Nah, that's not right. This has been happening for years.
Since high school, friends, relatives, and strangers have been asking me why I'm single. "But you're so pretty," they say. Well, then, I must have a pretty terrible personality. That explains it!
"How can you be single when online dating is an option?" Hmm. Interesting question. Maybe-- just maybe-- I don't like the idea of judging random people online for their looks and trying desperately to look past their resume-like list of qualifications to find something real. Maybe going to a bar to spend an hour with someone I only know based on a blurry picture online with their dog is not preferable when compared to ordering Thai food and watching Stranger Things by myself. Some people like online dating, but I'm not one of them, so lay off.
And before you ask-- no, I'm not asexual. In fact, don't ask that ever again. Do not try to diagnose my single-dom with a fleeting explanation. Being asexual is a very personal lifestyle for a lot of people and do not put me in their camp if I don't belong there.
Look, I'd like to have a boyfriend, sure. Here's the thing, though-- I want him on my own terms. If I don't want to find him online, trust me, I'm not going to find him there. If I want to wait a year and get used to living in my first apartment on my own and enjoy farting freely and singing songs from High School Musical 3 in the shower without being embarrassed, I'm going to do that. Because here's the thing-- ding goes the proverbial lightbulb-- I'm totally cool with being alone, too.
Being okay with yourself is a huge part of being in a relationship, too. If you've never spent a night alone, appreciating the corny jokes that pop into your head or the whirling theories you come up with when binging The OA, you'll never truly appreciate that this person who is with you is with you because, yeah-- you're totally fucking awesome, and your theories about The OA are really well thought-out (along with various other reasons).
I'm not a screw-up for being single. I'm picky. And wait-- before you begin your cries of indignation, being picky is not a bad thing. This means I'm not cool to settle for someone who is going to waste my time. Dude, if you think I'm wasting my prime years watching Yu-Gi-Oh with you in your mom's basement rather than hitting the roller rink with my ladies in sparkling sequined hot pants, you've got another thing coming.
If you think I'm not trying, you're wrong. If you think I haven't had my heart broken, you're wrong. If you think it's easy to pick up the pieces after being so close to having something you've wanted for so long and realizing you weren't as close as you thought you were when it's taken away-- yeah, you guessed it. You're wrong.
Look, here's what I want from you, married friends: when I want to complain about boys, laugh with me. Instead of being grateful you aren't there anymore and making me feel stupid about spending such a long time in this stage, try to remember the days when you felt the same way. Try to remember when you were single and complaining about boys and you had friends who laughed with you and told you that a nice boy would come along soon.
Understand that I might not want to spend time with you all the time, ESPECIALLY not on major holidays. Look, married friends: every holiday feels romantic both when you're single and when you're married. If you think Christmas isn't romantic, spend it with a married couple giving each other heartfelt gifts. Same thing with New Year's Eve-- surround yourself with couples kissing at midnight and from that moment on, you'll never spend another NYE with anyone but your single pals and a bottle of champagne (or two).
Most of all, married friends, here's what I want from you: I don't want you to fix me. I don't want you to tell me to 'download Tinder already' or advise me to hang out in bars alone until someone approaches me. I want you to give me advice when I ask for it and hold off when it's obvious I don't want it-- which I think is also called being a super friend. When you make a mistake (like telling me that you think I'm asexual), apologize. We know that slipups happen. We know that when you get married, you change. The way you think is a lot different than the way we think and we'll make sure we apologize when we slip up, too.
I don't want to be fixed, I want to be understood. I want to be listened to. Occasionally, I want to be left alone. Sometimes, I want to talk about my issues and sometimes I don't. Understand that being single is not a death sentence-- in fact, it's really, incredibly, fucking fun, and until someone shows up that can prove to me that they're better than this life, I'm going to keep living it alone.
I am living my best life. I will meet someone eventually. And guess what? I'll be ready for them. I'll have spent nights alone, watched relationships fall apart around me, and learned from my mistakes.
That's much better than settling for dating schmucks, don't you think?