You Are Not Doing Anything Wrong

Jezebel tells me that it’s Unmarried and Single Americans Week which, while less fun than Talk Like a Pirate Day (today!) is definitely worth celebrating. I say this as a person who enjoyed being single just about as much as most people enjoy a morning at the DMV. Single persons, you deserve to have every week be your week. For real.

This is not to say that people don’t enjoy being single. Many of them do. I was not one of them. I also wasn’t totally crazy about the idea of being married, and I had no idea how to date. You can see the spot this put me in.

When I was single, I received horrible advice, all the time, from some of the most well-meaning friends and acquaintances. Among the most popular were “there’s someone for everyone” and “it’ll happen when you least expect it.” There’s nothing wrong with either of these pieces of advice, except that neither one of them, in my now-expert opinion, is true.

There is not someone for everyone. There are probably several someones. This means that you can’t just twiddle your thumbs and wait for the perfect person to come along. In your bunch of possible people, there are bound to be some folks who will make you less happy than others. If you passively let things happen to you, you’ll wind up with whomever the fates choose to toss your way. I don’t know about you, but I’m a little nervous about the fates’ taste. I’ve seen some of the political candidates we’ve wound up with over the years.

As for the second piece of advice, I met my beloved when both of us were very much looking. True, we weren’t as lonely as we’d ever been, but we also weren’t totally disinterested in having a boyfriend or a girlfriend. To say otherwise would be the straight-people version of how a gay friend once explained his online dating experiences: “If were both ‘straight-acting,’ would we be on Manhunt right now?” People don’t fall into relationships, in my opinion. They might tell you they’re not looking, but that’s only because saying they’re looking makes them sound like they’re desperate. We’ve lost a lot in honesty and communication, as a society, because of people who wanted to look cool.

My point isn’t that I think you should play really hard-to-get, or that you should, on the other hand, tell every date you meet that you want to get married. It’s that no one has any idea how any of this works. So you might as well be yourself.

I mean, take a look at these fools. They got lucky. Why not you?

Published by Jen Hubley Luckwaldt

I'm a freelance writer and editor.

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