It’s Valentine’s day and I’m sitting in the office minding all of my own business. And one of the supervisor at my job stops to talk to me. His first question is “so what are you doing for Valentine’s day?”. It was at this moment I breathed a heavy sigh and mustered up the deepest of eye rolls. Knowing that this person is fully aware that I’m not dating anyone, I proceeded to explain that I’m single and won’t be doing anything special. I’m sure y’all can guess what he said next. Oh, but you're too pretty to be single, how can someone as eligible as you be single, is there really not ONE guy that can take you out tonight? It’s almost like I can hear the question they want to ask and not say, “If you this eligible and not dating, something must be wrong”. I honestly can’t remember how I responded but I’m sure it include even more eye rolls and me explaining that it’s absolutely okay to be single and not have a guy asking to take me out. This isn’t the first conversation I’ve had with this person about dating at my age. For some reason, I’m constantly being convinced to just date SOMEONE. As if I’ll wither away if I don’t hurry up and find that someone special.
It’s the absolute worse to have to explain to someone why you’re single even though you possess qualities that are desirable. When will people realize that my attractiveness or qualities are not what make a relationship and are not things that imply you should be with someone.
After spending four years in my church’s college ministry, our pastor announce that we can start attending Single’s Ministry. And I’m not going to lie I wasn’t incredibly excited because I was content with my current situation, but everyone has to grow up and leave college ministry at some point right? So the Sunday comes and me and my church crew head over to Single’s Ministry. I was disappointed, to say the least. I expected people my age fresh out of college. But the room was filled people of every possible age. It was kind of confusing, because our did out Pastor expect us to relate and connect with people in completely different seasons of life? Needless to say, I ended up going back to College Ministry.
Fast forward a few years in college, I joined a campus ministry. And of course being young in college, being single is ALWAYS a hot topic. For some reason the message preached is how to navigate your singleness or about biblical dating. Both are somewhat laughable to me. Throughout high school I was single, throughout most of college I was single, and I never heard anyone discuss my singleness before. I honestly couldn’t figure out why it matter. Then there were always these messages about how to date the Christian way. And that left me even more confused, because first you highlight my singles often and for no reason, and the best way to navigate my singleness is to figure out how to date? I was truly tired of the whole conversation. Was there ever going to be a conversation how to just live your life.
The need to discuss the difficulties and the beauty of this season is necessary and I understand that. But the hyper focus on it at a certain age applies unwanted pressure and can lead to people feeling like they are missing out on something if they don’t find the one as soon as possible.
As I run down my list of must-haves for my future husband, suddenly negative Nancy who’s been with her man for two years interrupts me with, “You should be happy you’re single, that way you don’t have to deal with one someone else or worry what anyone else is doing”. Seeing that I was listing mostly surface level things like, must be fine with a beard, I’m not sure where this unsolicited advice is coming from. There is a lot wrong with Negative Nancy’s statement. First, you cannot tell people what they should or shouldn’t be happy with, that’s just not for you to say. Second, sis why you so negative?? Why can’t you be excited for me to one day enjoy a happy God-centered relationship like you? Instead you assume that I am not aware of the ups and downs of relationships and use it as a way to steer me away from something that can truly be good and wholesome and that you’re currently enjoying. Plotting on finding a man is not an admission that I am naive about the difficulties of dating.
But Nancy isn’t finished. She finishes it off with, “This really is the best time to get to know you”. And this one might be my biggest pet peeve because that statement holds a lot of weight and unfair expectations for me. I’ve been trying to get to know me since birth y’all, and every year I learn something new about myself or I develop in some way. I never feel like I fully know who I am because I’m always changing. So when people say this is the perfect time to get to know yourself, that’s true regardless, but I don’t feel like fulling knowing yourself is the only prerequisite to a relationship. There was a point in my life where I felt completely ready to date because I got to a point where I knew myself and was comfortable with who I was becoming. So when I attempted to date and there was tumbleweeds blowing across my messages, I was confused. And I truly believe it’s because of one thing, and this is probably the advice every Nancy should be giving. Relationships are good, they can be trying, especially if you haven’t figured out who you are independently. But they will come in God’s time. DASSIT. There is no preparation like God’s timing.
After I graduated, an old flame started to hit me up. The usual, “I’m in town, let’s chill”. And ya girl is newly freed from the bondage of college and I may just be ready to mingle. So I hang out with buddy every time he’s in town. And he starts to insinuate that the last time we attempted to talk it was just bad timing and now might be better. We started texting and talking. He even told me he mentioned me to his mama. I’m all like whoa, this is kind of cool. After a few months of talking we reach the “So what are we doing” point. And I start to ask because I prefer to not waste my time. And you know what I get hit with? “I’m not ready for anything right now” and “Long distance isn’t for me” response. It’s laughable because you were just telling me you wanted me to meet your mom, but now poof! Nothing! It’s okay, I take it like a G. I may or may not have yelled at him very loudly about wasting my time and leading me on.
Later that year, an old friend slides into the DMs. Nice guy, great approach, I was interested. We ended up getting really close and talking everyday for months. Everything’s looking promising until we get into about some stuff and we fall off for a little bit. But still we get off it I guess and began talking again. After a year since we originally connected, start getting annoyed. Because I since the effort but no commitment. So the conversations where happening, but no one was asking me to be in a relationship lol. So once again, I’m at the “What are we doing” phase. And I’m sure you’re not going to guess what the response is. “I don’t think I want a relationship with you" *hysterically laughs* It was one of those you must be playing a joke on me moments. Cause it really made no sense. In total it had been about a year that we’ been back and forth and not once did you take the time to communicate that you weren't;t sure where this is headed but still giving the signs you were interested.
This brings me to my biggest pet peeve about being single. MEN ARE TRASH AND THEY WASTE PEOPLE TIMES WHEN THEY DON’T KNOW WHAT THEY WANT! Okay let me calm down, not all men all trash. But it is frustrating trying to date when some men can’t communicate their feelings properly. There’s no real way to avoid this beside overly communicating upfront about expectations and hoping for the best. I may have taken the route of just avoiding men in general though. But do what works for you lol. Navigating dating is difficult when men can’t commit or just communicate their desires not to in a timely manner.
Which story do you relate to the most? What difficulties have you had trying to find your significant other? Share in the comments!