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The past two years of my life have been my most active in terms of dating and also my most miserable.
As a teenager and as a younger adult, I was never really focused on dating and relationships. I’ve always been focused on other things. Not being one of the pretty girls, it definitely made it easier to not worry about dating because no one even bothered to ask. I made it to 19 years old before anyone asked me out.
A few years ago, I reached a point in my life where I felt like I finally had my shit together. I wanted to start thinking about being with someone, about settling down and, somewhere farther down the road, maybe even having a family. The problem with this is that it appears I’ve missed my window. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve dated some “nice” guys over the past few years. But something always comes up. Sometimes it’s mutual, sometimes it’s them, and sometimes it’s me. But either way, I found myself getting caught up in the imaginary countdown of impending doom known as “I’M SO OLD”.
And it’s not just me. I’ve witnessed friends bending over backwards for men who treat them like dirt because they’re too focused on meeting invented deadlines. Or they’re trying to get the attention of a man, or even just attempting to balance their dating life, social life and their work life. It’s not really their fault. Even in this day and age of alleged equality enlightenment, women are continually held to these societal milestones. Dating by X, married “this” many years later, kids a few years after that. And if you don’t stick to the guidelines, you’re made to feel inferior. I feel them weighing down on me all the time. I’m getting older (Dammit, why is 30 so scary?!), I’m still single, I’m “too career-focused”. God forbid, I just live my life in peace and just go with the flow.
So after months (nay, years) of frustration, I’m taking the summer off. I broke it off with the guys I’d been seeing and deleted a few select phone numbers. As soon as I made the decision, it has been a huge load off my mind. I started making plans for the summer. I took the weekend off and left town for a few days. It’s like I could finally breathe.
The self-doubt, self-loathing and complete lack of self-confidence are still definitely there. I still want to be in a relationship. I still even want to date despite my disastrous history and despite all reason and logic pointing to the fact that to date I have been equal parts anxious, miserable and annoyed through most of my dating experience.
So, here’s to my stupendously single summer. And the much-deserved breather that I am definitely going to enjoy.