I’m single – I’ve gone as far as to describe myself as ‘crushingly single’ before. Apart from a boyfriend-type-person I had when I was 15-16, I have always been crushingly single (fyi: he dumped me the day after his 16th birthday, as 16+ train fares are more expensive and I most definitely wasn’t worth forking out on).
My friends, however, have had it completely different. My oldest friend has been in a string of serious, monogamous relationships since we were about 14. My secondary school best friend is in a kind-of relationship (unforeseen circumstances mean the relationship isn’t exactly conventional but it still counts!!). My flatmate is now in a relationship with our friend. My two work pals have SOs. Girls I grew up with are getting their shit together – one has a baby with her boyfriend, one is with her uni boyfriend.
Do you get the picture?
I flit between feeling my chronic singleness is FUN (so many opportunities for self-deprecating jokes, so much time to be alone and therefore truly happy) and feeling slightly suffocated by it.
Everyone is keen to know if you’ve been on any dates lately or wants to have a go swiping on your Tinder/Bumble/other apps of your choosing. How do you tell them you use Tinder like a time-killing game for the commute and block people as soon as they dare suggest meeting for drinks? Where do you find the words to admit your last date was about six months and you’re still recovering from the mental exhaustion of it all?
Valentine’s Day feels as good a day as any other to admit I really don’t want a relationship. In an ideal world, I would find someone I could meet up with maximum twice a week. They would tell me I am pretty and funny and clever and cute. We could watch something on Netflix, or walk the streets of our favourite bits of London in companionable silence (dreamy!!)
Navigating dating in the digital-age is bloody hard. Finding what I’ve just worked out I really want feels even harder. You’d be forgiven for thinking most people don’t want your “traditional” relationship, but between countless apps, dating and friends with their kind-of-meet-cutes, it’s hard to work out what you want.
The world won’t stop if you ditch the apps, and your pals won’t hate you if you finally admit you hate dating. This Valentine’s I’m selling self-love in the form of less ‘storage full’ pop-ups and more time accepting an intense relationship is not what you need or want.