so if we’re going to ride out the journey alone and simultaneously want to enjoy that ride, we can start by complaining less and embracing our singledom.
Listen, I’m not asking for that much. Should it really be this difficult to find a 6-foot, British, blue-eyed, witty, charming, intellectual, wealthy-but-still-in-tune-with-the-arts, caring-yet-gives-off-just-the-right-amount-of-pretentiousness Don-Juan-in-the-sack who also loves children?
Apparently, it is.