Essence of Dating: Singledom

“How is it possible that you’re still single?”

Photo by Eric Wallis Photography

Photo by Eric Wallis Photography

I only get that question five times a day.

What’s mostly stunning to me is that at my age, this is apparently the time when people start bugging you about it–“are you seeing anyone?” “You need to meet someone soon.” “When are you going to get married?” “Any prospects?” and sometimes I just want to say, “Why is it any of your business?”

Because it’s really not.

The answer is really simple: I choose to be single.

Yes, I have a dating bucket list are there are items on there I would undoubtedly like to cross off, but I also have a career to build and I’m willing to do anything to make the life I want, happen for myself, even if it means having to sacrifice a significant other right now.

Here’s the truth: I’m very busy. I mean, very, very, busy. I run a business, I host a radio show, I’m adding another project to my sports repertoire this fall and at some point around October will be juggling covering four professional sports teams (since I’m banking on the Red Sox making the post-season), high school football, and a minor league hockey team. I’m a freelance writer, I work part-time at a clothing store, I take figure skating lessons, go to dance class nearly every day, am training to walk a half marathon and to eventually run one, oh, and did I mention I’m still in school?

That doesn’t really leave a lot of time for getting to know someone when you have ambitious goals and things you want to accomplish before you turn thirty, unless your goals include getting married and having kids, which are not currently on my radar.

My question is, why is that not OK? Why can’t I be ambitious and career-oriented? I have my entire life to meet a guy who makes me happy, but I don’t have my whole life to work on getting the job I want.

In addition to pushy acquaintances and family who are concerned about my lack of a dating life (hell, my dad all but asked if I was into girls a few years ago), my favorite scenario is when guys ask me why I’m still single.

I mean, shit: I love pizza, craft beer, I drink whiskey (and enjoy it), understand (and can have a lengthy conversation with anyone about) sports, I listen to classic rock music, I also like hip-hop, alternative and everything in between; I can swear like a sailor and get ready to leave the house in five minutes, plus I won’t bug you if you want to go out with your friends, so apparently every guy should be falling at my feet, right?

Wrong. This behavior almost always puts me in the “friend-zone” with nearly every guy I know, which isn’t a bad problem to have, unless I am actually interested in dating one of them. This sometimes happens, but not often, because I know you already wore those boxers once this week and I’ve helped sort out all of your lady problems with you.

Then there’s the whole location issue: I live in a place that is populated with families, college kids (who are younger than me), and people I went to high school with who are also still clinging to mom and dad for dear life because there are hardly any grown-up jobs for us. It’s not like I live in a “meet market” where I have the opportunity to constantly meet new and interesting people. While I’m certain some of those guys live here somewhere, I’m not entirely sure where to find them and I don’t have time to look, because I know they’re not at the local watering hole where I hang out with my friends on Saturday nights.

I may sound like I’m entirely closed off to having a relationship at this stage of my life, but I’m not. More than anything, I worry that I might meet someone now and then that relationship will dictate what I can do career-wise. He might not want me to travel, or there may be a job I want to move for and he can’t, or isn’t willing to move with me…it’s daunting actually. This sounds silly, but I don’t want to be Lauren Conrad choosing her boyfriend (who will later dump her) over a summer-of-a-lifetime in Paris (or in my case, a guy over a job that is either my dream job, or a springboard for the one I want) and I won’t be that girl. The one who lets a relationship define her.

Do I want to be in love? Sure. Do I want someone to share my life experiences with? Absolutely. Is it something I want to actively pursue right now? Honestly, when you’re searching, those are the times you don’t meet anyone worth your while.

If it happens, it happens, and I believe everything happens for a reason.

But in the meantime, enough with the interrogation: I have a whole sky full of stars to reach for.

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