I firmly believe, as many other do, that you shouldn’t necessarily go out searching for "significant others" (a phrase I despise because a lot of my life's others feel fairly significant). Sure, maybe you should ask your male friends if they know anyone with whom you might be compatible, or give OKCupid a whirl, or do a whole host of other things I’ve certainly never tried before… Ahem… Where was I? Oh. There’s nothing wrong with taking a look around, but finding the Beckham to your Posh Spice should not be so essential or so trite that you should – or should be able – to force-find it. It’s not soul-searching; it’s actual person-searching, & too many people settle for people who aren’t their person just because they’re so caught up in the looking.
At some point, though – maybe a few points – every single woman gets a wee bit introspective. At some point, you notice that about 85% of your friends are coupled up & going on quadruple dates that you’re not invited to because you fly solo. At some point, you start to wonder whether life will look the same at 35 as it does at 25, if you’ll be forever looking & looking & looking & never finding. You start asking yourself questions like “Why haven’t I found anyone?” and “What’s wrong with me?” Luckily, my answers to those frustration-induced questions tend to be fairly rational & not all that depressing – I haven’t found anyone because it’s just not my time yet, and nothing is wrong with me. In fact, I think I’m a catch, a list of adjectives I could tick off touting my own glowing attributes.
Still, all this waiting is getting to be a drag. People come & go – friends are here & then they’re not, & I have a particular predilection for losing touch & fading into the background of people's minds. There are so few consistencies, & inconsistency is, frankly, lonely.
Sometimes, when I'm feeling particularly off-kilter, I get nostalgic for the "olden days" of dating. Gone are the days of passing notes & hand-holding on the playground & "going out" with someone you never go anywhere with because you're 10. Gone, too, are the days of homecoming dates & first kisses & blind, angsty faith in love. And gone are the frat parties & college crushes & walks of shame. Now, the new normal is... well, a whole lot of nothing. I've been single for nearly four years, with a few time-killers in between that led to nothing but my re-realizing that I hate dating & that it feels like a waste of my time. The new normal is a lot of sitting, waiting, wishing, & doubting that legitimate butterflies actually exist past the age of, say, 20.
I've never been a girl particularly prone to falling in love. I'm not a romantic; I am not mushy. I never thought love would save me or change me or fix my problems. I don't believe in soulmates or "Love Actually." I believe that people give up, people leave, people change, people become something else, something unrecognizable, and I am forever skeptical of long-term love & my ability to be in it or on the receiving end of it. But I believe that there is someone out there, somewhere (hopefully somewhere geographically convenient & not in, like, Sochi or Turkmenistan) who will look past my bullshit cynicism & insist that I look deeper; someone who will be not only interested in but insistent upon loving me, & I him.
I want to end this on some complete note, something that leaves you saying, "Great! There was a moral to this story!" but I don't have one. This is it, this is all. I'm fine, I'm just feeling a little tired - tired of looking at the world through only my eyes, without anyone else beside me to teach me new perspectives. I'm tired of feeling perpetually second-fiddle, never meaningful enough to be anyone's first choice; similarly, I'm tired of meeting people who are never my first choice. My needs are simple: I want to mean the most to someone who means the most to me. And I want to know how long it's going to take to get there.
“When will then be now?”