Before you think that I am just writing this post as a bitter, lonely, mid-20s spinster who is angry that she didn’t have a date this Valentines Day weekend…think again. I am in my mid-20s, but that is where that sentence stops being relevant to me. I’m not bitter, lonely (well, that’s up for debate at the moment, but it’s a different kind of loneliness), or angry that I did not have a date this Valentines Day.
In fact, I think Valentines Day is the worst, most pointless, most commercialised holiday in existence. This is including Christmas and whatever the hell has become of St. Patricks Day. I would not want to celebrate Valentines Day even if I was in a relationship with someone. If you don’t buy me flowers just because, I’m not going to demand them of you on a specific day in February. And I’m not going to buy pink lacy lingerie to wear to bed for one night– I’ll save that for your birthday or really any other day of the year (and it will not be pink).
I tell the people I love that I love them whenever I want. I don’t need a day to remind me.
Anyway, this post is not about or in response to Valentines Day. (Which, if you look at the history, is actually quite bloody and/or controversial, as most history is.)
Our society — whether we admit it or not — still has this ingrained tendency to place a woman’s worth in her relationship status. It starts at childhood — we are told to find our Prince Charming, to not be smarter than the boys because then they will never want to marry us, to dress up and wear makeup (but not too much, because then men think we are “fake”) to class in college to snag a man there, to wear a pencil skirt instead of slacks to a job interview. This is all indicative of the misogyny inherent in our lives. Men are victims of it, women are victims of it. It needs to change. Which is why I proudly call myself a feminist.
But this post is not strictly about why I am a feminist. It is about one aspect of that part of my personality.
Lately people have been asking — both outright and as part of conversational subtext — why I am 25 and single. As if that is a bad thing. And in some ways, it is. In others, it’s really, really not. I would be lying if I said I did not know why I am single at 25. Here are some of the reasons, some of them more serious than others.
I’m 25 and single because I do not like doing what society (or anyone else really) tells me what I should be doing.
I’m 25 and single because I move a lot. Since I turned 18, I have lived in 3 different countries for extended periods of time. I used to leave San Diego and go back to my hometown during the summers, so any dating or potential relationships would have to withstand those three months, and it never seemed like they would or that it was worth it to try.
I’m 25 and single because I got cheated on during my first real relationship in freshman year of college. Six months and that was that. So I was wary of anything real for a few years. And then, like I said, I headed off to Qatar for a year.
I’m 25 and single because I have not been in a relationship that extended beyond one night in a bar or a couple of coffee dates since I was 19 and I really, really do not know how to be in a relationship.
I’m 25 and single because giving someone else that much of myself is terrifying to me. I do not know how to open myself up enough to really get to know someone, knowing they might hurt me in the end.
I’m 25 and single because I like being able to just…pick up and go to the Middle East for three months. Or move to the UK for graduate school without having to worry about stepping on someone else’s dreams or making a choice to try long-distance or asking them to come with me and then getting rejected. I like my independence.
I’m 25 and single because I’m terrible at reading signs or flirting or whatever. You want to make out with me in a bar in Cardiff? Great, I’m in, but please just either tell me that and we can make it happen or just kiss me and go from there. Don’t be subtle.
I’m 25 and single because I’m such a skeptic of men and their intentions. I’m the girl that will hear a terrible pick up line and go, “God, that was lame” and then the guy will be offended and give up. (Seriously it’s happened before.) But if a guy also just says hello, I’m automatically putting my guard up. So it’s a lose-lose situation over here.
I’m 25 and single because as it says in my intro post (and this is the biggest reason, I think) I tend to fall for people who are unavailable — taken, gay, far away, my best friend, whatever. Which is safe, because I will never risk a friendship or try to hurt someone else’s relationship for my own feelings. So I am just stuck in this agonising unrequited spiral, that keeps me from focusing on other potential relationships.
I’m 25 and single and I do not know where or what I am doing with my life. While it would be fantastic to be able to share some of that uncertainty with a partner, to have a hand to hold, to be able to send a message to someone who isn’t going to tell me, “So sorry, have to go, going to Spain on holiday with insert name here“…all of that is not strictly necessary. I can (and do) shake it off when I see my three of my best friends happily in their relationships– one of which I just…do not understand. Seriously, what do they have in common? But if they are happy, then more power to them. I can (and do) smile and be ecstatic when I receive a “save the date” card from my best friend from high school.
I’m 25 and single and at the moment, I am okay with that. No matter why society tells me, or how sexually frustrated I get, I am alright on my own. I always have been.
So stop asking me why I’m 25 and single. Maybe — just maybe — it’s because right now, that is what is best for me.
And, also, it’s none of your damn business.