I’m (three days away from) 28 now, and still single. I know that as a society, we’re moving past the idea of online dating as being “desperate” but…I’m desperate. Not just to find a guy, but to prove to myself that I’m the sort of person who can take risks and step outside her comfort zone.
But why now? Partly it’s because one of my super cool, super intelligent, super self-possessed friends started using online dating, and I figured I’d be in good company if I did the same. Plus she shared some really funny conversations, and I’ll be honest – I thought it might make good blog post fodder. But the second reason was my old boss’s visit. Chrisette told me that I would be single forever until I was willing to fail. That felt like a lesson I definitely needed to learn so…I looked into a bunch of different options.
Match, Hinge, and Coffee Meets Bagel were all unavailable in Greece, which is unfortunate because they are the most Relationship Oriented (as opposed to Hook Up Oriented). Bumble works here, but not many are on it, and within three minutes I had run out of people to swipe left. I signed up for How About We, an app designed to get people to go out on dates instead of sit around talking all the time. But you get ZERO information about a person other than their idea of a date, and my hyper-sensitive trust issues were not okay with that.
Elizabeth told me to try Tinder. I wrote back:
And also: no, that’s what people use when all they want is sex. She sent me this article that convinced me to give it a try. And so, on the 14th of March in the year of our Lord 2016, I signed up for Tinder. Continue reading →
It’s not very often that I hear a sermon and mentally scream, “IS THIS REAL LIFE?” but my good friend Mike Stroh preached on singleness at my Dallas church, and it IS real life. I remember very specifically one Father’s Day sermon years ago that exalted marriage and parenthood, and I sat there biting back tears thinking, “this is not for me, this is not for me, this is not for me.” I felt so incredibly alone in my church pew. THIS SERMON, however, made me want to dance around screaming, “this is for me! this is for me!”
Mike opens the sermon assuring listeners that this is not a token sermon to make singles feel better, it is instead a theology of singleness for everyone, from which everyone should learn. Thus begins Mike’s habit of using incredibly specific terms that my single friends and I have complained about the church not using. I’ve had many lunches where my single friends lamented the lack of a theology of singleness – we talk about the biblical basis of marriage ALL THE TIME and so it is valued. Why don’t we talk about the biblical basis for singleness? (For the record, Mike is married to the amazing Libby Stroh, which makes me love his sermon even more. Being married is, in our Christian culture, the privileged position, and it is mostly from the mouths of the privileged that change can occur.) Continue reading →
I loved this book, but it also infuriated me. Two years ago, when I was 25, I wrote 80 pages of a pseudo-memoir about how I was 25 and had so far avoided having an actual boyfriend. Now Katie Heaney does the same thing, and SO MUCH BETTER. I’m over my jealousy – this girl is hilarious and we are kindred spirits. Her every observation (whether about 90s kid culture, junior high horror, or college friendships) is so accurate. Her personality, like mine, is perfectly suited to obsessions and inaction. Which is why she’s 25 and hasn’t had a date.
“I just don’t know how anyone ever knows what to do with their bodies. I catch myself worrying about what my arms are doing when I’m walking alone, and that is just walking. Alone.
So I am a basket case, generally, and picky, and have almost always had crushes on people who usually don’t have crushes on me, and it’s rare that I’m so attracted to a stranger that I could imagine having sex with him at that exact moment. And even when that has been true, I am only able to talk about thinking about it, from a safe distance. I have no idea what I’d actually do about it. But generally speaking, I’d like to date someone, at least a little, first. Add all this to my somewhat looming height, an unintentional bracing hostility toward people I don’t know well, and an end to the era in my life when I might have felt the need to do something for the first time to get it over with, and it’s not hard to end up with a twenty-five-year-old who hasn’t had sex. I put practically no effort into it at all.”
BuzzFeed recently introduced me to the the existence of @firstdateqs, a Twitter account where people are revolutionizing first dates. Throw out questions about careers and families of origin and ask the truly important ones, like, “Do you think birds hear their own voices and are like ‘ugh is THAT what I sound like?'”
I’ll be honest, I would be super impressed by a guy who brought his creativity A-game to the restaurant. So, just to practice, I thought I would answer a few. Continue reading →
There is nothing more conflicting for me as a single person than watching couples perform Public Displays of Affection right in front of my eyeballs. On the one–nicer–hand, how great for them! I’m all for PDA, and I plan to gross out as many people as possible when I start dating someone who feels similarly comfortable. I think there’s something very sweet about people showing their love for their partner in public. BUT. On the other–much meaner–hand, I don’t think anyone should be allowed to show PDA until I am also engaged in similar activities.
With one exception: Old people. Couples above 60, hold hands all the time! Kiss each other! Rub each other’s backs and smile close into their face! I love it. It’s 100% adorable and it gives me hope that long-lasting love is possible. Continue reading →
I like to defend singleness. I like to become very defensive, really, and point out all the people, groups, and institutions that are not doing a good enough job at validating me. I stand by my observations and my exhortations. But there’s an elephant in the room that I always pointedly ignore during those kinds of blog posts.
Because the thing I skirt around is painful. It is far easier to focus on what I like about singleness (the freedom!). And it’s easier to focus on fear, and how being single means I get to avoid the potential heartbreak of loving someone so deeply that I accept the inevitability of being hurt by them. It’s easier to pretend that that is the whole picture, thank you, please walk away now. Continue reading →