It’s that time of year again. The Christmas decorations are down and the love hearts and roses have taken over. There is a section in every shop – and sometimes the whole shop – that is dedicated to Valentine’s Day and love and relationships and ew gross. To be honest, I really couldn’t care less about Valentine’s Day, the 14th February is just that – the 14th February. I’m all for celebrating love but I don’t see the point in forcing it.
There are probably loads of think pieces out there about Valentine’s Day so I’m not here to talk about that – go read those if you want to get angry about consumerism and capitalism. I’m here to talk about my singledom. It is now coming up to my 5th year anniversary of being single and it’s just hit me that that is A LOT OF YEARS. I didn’t really think it had been that long – just a year, then a couple years, then a few years and now FIVE YEARS. Not that I’m complaining, I am in fact a very happy single person – I’m just curious.
I broke up with my last serious boyfriend in April 2011 on a bench in Paris (romantic right?). Don’t worry, I know he survived the heartbreak because he’s actually married now (found out on Facebook). Since April 2011, I have not had another serious boyfriend/partner. Yes I’ve dated people, yes I’ve slept with people, yes I’ve really really really liked a couple people and yes I’ve had my heart broken but nothing has lasted more than 2 months in the last 5 years. And I’m going to figure out why.
I’ve had a good think and I’ve come up with 5 reasons as to why I’m still single…
I am a commitment-phobe
Right after the break up I was scared of any kind of commitment. I was 19 years old and about to start university – I wanted to experience everything! But it wasn’t even as logical as that, I genuinely got scared. In the first year after the break up I dated a bunch of people and the moment it felt like it was about to get serious I ran away. Sometimes literally. After that terrifying year I calmed down a bit and felt more relaxed about the idea of meeting someone I would want to commit to. Even though I still haven’t managed it, I’ve definitely put myself out there much more and allowed myself to be vulnerable. I think now I’m only scared of commitment because I’m not used to it, I’m completely out of practice. How does a relationship work?
I am fickle
This is probably my worst trait when it comes to dating. I am so fickle. I get bored easily. I need to be constantly entertained and surprised. I also fall for people really quickly and my emotions are (usually) monogamous so when I start to fancy someone new, those feelings replace the ones I had for whoever I was dating (sorry). I like the unpredictability and spontaneity of my love life. I go on a lot of first dates. If we just text for ages after I’ll get bored and move on. Sorry not sorry to all the people I’ve ghosted.
I am fussy
Oh boy do I have standards. One of the reasons I came out of my commitment-phobe stage was because I said I’d be happy to commit if the right person came along. And I’ve refused to settle for anything less than perfect. My friend’s will tell you that I have a “type” and if you look at a line up of photos of all the people I’ve dated you’d see that they are right. There’s just a certain look/style that I’m drawn to. But that’s not enough: they need to be a feminist but I’d rather not have to talk about it; they need to be ambitious; they need to be intellectual and intelligent; they need to be adventurous; they need to not take themselves too seriously; and they need to be a whole bunch of other things. And sometimes someone is all of these things but I’m just not feeling it you know? I’ve been told by my friends many times that I should give people more of a chance to get to know them. And even though that is a lovely idea and I should probably do it I’m also really impatient and just want to move on to whatever’s next.
I’m set in my ways
Being single for 5 years is a great way to get to know yourself. I have discovered so much about myself, my body and my sexuality these past 5 years and it has been wonderful. It’s been a very formative 5 years moving out of my parents’ house and to university and then finishing university and moving to London. Lots of chances to figure out who I am and what’s important to me. I also know how I like to spend my time which is working, seeing friends, doing leisure activities and travelling. I have my own life and the idea of bringing someone else into it and having to share my time, compromise and make sacrifices doesn’t sound all that appealing to me. I like to go to the cinema by myself in the middle of the day and I just go and I don’t tell anyone. If I had a boyfriend they might get upset that I didn’t tell them I was going or they might have wanted to see that film with me which would have meant we’d have to organise a time and place when we could both go which in my opinion is not worth the hassle. It’s the cinema, you’re going to be sitting in the dark in silence for 2 hours anyway.
I’m a hopeless romantic
Despite all this I am a complete softie. I have fantasies about grand gestures of love; of moving across the world to be with someone because that’s so romantic; of kissing someone passionately after having an argument with them. I’m definitely a victim of Hollywood love stories. But then to make things even more complicated, even though I fantasise about these things happening when anyone is actually romantic towards me in real life I pretend to gag and vomit because I find those situations really uncomfortable.
So there you have it. You’ve properly gotten a look at the inner workings of my head… or heart. Maybe 2016 will be the year I find love…? But as you’ve seen I don’t think the odds are in my favour. Are you single or in a relationship? How do you feel about Valentine’s Day? Let me know in the comments.