Being single: The best feeling in the world when laughing with friends on a Saturday night; the worst feeling when asked why I’m alone by a date or family member. I have reasons: I’m not confident in public: A guy can smile, stare and say hi, I’ll wonder whether to start a conversation. I’m bad at small talk and take weeks (weeks meaning months) to open up – it’s easier to get inside my body than inside my mind. Disclaimer: I’m not “easy”, I don’t think?
I have huge expectation. And so, I’m picky. I’m like a panda who refuses to eat anything other than bamboo. There are other plants to consider – I’m not considering. I want what I want and I’m stubborn. And that’s my excuse.
It may seem arrogant, high maintenance, naive. A friend of mine told me about her late 30-something friend who refused to settle. She wanted a partner to match her high-salary, good looks, life experience: Travel, hobbies, languages… This woman wanted kids and marriage. She achieved self-success, not self-fulfilment.
It’s a tale we as women are told
Tick tock, the baby clock. Is being picky a good excuse for being single when you’re wanting kids? I’m in my late twenties – already my fertility is dropping. I feel young and somewhat carefree; somewhat concerned the next five years may map my entire future. Scary thought!
What happens if the years pass and I’m in the same position? Do I research sperm banks or put myself in a bizarre Channel 4 doc where a film crew monitor me as I beg a friend to share my baby? Or, do I give up my pickiness and settle?
Confusing pro-feminist questions. No longer bound to marriage due to finances and public scrutiny, single women are getting older and reaching self-independence – men fulfil personal desire alone. (Unless you’re a millennial, hoping a man will help with monthly rent to put you on the property ladder). Canada daily The Star published results from a Bumble survey which found 23% of women are settling in relationships. How many women stay with male and female partners for family life?
Being single and picky: Can loved-ones be an excuse?
My parents’ marriage bliss lasted approximately eight years; they were married for seventeen. Haven’t we read and witnessed too many stories of relationship unhappiness? Millennials statistically marry less and at an older age. We’re the generation clued on shocking divorce rates – we split ourselves between single freedom and ‘please let me find someone’.
I’ve seen friends fall madly in love, rushing to pregnancy while others have said yes to the next available bachelor. The boredom and woes of settled couples provides a treatment for singledom sadness. By the time I’ve listened, I’m wanting nothing more than a solo bath in my solo bed with my dog for company.
I refuse to settle because I know what’s waiting if I do. I know a life without passion, one requiring consideration for a partner who doesn’t make me feel whimsically joyed, won’t cover a gaping single longing. If choosing not to commit means potentially no children, so be it.
When is picky a bad excuse?
How picky am I you may wonder? Firstly, there’s the basics: Always saying please and thank you to waiters, wearing smart clothes on an evening date, not speaking with food in your mouth. A degree of ambition (a strategic plan on how we’re going to couple together and be millionaires), an intelligence for something you’re interested in, a good sense of humour, no overbearing arrogance, snobbery, cockiness.
Charisma, charm, aware of how to cook food on a hob – an appreciation for old classical grooming, able to confidently converse in a room full of strangers (I can’t, so you ought to), a lover of animals without owning cats or large, drooling dogs, or any animal (let’s just admire them from afar). Most of all, I’m searching for someone different from cliché dating profiles: ‘I love travelling, dog walks, snuggling in bed’. I want a guy who shares similar interests and equally, makes me reconsider mine. A guy who makes me strive further and re-evaluate my thoughts. Worldly wisdom and success at what they do – a job they enjoy. That’s a short list I’ve created at the top of my head.
There’s various kinds of relationship picky according to eHarmony. Picky is a good explanation for being single when you’re careful and considerate about who you date – it’s a bad excuse when you habitually search for faults in partners.
What’s the real reason?
I can and have fallen in love with people who don’t match my list criteria. My ex-boyfriends are dissimilar and unlike me in most ways. I’m a hopeless romantic – they’re strongly cynical. I love exploring museums and historical places – they prefer watching blockbusters and going for a drink. None of that equates with why we split.
If I wasn’t the one, I’m glad my exes broke up with me. It’s the kindest thing to do. Perhaps I am too naive, high-maintenance and arrogant (perhaps you now think so upon reading what I want). Who knows the reason for being single? There are a million excuses – missing opportunity, being stupid, continually selecting Mr. Wrong. We can analyse forever.
If you’re being picky: tearing down suitors to keep your fragile heart sealed from more heartbreak, you probably need time away from dating. If you’re fancying people comparable to bad exes – being picky doesn’t sound credible. But if you’re optimistic, hopeful and determined to find all consuming love, without negotiating priorities, being picky is your way of making love survive. And that’s a wonderful excuse.