“Why are you still single?”
Ask me this question and I’ll have several involuntary reactions:
1. My face contorts. Maybe it looks like I’m suppressing a fart. What I’m really doing is attempting not to blurt out, “FUCK YOU FOR ASKING.”
2. My hands itch. I begin to fidget or perhaps start picking my finger nails. This will make me look nervous. Really I’m trying to find something to occupy my hands to keep from slapping you across the face.
3. My eyes go glassy. I can’t focus. My mind is a blur of thoughts. How am I supposed to answer such a clichéd question? Seriously, is there a more clichéd question than this? Is there a single single person on the planet who does not loathe this question? Are you trying to make me feel shitty about myself? Has anyone in the history of the world had a good answer for this?
You want an answer? Fine! I’ll give you an answer!
I’m still single because I have weird pheromones! They scientifically only attract bohemian man-children! I’ll never meet Mr. Right!
Not good enough for you? Fine!
I’m still single because I’m funny! Dudes don’t like dating girls who are funnier than them! I’d rather die alone than have no one laugh at my jokes!
You think I’m joking? FINE.
I’m still single because I have a blog where I write about my personal life! Men don’t date me because they’re terrified I’ll make their shitty fashion choices known to the whole internet! I refuse to abandon my blog- BRING ON SPINSTERHOOD.
I know I should just lie, that’s probably what the inquirer wants me to do. Supply a simple answer like: I’m focusing on my career. I just haven’t found “The One” yet!
But I can’t.
Asking me why I’m single is like asking me why I exist. The question sends me into an existential crisis. I could philosophize on an answer for hours. Sometimes I do. Why is it so hard for me to find someone I want to commit to? Some people make it look so easy! Jesus, that girl has a boyfriend and I don’t? What’s wrong with me? I’ve never been with a man who truly “got” me. Is that my fault or theirs? I’ve never been madly in love. Don’t I deserve to be? What if it never happens?? Are my expectations too high? I can’t help but wonder– OMG that’s it! I’m still single because I want to be Carrie Bradshaw! Yes! I’m not gonna meet Mr. Big until I’m in my 30s! That’s all! I knew I’d find the answer eventually! MYSTERY SOLVED!
Why am I still single? Oh, lots of reasons. Some are good. (I’m an introvert by nature, I crave solitude. It takes a real special guy to make me prefer spending my nights with him rather than having them to myself.) Some are bad. (The last guy broke my heart. I found amazing closure on the whole thing but a bit of resulting commitment-phobia is only natural.) Some that it would probably take hours of therapy to uncover. (Don’t worry, we’re not going there.)
From henceforth when ever any one asks why I’m still single they can expect a complete dramatic reading of this post. Perhaps accompanied by an interpretive dance. “Why am I single? Oh, I can’t wait to tell you!”
Single readers: How do you answer this question? Coupled readers: how did you answer it once upon a time?
[feature photo credit: John Michael Decker]