Top Ten Reasons Why I’m Still Single

Relationship status: single.

If I am honest, this is more of a problem for other people than it is for me.

I can’t understand why these men don’t see how wonderful my daughter is.

I’ve been thinking about that sentence ever since my mother casually dropped it into our conversation a few weeks ago. In a way, I’m struck by the fact that television was right – at some point the parents that frowned every time a boy called the house become the people that hand over my phone number to every single, accomplished man in sight. It’s funny, in the most pathetic kind of way.

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.

Mrs Bennet, ‘Pride & Prejudice’, Jane Austen 1813

Mothers have universal concerns that transcend time and space, apparently. Even the fictional ones.

Recently, a friend wrote a frustrated blog post bemoaning the nature of articles that list reasons why people are single, as though it is possible to distill the life experiences of entire populations of individuals into ten, single spaced, tweet-length points. Putting it simply, those lists are meaningless publicity stunts designed to sell magazines. Nobody can be an expert on everyone. I am, however, an expert on my own experience, and so behold –

Cover Gurl

Top Ten Reasons Why I Am Single:

10. Men

I was told there was a shortage. That hasn’t been my experience. I meet men. A lot of them are interesting, but not funny. Or funny but not interesting. One of us is usually not interested, which happens to be the problem.

9. My Stereotype of African Men

I. Just. Can’t with the African men. It’s the culture thing, obviously, but there’s just so much more. I have seen too much. I can’t.

8. I Was Raised on Disney & Hollywood

Grand gestures, Prince Charming, glass slippers, Mr Darcy, white horses, “you complete me”, Ross and Rachel, Love Jones, Mr Big. Mostly Love Jones. Reality, beat that.

7. Beyonce

Independent Women. Bills, Bills, Bills. Single Ladies. Irreplaceable. Say My Name. Run The World (Girls). In my formative years, I owned most of those songs. And played them on repeat. I was so young. Now, I’m a Grown Woman.

6. Arundel

Arundel was difficult. Academically elite and socially awkward, my high school experience was a five year emotional and intellectual obstacle course that helped turn me into an intellectual elitist, a careerist, opinionated and occasionally obnoxious person who loves fiercely and big, values kindness and people and is way too naive to be cynical. I am the quintessential Arundel girl. Most men I meet don’t know what to do with that. I’m not sure what I am expecting them to do, either.

5. I Grew Up in Church

In Church, my Arundel fierce met the book of Esther and gave birth to my emotional schizophrenia, otherwise taught as Proverbs 31. Described so eloquently in “Upgrade You” (another Beyonce fiction), the balancing act between feminista and Eve-to-his-Adam has been elusive thus far. And, at least for now, I’m rocking the feminist mantle & counting on God to be pro-me.

4. I Don’t Know How To Be A Girlfriend

The fear of being a “nagging” woman has silenced many an unhappy woman. The idea of being ‘that girl’ – whether it’s the girl that ‘stands between a man and his boys’ or the girl that is too demanding, too ‘female’, not sexy enough, too slutty…. the pitfalls of this girlfriend gig are confusing and infuriating to me. Men have done a fantastic job of telling us everything we shouldn’t be. The problem is, on any given day, I can be one or all of those things and feel (and possibly even be) justified. I have no idea how to be a great girlfriend, especially if a great girlfriend is basically a man with woman parts who loves to cook and iron. I don’t like ironing and I don’t like doing things that I’m not great at.

3. I Lived a Love That Died

2 years ago, I was in the midst of living love with the most wonderful of men. The story of my life, as I saw it at the time, could not be told if he wasn’t a major character. There were plans of marriage and babies and houses and dreams. We had outlined a future and were painting our way to a masterpiece of a life together. It has been 371 days since that relationship ended. I have lived a love that died. I no longer trust myself to know love when I meet him.

2. I May Have An Inflated Sense of Self Worth

I have an idea of how I want to be treated and how I want to feel about the man I’m with. So far it’s been one or the other. I’ve decided that isn’t good enough.

1. Me

Mostly, I’m single because that is where I want to be. I am savouring the self centred lifestyle that I have created, I am scared to take the leap, I am afraid of being hurt, I am unwilling to change, I can have unrealistic expectations, I am somewhat jaded. Some, or all, or none of those things may be true. But they are all my decisions to make. I own that.

9 thoughts

  1. You are just heartbroken. Don’t worry it will pass. But you’re right about one thing- the Arundel Complex is a thing.
    Dated enough of you guys to know.

  2. Top 10 reasons why you should stay single….???
    I might have no right to blust an article that is based on someone’s personal experiences bt i will share my comment not on the side of men but from a school of thought from which i was born and breed. Unlike most animals that do not have a need for companionship, human beings are made with a need of belonging, love, intimacy and companionship. Those 4 pillars are the main reasons why we live. I might be proud to be single because i have been through alot as of late, but i wouldn’t advise anyone to follow suit. I hate to be the bearer of bad news bt “Its a cold world out there”. I for one would expect such effort to be directed at building fruitfull relationship, giving “The top 10 reasons why one should be in a relationship”, finding new love that will define u etc. As i said…..”JUST MY THOUGHTS”

  3. My interest was piqued by the title of this entry because I am single. I was married to my best friend but we grew apart and I decided I needed to leave. He didn’t fight for me as hard as he could have because he desperately wanted a family and I didn’t want kids at all.

    Leaving my husband was the best decision I have ever made. I don’t regret our marriage and we both admit that we are still very much in love, but silence and distance were needed to kill those feelings so we could both move on in our lives.

    There is a presumption out there that singles *need* to find love. When changing my last name back to my maiden name, I was ‘consoled’ many times be complete strangers offering sympathy and telling me that I should have no problem finding someone new.

    But I don’t want someone New. I’ve never been happier in my life.

    Maybe I’m selfish or maybe I’m not wired like other singles searching for ‘the one’. Either way, ‘happily single’ is not a fake-out because I’m there. If I do fall in love again, it will take me completely by surprise, but when I think about my future, that is not something I want.

There. I said it. Your turn.

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