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.