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A disclaimer, before I start to complain: I have put a lot of my dating adventures and romantic frustrations out for public consumption and dissection via this site and others.  So I get that there is a level of additional scrutiny that comes with that and I can handle it just fine.  But even my friends who aren’t playing out their love lives as living theatre on the interwebs are constantly getting the same silly-headed comment that is driving me up the proverbial wall these days: “I just can’t understand why you can’t find a man!”

I’m tired of hearing that.  Real tired.

I can appreciate the compliment that is typically the undertone of that question: “I think you’re a catch, so why haven’t you gotten caught yet?”  What I can’t get with, however, is the suggestion that there is something so devastating about being in your twenties and being single.  I know we’ve had all this “Black marriage crisis” discussion as of late and I’ve certainly been all up in that.  But I also know that my experiences in dating are rather common for women my age, regardless of race.  My lip gloss is popping, my lip gloss is cool and I’m kissing a lot of frogs . . . that’s what usually happens at 25, 26.  It’s part of the journey.

The days when you found your man in college and got wed shortly after graduation have come and gone.  And while many lucky (or not, depending who’s judging) ladies are finding Mr. Right in English 101 and putting it on paper by age 22, most young people aren’t starting families that soon.  The world has changed: people live longer and marry later.  It may be a while before I’m sending in a picture of myself and my intended to be published in Jet alongside a title of a classic R&B song (I’m leaning towards “All This Love” or “Always and Forever”).  And while I have some occasionally anxiety, I’m fine with that.  Really!

Don’t get me wrong: I have had my bouts of No Warm Body In The Bed Syndrome.  I think I should be getting laid 5 or 6 times a week and, unless you are cool with having a rotation of lovers, that’s pretty difficult to manage as a single woman.  And I don’t really enjoy first date awkwardness.  There are definitely days when being single rocks, and others when I’d start trading in prized possessions to have someone to keep my company.  But being in a relationship comes with highs and lows too, right?  I’m not sure how “single and looking” somehow became equated with “miserable and lonely”, but I promise you that on my end . . . single’s not hardly the worst thing to be.

I’m an active dater, and while I have many (often hilarious) war stories and a good number of complaints about the search for love, it certainly doesn’t mean I’m not enjoying a good life.  I was happy when I had a man, I’m happy now and I’ll hopefully be happy with the next one.  There shouldn’t be any great worry over young women who have made the decision to be discerning and to keep their hearts until someone’s really worthy of having them.  We’re good.  This is normal.  Thank you for your concern, but we don’t really need it.

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  • MimiW

    I’m 25 and single and I will admit that sometimes I get envious of my married or happily coupled friends. I guess I’m guilty of romanticising relationships and couple-life. It’s slowly changing however. After attending two weddings this year and seeing the grand step and courage it takes to promise yourself to that one person for the rest of your life before your friends and family, my eagerness is weaning. Also, after my last relationship I’ve realized how little I know about men and sad to say, myself. So I’m working really hard at rewiring my brain and slowing down my thought process to accept who I am now and work with what I’ve got – me! Thanks for unashamedly proclaiming your love for single life; it gives me strength.

    • Socali

      I feel the same way! While I am very happy that my friends have found love I do feel envious and I hate that feeling sooo much!! I think it does have to do with romanticising relationships and couple-life because I don’t think I am in any position to get married right now but I think it would be nice to be in a committed relationship where I didn’t have to deal with all the annoyances of meeting new guys and going on lame dates.

  • “The world has changed: people live longer and marry later.” I absolutely agree. I would much rather have a life before I become someones wife. I take marriage seriously so I’m willing to wait until I KNOW it’s right, not just because society looks at single women as unfortunate, lonely and miserable.

  • Jahmila..I freakin love this. Reading this makes me feel like I’m talking to one of my girlfriends, most of which are….single *shrugs*. I would quote something from this…but then I’d be quoting the ENTIRE article!!! This echoes the thoughts and feelings of PLENTY of young, single women in their mid to late twenties. I think that these are such awkward stages in our lives, whether dealing with the perils of dating and relationships or success and career and just life in general. There is FAR too much to enjoy in this life than to be focused on one portion of it, when in actuality, it will only come when it will come. Can’t even lie though, it does get hard sometimes. smh

  • James

    David Mamet-you have seen a movie or play or wanted to that he wrote. Said most writers when writing the opposite sex pander-either it’s all “their” fault or it’s a kiss-ass affair greased by being a “rom-com”. 

    But this article here is exactly what Mamet said to do; write what makes us unique or different as man or woman. 

    Funny at 34 with 35 around the corner I agree with the author. Single life is not mardi gras. It has it’s moments but people are still living with yesterday’s stereotypes, fears and exaggerations. 

    I, like millions of 70’s baby grew up in a divorced-no man or additional family around household(also a social indicator most of us live further from additional family than in the past, which means you don’t see the “good”‘examples of a marriage). 

    I was a impatient latch key kid. I started to cook out of boredom and turkey burgers isn’t making a pot roast. So as an adult cooking isn’t some scheme to get laid.  It’s just plain smart. One of the dumbest reasons men finally got in a relationship was the idea that “bachelors”‘ don’t partake in such girlie domestic affairs.    

    So at 35 some single dudes cant do the basics his 16 yr old neice can.  

    Some people still it that way. This is why some women are heavlily scrutinized if she can’t cook: oh so are men gonna eat bad (long term) fast food cause they meet women who “can’t cook”?  

    Also I feel the author in that, the juggling one does when single-even for this man sucks and swallows.  

    I wanna make films, not really concerned where a relationship fits into that. Keeping it real I just don’t care if one happens or not. Yet there are days I wished I had woman by my side.

    And with the change in the last thirty years I don’t know who in 2010 still assumes by 22 or even 25 you (or women primarily) should be with some one long term or married.  Americans will switch jobs several times before 30-educated or not. We live longer and in varied places.  People move way more now than at any other time in world history.  Last we can and do succeed at a younger age with far more prosperity than ever before.

    Do you really think your or my parents would have gotten hitched (and had us) if they could alone buy-whatever, move wherever? I had friends at 24 yrs old making more than people with the same company who’d been there since the installing of the pneumatic tubes.

    Marriage at one point was all a young couple really had. But that’s not the case now. Marriage/long term relationships have to be taken out of their nostalgic (becuase it wasn’t that good even then) past and refreshed for the 21st century.