It seems to be a running joke lately on different trendy Internet sites about being single. #foodisbetterthanboys #foreveralone. It’s the subject of memes and countless BuzzFeed posts and it is really fun to make fun of and poke fun at, but what does being “forever alone”—or at least alone for a long time—look like?
Although I was someone who had relationships all throughout high school and a little into college, I never considered myself a “relationship girl;” I was just your average girl who happened to have a boyfriend. I must admit to a fault, I never gave relationships much thought. They always kind of fell into my lap and I rolled with my normal life.
But, it’s been nearly three years since the end of my last “official” relationship, and I’m really no closer to finding Mr. Right than I was before, except now I just care a lot more.
Being in this so-called “dating rut” has affected my life a lot more than being in relationships have. I find it creeping into my voice as I talk to men at bars, when I hang out with my countless friends who are in serious relationships and especially when I’m reading about engagement stories at work.
Now, I’ve definitely tried to date around, but what I don’t think people understand is getting out of a dating rut isn’t as easy as creating an OKCupid profile or going to the bars each weekend and chatting up guys. When you’re in the rut, it’s really hard to get out for a lot of reasons.
One, is one of the biggest deterrers of modern dating: confidence. Mine is pretty much shot. I was talking with my roommates the other night after a pretty unsuccessful night out and we were discussing that there is nothing more confidence-crushing than going out in New York City sometimes. Like it or not, men have a lot of the power when it comes to approaching women in bars and even on who gets to talk (I am usually the one being elbowed into the wall by some ass who wants to buy my hotter friends a drink, something that can be read about here). It’s not a fun feeling to even lack the confidence to chat back with a guy because you’re just sure this plain isn’t going to work out.
The next problem with the rut is pretty much self-made: habit. Like I said before, even when I had a boyfriend, I seriously kept my own life and insisted they keep theirs. Now that it’s just me I am SO stuck in my ways that I’m not sure how I’d even incorporate or find time to be in a relationship. This is completely my own stubbornness talking, but as lovely as I’m sure love is, part of me is really happy to have a moment’s peace. By myself. To watch “Orange is the New Black.”
Another thing no one tells you about being in a rut is just how scary being in a relationships sounds when you’ve lived here for a while. It’s a mixture of lack of confidence and being stuck in my ways and all of that, but even casual dating scares the living daylights out of me. Being alone isn’t easy, but dating sounds way harder.
I can’t believe I’ve even become this person after dating people for so long and having absolutely no problems. I’m the token single friend for better or for worse and that’s mostly fine, if the size of this rut wasn’t so immense and seemingly endless. It’s not hard to basically distance yourself from feeling anything about relationships. I don’t really feel sad anymore and I barely bat an eye when someone swears to God *insert dating site, tactic or certain bar* saved them.
This isn’t an advice post because as I’ve written before, I don’t really believe that any certain tactic works for anyone, everyone feels differently about being in a rut, and honestly, who wants relationship advice from someone who considers a first date a success when a guy lets her get guac on her burrito? I hope this is just something people can relate to or learn from. Or laugh at, go ahead, it’s OK.
So to my friends in relationships, feel free to continue setting me up, God knows I need the help. To my fellow friends in the rut, I’ll see you on the other side.
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I feel your pain! I’m stuck in the same annoying rut.
♥Emma, of It’s Emma Elise