I have been wrecking my brain trying to come up with a “Girl Talk” topic for this week! I know V-day is coming up, so, of course, I wanted to be festive and write about love and how great relationships are and blah, blah, blah…. But I really couldn’t bring my self to. Truth is, my love life seems non-existent right now. I broke up with my ex a year ago (we dated for 3 years) and the dating scene is just not looking so bright. Every guy I meet seems wrong for me which makes it even harder to completely forget about my ex.
Well, in an attempt to forget I went out to eat with my roommate one day last week. We ended up running into one of her guy friends. She introduced me to him, we picked up a casual conversation, and he seemed cool. I liked him. He eventually got around to asking me if I had a boyfriend. When I revealed that I was single, he gave me a funny look. “What?” I asked. He continued to look at me funny and then asked the ever popular, “Why are you single?” I hesitated to answer him but eventually settled on saying what I hear most people say when asked that question, ” I just haven’t met the right person, yet.” He accepted my answer, but his question lingered in my head long after we left.
Why was I single?
The first few months of being single, I felt I was the only single person in the world. (I became single right around “cuffing season”… Smh). All of my closest friends were in love, having kids, and planning weddings… And, well, I was working on finishing school and building a career. By no means is there anything wrong with that at all! I was definitely proud of myself! It just sucked when I had free time in my schedule and while all of my friends had male companions to spend time with, I had no one.
I felt like I was the only single one for awhile, until I examined my circle a little closer. My friend, Tia: (19; sophomore psychology major; job; pretty), my friend, Nicole: (22, senior studying law; job; car; beautiful), and my friend, Bre: (23, college graduate; job; car; gorgeous) are all single.
Why are they single?
Well, Nicole and I have had conversations (sometimes jokingly) about why we believe we’re single and why we even want a relationship right now with how busy we are with work and school. “I guess it would be nice to have a distraction,” she joked as we discussed it over drinks during a girls night out. “Okay not really a distraction,” she laughed, taking a sip of her mango margarita, “but someone to talk to, just have a nice conversation with, at the end of the day.” Exactly! But where do you find that? Nicole likes to have a good time. Although not a club person, she goes out to enjoy herself often. Restaurant, bars, and laid-back get togethers are her thing. Even so, she still finds it hard to connect to the right guy, “Maybe my standards are just that high,” she said half-jokingly.
Are our standards too high?
I have had similar conversations with Bre, who’s told me frequently that lowering her standards is not an option. “I won’t settle,” she told me over dinner, “No woman should have to settle. God will send the right one and there won’t be a reason to settle.”
Although Bre’s statement is a strong one I have seen many girls settle just to ‘have someone’… “We have nothing in common, but at least I have someone…” “He abuses me, but at least I have someone….” “He can’t be faithful to me, but I have someone…” I’m not innocent of committing this crime. I had my times. I had also seen my friend, Tia, go through it, too, with guys. “It’s so hard for me to meet the right guy, but not for other girls. Sometimes you do just want someone,” she’s told me before. Why do we do this? Why do we have to ‘have someone’?
One of my friends, who asked to remain anonymous, pointed it to the bible, “It’s in Genesis. A woman is made to want a man. We live to want them.” She was right. It’s spelled out in the bible. It’s right after the Adam and Eve apple scandal. We are “cursed” to be that way. I’m sure there may be a scientific reason too, but the fact is we naturally want to have someone… A man. “I just want to know what other girls do to have someone so quickly!” Tia laughed after we discussed this philosophy.
What do they do to hook guys so fast?
I figured I would ask someone who was in a successful relationship, so I called my cousin and close friend, Danny, who is 22 and about to get married. I asked how things were when she met her fiancé. “I was talking to a few different guys before he came along. He was just the one to keep my attention. ” I remembered feeling that way about my ex, but her next statement made me realize why I was broken up and she was about to be married, “with him I learned how to put myself first.”
What???? I increasingly put my ex before me throughout our past relationship. Danny went on to explain a situation where she felt her fiancé had wronged her and she threatened to leave him. Well, I had done that before, too. Difference was, she actually meant it. I only wanted a reaction and had no real intentions to leave at the time. I asked Danny if she was afraid of losing him after her threat. She paused then replied, “We, as women, always put our feelings on the back burner trying to keep [men] who don’t want to be kept. I knew if he didn’t understand what he did wrong, he didn’t understand what he had with me, in which case, I didn’t want him anyway.”
Hmmm. Made sense.
After I got off the phone with Danny, I turned my attention to my tv. The Talk was on and they were discussing a similar topic to the one I had been discussing with all of my friends: how women are judged based on whether or not they are married and their ability to have kids. One host said, “Sometimes we feel ‘not picked’.” Another stated that as women we just have to play the hand we’re dealt, even if it’s a “different hand that what you wanted.” The last host closed the topic by saying, “You don’t ever hear no man going, ‘mane you ain’t got no wife or no kids,’ you hear ‘Congratulations! Drinks for everybody!'”
After her statement (which cracked me up), I started to realize that for whatever reason most of us (women) view being single as such a negative, when it’s really a positive. Being single allows you to take time to put yourself first. Get ‘self’ in line. We put so much energy and focus on trying to ‘have someone’, we miss out on the joys of preparing ourselves for ‘the one’. The right guy won’t be in love with you if you’re not in love with you. Single is not a funeral! It’s a celebration! A celebration of preparing yourself to be the best you in order to eventually be with someone else. So this year don’t look at Vday as a pity party for yourself! Avoid calling up guys you really don’t like just to dodge being alone on Vday! Get up, pamper yourself, call up your other single friends (who are probably moping around too) and go celebrate… Self love. We are not designed to be alone, so single won’t last forever, but love you enough to wait for ‘the one’ who is designed to be with you.
Happy Valentine’s Day, Dolls! 😘
– Amber Cherré