Dating & Sex, Life

Staying Single: How To Fly Solo

What did you do last night? Here’s what I did: made a decent vegetarian lasagna, two loads of washing, sewed some new patches onto a denim jacket, listened to true crime podcasts while making some progress on my jigsaw puzzle, then read ghost stories until I fell asleep. Sometimes I really adore those nights where I don’t speak to another living soul; often, I am contented just finishing up some chores and getting in some satisfying- I hate to use the term, though I can’t think of a better phrase- “me time”. I’ve been single now for about four years, so most of my time is “me time”, anyway.

Dating was such a frustrating, absurd, cliched sojourn that, eventually, I just chucked it in. The lack of decent blokes I was meeting, and the even greater rarity of sex I was having, grew to an extent that I kind of stopped thinking about it.

Eventually I developed an ethos that was, essentially, “Who cares?”.

This was mainly about separating logic from emotion. My emotions made me desperately want a companion in those times of loneliness/amorousness; logic piped in with facts, telling me that I have always had fun on the holidays I have taken by myself; logic told me that there’s a lot of things (shopping, crafts, baking, driving) that I love to do that, when I think about it, I prefer doing on my own; logic allowed me to remember all the awful, truly awful sex I’ve had in my years and that I can do in seven to eight minutes what it takes a man to do in forty-five, if at all.

My logic had often been clouded by the power of my emotions; loneliness can be debilitating, and I was so easily swayed by what I saw in other people’s lives that I didn’t even consider what good I had for myself. Envy, depression and low self-esteem are no fun, and they’re made all the more crippling by what you perceive as your failures: lack of matches on Tinder, someone not meeting your eye in a bar. I took these small instances as personal affronts, letting them inform my entire idea of self-worth. A bad habit that only led to maze of madness.

This probably sounds rather miserable to you, but such is life, etc; it took a while (anyone who claims to have a quick-fix for something like this is a damned liar), but I’ve finally gotten to a place where I don’t put needless pressure on myself to seek out love.

Although I’d be happy to meet someone and be in a relationship again, I try not to beat myself up for being a single woman approaching thirty.

It was also helpful to remember that, in the end, I would rather be in no relationship at all than one I wasn’t prepared to go gangbusters for. Where would be the point of wasting precious time on someone that doesn’t get my jokes, doesn’t read my articles, doesn’t think I’m ever-so pretty? How happy am I going to be with someone that doesn’t treat me better than I treat myself?

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Writing and podcasting, usually while listening to Phil Collins.

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