You're #ForeverAlone, but it's not all bad reckons Victoria Stokes, who says being constantly coupled isn't all it's cracked up to be.
One friend’s planning her nuptials, the other’s swapped G&Ts for baby books and a mortgage, and you? Well, you’re graaaand. You’ve got Tinder matches aplenty, more than a few disastrous dating tales to tell and many a fella on speed dial should you need to call an end to a sexual dry spell. But as for a boyfriend? Well, you haven’t had one of those in years, and that particular life scenario comes with a unique set of wins, woes and worries.
Ah, the complicated world of online dating; an intoxicating mix of thrill and fury. Each foray starts with so much enthusiasm, but a few short weeks of terrible chat up lines and inane conversation later, you’re deleting your perfectly curated profile and swearing that from now on you’re dating IRL exclusively, only to reinstall the damn thing a few unsuccessful flirting attempts later.
Pics of perfectly manicured fingernails and blindingly large engagement rings line your newsfeed, and it’s not that you aren’t delighted for your newly committed pal, it’s just that you’re not quite there yet. “I always feel guilty for feeling a sense of panic and envy when a friend announces her engagement,” admits Anne-Marie, 31. “I still consider my love life a success if I get the shift on a night out, not if I’m committing to a fella until death us do part.”
Annual meet-ups with old pals involve lengthy discussions about why you’re still single. Maybe you’re too picky, too focussed on yourself or men are put off by your independence. Every pal has a theory and sidestepping their interrogations isn’t an option. Take our advice: Next time they start dissecting your love life (or lack thereof), quiz them about why their career hasn’t taken off and (hopefully) they’ll get the picture.
You don’t have to be official to get a bit teary-eyed when things go tits up, as Claire, 27, can attest. “We hadn’t had the chat about where we were going, but it was still a kick in the face when he ended things three months in,” she explains. Reckon you’re not entitled to feel devo when an unofficial relationship comes to an end? Remember that just because you didn’t give it a name, doesn’t mean it wasn’t real.
So it didn’t pan out with Mr Not Right Now, but here’s the thing: there are lessons to be learned in every flirtation. That guy who ghosted you? You’ll be more in tune to the cues that a guy’s not committed in the future. The great on paper fella who you had zero chemistry with? You’ll know to call it quits when you’re not feeling it after date number three.
Some nights it all falls perfectly into place. You clock each other from across the bar and before you know it the sexual chemistry is culminating in one heck of a kiss and an exchange of numbers. Other nights? You’ll scan the bar for a potential suitor in vain, before eventually admitting defeat and grabbing a kebab on the way home.
Human turds are aplenty in the world of modern dating, and ghosting, benching and fuck boys are all words that inevitably crop up in conversation when dissecting your latest love life dilemma with the gals. You know it’s not true, but sometimes it really does feel like all the good ones are either taken or gay.
The popular saying states that, just like buses, you’ll wait ages for one fella to come along, only for three to show up at the same time, but you’re yet to see this happen in real life. Really, you reckon men are more like Go Karts. There’s the one who just wants to rear-end you and the one who never lets you cross the finish line first, but if you’re lucky, you might find a rider who’s interested in doing more than just a few laps.
You’re lucky to get a guy to look your way on the bus, but you’ve got mates who seem to be single for all of five seconds before they’ve consciously coupled with another new bloke. One part of you is jealous that it all seems to happen so naturally for them, but the other part of you thinks it’d be damn well exhausting.
Yes, being single can be shit sometimes. There’s the occasional loneliness and the flying solo in the sack but you’re not prepared to settle for just any guy. Truth be told you love your independence, and it’s going to take one helluva a chap to make you sacrifice it anytime soon.
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