Society puts so much pressure on us to be in relationships.
Whether it’s the fairytale romances we see in the movies, the interrogations we get from family at holiday dinners or the eagerness of people around us to couple-up—the world makes us out to feel unwhole unless we’re sharing our lives with someone romantically.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t not want to be in a relationship. In fact, quite the contrary—I think being in a relationship right now would be great. That said, I refuse to be in one just to be in one. Sharing your life with someone on a romantic level requires sacrifice, serious vulnerability and the obligation to (typically) spend a ton of time with them. Unless I were completely lonely with no job and no friends, I don’t see myself going the desperate (or simply settling) route any time soon.
Of course, like many other single folks, I’ve heard my fair share of, “You’re too picky,” or “Do you want to be alone forever?” This isn’t forever, you guys. I’d much rather be alone for a bit than be forever with someone I resent! Part of my decision to be single stems from not taking interest in so-called “truths” society wants us to believe when it comes to finding a partner.
Keep reading for four dating clichés I absolutely refuse to follow (at least, for now).
I’d be lying if I said I’ve never woken up with a bizarre crush on a friend literally out of nowhere. It’s crazy and totally possible to go from looking at someone like a brother to suddenly exhibiting uncontrollable heart eyes for them. Yes, you can absolutely develop feelings for someone (you had no prior interest in) over time—but that’s after a rapport between you and said person has already been established. This could be years of seeing each other in pajamas, sharing the depths of your personal history, developing a trust, understanding each other’s humor. That‘s all great and oftentimes expected between two single friends.
What’s not great, however, is the idea that because you can potentially grow to like someone, I should stick around with a stranger who doesn’t interest me off the bat. If I’m not attracted to them, or we don’t have a ton in common, why on earth would I pursue more than, maybe, two dates with them because of the rare chance that I could maybe develop feelings for them down the line?
There’s a big difference between a total opposite and someone who provides balance. I want someone to balance me out in a relationship. I’m outgoing and sometimes want to be the center of attention, and I wouldn’t mind someone more mellow sticking with me, taking it all in, looking out for me and laughing at my jokes.
Mellow, yes—but a complete introvert who doesn’t have many friends, probably not. While I’m totally good doing solo time, I’m also pretty social, with a big group of friends who are a lot to keep up with. Ideally, I want someone who blends in effortlessly, coming from a solid group of their own.
Pals aside, if my hobbies include going to hip-hop shows, working in entertainment and going out for nice dinners, I’m probably not going to mesh with a Metallica-loving homebody who plays video games all day and has no serious career aspirations. That’s not at all to say there’s anything wrong with that—it just means it’s not a fit for me. An opposite may pique a temporary interest based on pure curiosity, but I absolutely don’t believe we will attract in the long-run.
Let me be clear: I want a good guy. I absolutely want someone to buy me flowers, take me out to nice dinners, be open with their feelings and just be a solid human being. I don’t want a bad boy or a rebel. I want the real deal. That said, there are plenty of “good guys” out there—it doesn’t mean they’re all a match for me.
While finding someone respectful whom I can trust is top priority, there are a slew of additional factors that go into the choice to pursue someone romantically. We need to have things in common (what kind of activities will we do together if we have no commonalities?); they need to be financially stable (or very career-oriented); they need to keep me on my toes (nice guys can be sassy, too!); I absolutely need to be attracted to them (more on that below). Some people will settle at “nice guy.” I need someone who enriches my life with depth and excitement—while also happening to be a great person.
When most people hear the word “attractive” or “attraction,” they associate it with someone’s physical appearance. And while, yes, a chunk of someone’s overall draw is frequently based on their aesthetics, so to speak, attraction is the entire package. It’s their confidence (or “swagger,” for lack of a better word), it’s the way they dress, their vocabulary or way they speak, and it’s their overall personality (are they funny, relatable and polite?).
Bottom line: I absolutely need to be attracted to someone if I’m going to date them. If a guy is nice, but completely lacks confidence, I’ll lose interest—whereas, if he’s overly confident, that’s a minus, too. There’s a lot that goes into attraction, and if I’m not drawn to someone, I’m not going to force myself to find things in them that keep my interest, or wait around to see if things evolve. I want to want the person I’m dating. I want to be excited about them. If I’m not attracted to them, what’s even the point?
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