Being single for the holidays is an act that seems more taboo as every year passes. It is as if the cast of Bridgerton is always watching my every move as I inch closer into becoming a spinster, even worse an educated one (shocked gasps erupt from every screen).
I have been single for my entire life. (I promise this is not my audition for The Bachelorette). While there have been a few “almost relationships” and plenty of flirtationships, I have started to think that I don’t have a soulmate. Either that or I only have one and he is somewhere in Rome or Paris.
Out of all of my cousins, I am one of the last remaining who have never brought a significant other home. It is as if everyone knows this cheat code that I have yet to find. Maybe I’m not even playing the same game.
Every holiday, it’s the same old thing: Do you have a special someone? When are you gonna bring someone home? You’ll feel differently when you have someone. Maybe if you took better care of yourself…
It’s not like I have this vendetta against love or even that I’m jealous about others finding love. When my friends and family enter a new relationship, or transition from dating to being married, I am happy for them. Seeing people who I care about in good, healthy relationships makes me happy and gives me hope for others in the world.
And sure, I know I cannot be the only one who wants a Hallmark love under mistletoe, but I am not in any rush. There are things that I want to do, and I would never want those goals to be sidelined by a relationship, romantic or otherwise.
I have seen so many people lose themselves in their partners. The same people who were driven by their ambition became sidelined. I could never be in the type of codependency where the couple is more tethered to each other than anything else. Some people’s main desires are to be desired and fall in love, and that is great for them. I want to be more than a Snow White, only waiting for her prince to come.
Some dating stories seem like nothing more than nightmare fuel.
I don’t want to be stuck in a screaming match with a person until I’m ninety-seven.
I don’t want to have to watch every person that my partner comes across because I don’t trust them.
I do want to be able to relate to more Taylor Swift songs, but not at the cost of me heartbroken, questioning my self-worth.
I am very open about my type, basically Flynn Ryder and Prince Naveen.
Here are a few of my favorite hypotheticals on why I stopped wanting to date:
The No Backbone
One day, a friend of mine started dressing better, with less sweatshirts and shorts and more fitted clothes. He even started flirting with me a few times.
Que the inciting incident. I ordered delivery and the driver got lost. He called me asking where I was because he saw “no pretty girls” where he was (gross, I know). After almost an hour of this ordeal, he tells me that he parked and I now have to find him. I happened to run into my friend at the same time that the driver told me that. When we eventually found him, after searching two parking lots and my phone dying, I got my food and left. The same friend who heard the whole ordeal hugged him because he thought I was rude. If I remember correctly, he apologized to the driver on my behalf. When I called him out on it, he muttered, “This is why we would never work out”. I was in such shock that I had him repeat himself.
The Red Flag
I began to debate about giving a different friend a chance, after I realized he liked me and was flirting with me. While he was never my type, I thought, what’s the worst that could happen? You know how in movies when a character says that and somehow everything works out?
For a week, he called me every day for over an hour saying “Is there anything I can do to change your mind?” (In hindsight: a very clear red flag). At the end of the week and a few pseudo dates, I said that I might like him back. He immediately responded, “I’m actually attracted to everyone”. Later, he would ask me for help in his love life but got jealous when I mentioned my own.
While I am open to dating, I am no longer openly seeking a romantic relationship. There have been far too many hypotheticals and almosts for me. Now, I am more focused on My Journey to Self Love. That way if my soulmate (the one in Paris or Rome) decides to show up, I can be mentally ready and healthy for another person.
I may never meet my soulmate, but there have been plenty of platonic soulmates. There have been friends who changed my life for the better. The ones who were with me when I cried, when I was in the hospital, and when I thought I was worthless.
It is always a shock to my system to meet a platonic soulmate. The times when they don’t bat an eye at me bouncing off the walls, when I feel safe and unjudged with them, or even when they openly care for me as fiercely as I do for them.
With holidays approaching fast, be prepared for all the questions. Drink an eggnog for me and I’ll do it for you. We’ll be able to survive this season, don’t you worry.