Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Extreme Singlehood

This post is a bit of departure for me, but something's been weighing on my brain lately. Truth is, I have been single for almost 6 years. And by single I don't just mean boyfriend-less, I mean completely date-less. I don't know if any of you have been single for that long, but for me it's been a bit of a roller coaster ride of highs ("I'm independent and fabulous! Who needs a man?") and lows ("Am I the only single person at this holiday party, wedding, etc? Is everyone in a relationship but me?"). The single and fabulous feeling is just hard to sustain over this length of time. It's been 6 YEARS!

But this is not the first time I've been in this place. I spent most of my high school years and my first couple of years of college quite alone. I was about ready to give up on the prospects at my school, but then I met someone major, literally the next day. And I guess I've spent the past 6 years waiting for the same thing to happen, for someone to come along at exactly the right time. But as the years go by, I get more and more cynical. Don't get me wrong, I have a great life. I have a great job, great friends, hobbies that I'm passionate about. But there's just this nagging thing, this lack that I feel. At what point do you give up on the fairy tale and just accept that maybe you're meant to walk through life alone and that maybe that's OK?


Secora said...

Hmmm, my two cents is, the fact that your spirit has brought your 'singleness' to the surface in so far as you were compelled to write about it, is a sign that maybe, just maybe you should start charting the waters of the dating world. Get out there, find someone, feel your heart race, feel it ache sometimes, but enjoy it all for we only get this earthly chance once. Smile, you're beautiful!

Miss Tasha said...

I've been single and date-less for almost 4 years now. I've blamed myself, my ex-fiance (my last relationship ended badly and we were engaged, dramatic i know), my mom and every other thing I could think of for why I hadn't been on at least a single date by now. Yes, I embrace being independent and like you, and like just the last two weeks, I've been feeling way low now that folks are in their "spring" relationships. I also had the exact same thoughts, that maybe I'm just going to be one of those people and maybe it's been planned for me to be the one who ran into guys here and there, but never have anyone stick. It's hard to explain the longer you've been single. It's definitely strange. I totally feel you though, I really do.

Anonymous said...

I don't think any of us are meant to be alone in this world. I think you have to take a leap of faith. You seem to have created a great life for yourself, find someone to share it with. You are gorgeous and some men may be intimidated by that. Sometimes we have to make the first move.

thelady said...

Until recently I'd been dateless 3 years. I haven't had a long term (greater than 3 months) relationship since 2000. I've been seeing someone a month now but I worry about getting my hopes up and being disappointed again. Post college it is very hard to meet someone. Most of the people I know in long term relationships met in high school or college. I tried online dating but I'm in a small town so their weren't many options and the guys my age said they were not interested in black women on their profiles.
I'm ok during the day but late at night I get lonely and wonder what is wrong with me.

Beryl said...

You are so brave for putting this post out there for all your readers. We've know each other a long time and I know you have a heart and spirit of gold and deep down you'd like your fairy tale ending. I really hope its waiting around the corner for you. But I also think its great that you have the independent spirit you do to keep going. You should never settle for what isn't right and like another commenter said you've built a great foundation for yourself, now you just need to find the person to share it with you!

Earthly Reality said...

I understand i am single now myself, it gets lonely at times and you need that person you relate to in a more personal space. But i have decided when it happens it happens.

nicole said...

i'm not single anymore but before i met my soon-to-be husband, i had been single for several years by choice. and so i just want to chime in to applaud you and the ladies who've commented because *you haven't settled for the WRONG thing*. You may be lonely at times, but you haven't settled for something beneath you just to be in a relationship, and that speaks to great self-love.

That said, i agree with the other ladies: the next step is putting yourself in situations where you can meet quality people, and being open to that happening. I think we speak what we want without even saying a word. Potential mates can sense desperation, loneliness, even confidence - and you will attract the ones who are looking for each one of those things. I think back on my years alone and I know that I was giving off "don't step to me unless you want something real and lasting" and so for awhile I was by myself.

Keep the faith - it will come. (I'm a witness!)

nicole said...

by the way, i consider it a good thing now that maybe certain people didn't pursue me because i had a vibe of only wanting a quality relationship! :) When the right one came along, he was my forever mate and he wanted the same things I did!

~Decidedly Imperfect~ said...

Oh, Honey! (in my most Southern Whitley Gilbert voice). I totally understand where you are coming from. I spent the last few years single (purposely) because I've been really anxious to find myself & the things I really like. At first, I wasn't going on any dates because I just wasn't feeling the scene or any of the prospects plus I was going natural & had just gotten braces (super awkward stage). I went through the whole back & forth on the accepting then declining invites because I was going to be the only single person there. I watched friends fall into magical relationships then slowly watched them fade. I always tell people that dating is not for the faint of heart & you really have to be up for the game to be on the scene. Just recently, I put my jersey back on & really started accepting some of the dinner invites & must admit, it's been pretty entertaining & fun. From time to time, I still enjoy hitting different events alone. It's funny how people really notice you when you are out alone & it makes it easier to start good friendships. (You can never have too many good people in your corner!)

All that said, you are going to be A-Okay! You seem to be very bright, creative & open-minded. No one like that goes unnoticed for long! Before you know it, you'll run right into the perfect person that will change things for you & make you forget about the sad days!

stephanie said...

I check up on your blog quite often (its great!) and felt compelled to leave a comment of encouragement.
I know how you feel (was there for a long time). I'm sorry its been a rough time. Many women have felt this way and have gone through this. And MOST have ended up meeting a great man and have gotten married. The odds that you will find love are (statistically) very high. Also, I wanted to echo some of the other comments by saying that you are a striking beauty! You have great taste and style. I'm sure that you intimidate guys a lot. I really believe from experience that true love will find you in the end. Its a miracle and miracles don't happen everyday.

Lori said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lori said...

*I deleted my original reply because I couldn't edit it. I called you "Michelle". The "belle" made me think of Michelle. :)

Hi again, Melissa. I, too, am single. I'll be 37 this year and out of ALL of my girlfriends, I am the lone single lady. It used to bother me, but it doesn't anymore. I don't think I'm jaded and I know now that I'm not missing out on anything I would personally want.

For example, imo, none of my friends are truly happily married. While I realize marriage isn't all sunshine and smiles, I would hope to hear some of the "good" things about their marriages, but it's all negative. When I question them about it they get really defensive, so I tell them to just stop complaining to me about their husbands and kids and having to work then go home and take care of kids and hubby and house and health and blah, blah.

Hearing all of THAT makes me happy I am not married. I love not having to consult someone else when I want to make a large purchase or take a trip or make a job change, kwim? And regarding kids, after watching my nephew grow into the most rambunctious 4 yo, I KNOW I don't want children. I'm too selfish! LOL

I said all of that to say that when I was closer to your age, I still hadn't come to that conclusion. It took a few more years of hanging with my married friends to realize it wasn't something I wanted. I'm POSITIVE about it and I'm at peace with it. It doesn't bother me when nosy people ask, "Oh, so when are YOU going to tie the knot?" It used to upset me, but now I'm like, "I can be miserable all by myself." and they hush.

If this is something you truly want deep down inside, then make yourself available to events and circumstances where you will meet quality people and make good friends of the opposite sex. If that doesn't work, you can always try online sites. I know 3 people personally who met their spouses online and they are still together.

Think about WHY this is bugging you. Have people been commenting about it? Are you lonely? Are you bored with your lifestyle? Or is it just awkward noticing that everyone else is paired off? Figuring out why, first, will be an excellent starting point to see if this is a deep need or just a fleeting moment of "woe is me".

Good luck, chica. You are talented and beautiful and you deserve the very best...which may or may not include marriage or a serious relationship. *sorry this was so long! I have a lot more I could say on the subject. lol

Southern Girl said...

I was single for more than five years and then one day I was walking down the street and I met someone again who I'd met a year before. It just ended a couple of days ago after seven months, but it was nice. I can empathize with what you're feeling because I'd felt it for the longest time. Friends told me that it would happen when I least expected it and I used to roll my eyes at this stance, then it happened to me.

I wish I had an answer for you, but I kind of concur with Secora. I hope I don't go through another five or more years dateless, but was glad to get to know someone after a happenstance meeting walking down the street. So I've decided when the time is right that I'll take her advice, put myself out there, enjoy my time alone and me open to meeting someone.

Jennifer said...

I'm single and dateless as well, but it's not by choice. Things just haven't been working out in that department. Thanks for sharing this. I'm 32 and started to think I was the only one.

Anonymous said...

Hey Belle,

You are not alone. I am 23 years old. Just finished my Bachelors and I've never so much as had a boyfriend or been on a date. It ws just never my focus. Now I'm finished the Education thing and I'm I am realising that I don't have that 'other' to share my love and achievements with. Now, I've never really been intent on a bf because I've seen what the pickings are like in my town/country and I can't take the stress of an immature man.

However in the last year I've been really starting to second guess myself. Questions such as "Is it me?" or "Am I pretty enough etc" have been running rampant through out my mind. Also I've reached the dreaded comparison stage. I compare myself to other girls who are in relationships and wonder "how come he likes a girl like her and not me!"

I know that I'm funny and sweet and that I have SOOO MUCH love to give and I would make somebody really really happy!

But interestingly enough in the last year I've received the most random "You know you're really beautiful" "Wow you're glowing!" etc comments from friends and strangers.

Apparantly Singlehood makes me Glow!!!...

So my dearest Belle you will receive yours when the time is right.

Have you ever contemplated the fact that maybe God is preparing the person for you. You seem independent and strong maybe the man for you isn't ready as yet and God is pruning him so that when he does arrive you two will be free to love each other wholy and completely. :)

orangecrush said...

Man, I'm happy to find someone talk about a situation similar to mine. I'm 23 and have never had a real relationship, and for the past few years I haven ever gone beyond kissing someone. I am not prude or asexual and in fact I feel this lack very strongly a lot of the time.

I often wonder if there's something wrong with me, but I just can't see what - I look ok, I'm not too shy although I do find it very hard to initiate a conversation with someone I find attractive. Maybe that's the problem, I don't know.

I have the same problem as you, of sort of waiting around for something to happen, which I know isn't good, but I have this huge fear of rejection whenever there is a chance to talk to someone I'm interested in, and I can't seem to get over this fear.

Aside from feeling hurt at this lack of love and togetherness in my life, I find it very hard to talk to people about this or explain my situation when the topic of love/relationships comes up. I feel embarassed, like my friends will think of me as this complete loser, so I tell them that I have one night stands but nothing serious, and that it's ok. I don't though, and it's not.

cato said...

I sooo can relate. And like a lot of the posters I thought I was the only one going through life dateless, boyfriend less and all alone. I totally have no advice to offer but I'm feeling you girl and I am sending some good vibes your way. :)