Thursday, 11 June 2015

Did The Maths. And I've Decided To Stay Single

I am the only singleton in my group of friends. Some of them have mortgages together. They have all discussed marriage and kids. They are happy. Settled.

I know my friends would say they aren't settling, but are content. I can see that they are actually very much in love with their respective others and I'm happy for them, so this post isn't about relationship-bashing.

...Also, as a girl who previously stayed with their high-school sweetheart for 5 years, I'm not really in a position to be judging anyone...

This post is about how, from my very empty Singleton-camp, I won't be ready to go back to Relationship-ville for a while. It's about how I just can't relate to those who dwell there!

To me, picking a potential life-partner at this age would be like choosing the first option on a menu, without reading the rest. Or watching the first channel you land on, without flicking through the TV guide. Like only ever going to one country or shopping in one shop.  I mean, sure, Wagamama's Katsu Curry is the tits - but are you going to have it every time you go there or will you try one of the other 30 dishes on offer?

Of the 6 billion people on the planet, are you going to choose that one boyfriend/girlfriend you met in your early 20s?

Everyone is different; some are people of habit and they like the security and comfort of the familiar. Others are driven by constant FOMO and are desperate to try as many things as possible. There's nothing wrong or right about either.

I try to look at it logically: when I marry, I want it to be for life. These days people are living well into their 90s - if you meet and marry this person at 40, that's still 50 years of your lives spent together. Plenty of time. If you meet when you're 20, that's 70 years together. What is the rush?

70 years with one person. Call me unromantic, but we only get one life - why the fuck would you want to spend 70 of your 90 years with one person? Would you spend 70 years eating one dish? 70 years in one place? 70 years wearing the same clothes?

I can't help thinking: no wonder 50% of marriages end in divorce. And that's really saddening.

Ok, so if you meet the love of your life at university and live happily ever after I applaud you. And I don't think it's impossible. But I know I would always be asking myself: what if?

All of my friends know about my fuck-buddy / good friend / would-be boyfriend Lips. We like each other, we hang out, we have great sex... but we aren't in a relationship. Because we choose not to be.

My friends don't seem to understand this. "But you like him," they keep saying to me. Yes, I do like him, I'm not denying it. I also like cake but I refrain from eating it every day, just like I resist the urge to buy the whole of ASOS. Why? Because I make a conscious, logical and sensible choice.

What would be the point of having a relationship right now? I don't want to settle down yet. I don't want to find the One yet. I don't want to fall in love with anyone yet. A relationship would be a waste of time and energy spent on something I wouldn't expect to last.

The way I see it, if I'm meant to be with someone, they'll be in my life when I'm ready for that commitment. When I've sampled enough of the menu to know that yes, that one dish there is the one I could eat every day and be the least bored by. If it happens to be that katsu curry I tried and loved first, fine. But if it was the very last thing on the menu, then thank god I waited it out.

"What if all the 'good ones' are gone by the time you want to settle down?"

They won't be. Because a "good one" to me would be a guy of the same mindset, who has also lived as much as he can, who's taken his time to figure out what he wants and who he is and is now 100% ready for "settling down". And when I decide something is THAT good that I want it for the rest of my life, it will be because we're good together and because I make him as happy as he makes me, so there's a pretty good chance he'll want it too.

How are we supposed to make one of the biggest decisions of our lives if we rush into it? A choice that impacts your whole life is not one to be made lightly. Nor do you want to be uninformed.

For now, I don't need a boyfriend. I certainly don't need the problems that come with it or the heartbreak when it ends. I don't want to get married for a long time. So why be anything other than single?

And do you know what? It's actually such a wonderful, freeing feeling to be able to drop "find boyfriend" from my to-do list. Because that thing is long enough as it is and I'm pretty busy.