I sourced a lot of people this week. It was after all “the week of love” …cue eye-roll. Just kidding. Sorta. I know what you’re thinking…geez, here comes another boring self deprecating, “woe is me, I’m single” kind of post. The kind that makes you think that a person is bitter about being single. The kind that makes you pity a person around Valentine’s Day.
Nope. Sorry, not this time. This is a different kind of post. I was genuinely intrigued around the holiday this year. Not because of the normal hum drum sort of fare that surrounds this candy-coated holiday. The commercialism isn’t something I paid much attention to this year.
Instead, I found myself very curious as to how modern day peeps find their person, build relationships and make a life with another. So I asked questions, and if you know me…it’s a lot of questions. How did you meet? What was your first encounter? Did you go to the movies, a restaurant or do something out of the ordinary? Did you have mutual friends? What did you like? What made you choose to go out a second time? You know…the usual.
With all of my genuinely inquisitive encounters this week, I found some intriguing things to be true. Oh, bye the way…I also interviewed singles. This post is geared towards them and their truth. I’ve been in their camp a long time, and I think I can resonate with what I’ve learned. So here it goes…
Of all the people I surveyed the common consensus was that people either met their significant other through a mutual friend OR they met online. Now, there are some people who met in other ways but they weren’t enough to make a comparable third factor, so we’re just going to call them an anomaly and go about our conversation.
So …online OR from a mutual friend.
I’ve recently read some, not all unfortunately, of Aziz’s book Modern Romance. In it he talks about how crazy it is that an entire generation , our grandparents generation, met their spouse within a few block’s radius from where they grew up. Most everyone met and married someone on their street or within a few blocks. My…times have changed.
What is so crucial to understand is that in that generation people married people who they knew, their friends knew or they just met checking the mail. They didn’t have to/they didn’t want to go beyond those borders to search for anything else.
Lucky for us…and unlucky for us…times and borders have changed. With the advent of social media and the Internet, people are more connected & disconnected than ever! So what does this have to do with being single… a lot actually.
In my case, I’m starring down the barrel of 28 and I’m single. I didn’t meet the love of my life in high school, college, at church small group, on a trip somewhere, in my circle of friends, at my job, obtaining my masters, at my next job, etc. So what do I DO? What is left for me if I don’t meet someone in any of these places. I don’t do the bar scene and I don’t date a lot.
I know what you’re thinking…why don’t you just try online dating. Been there, done that. Like literally. I have no qualms with it, like some , or am I totally opposed. But I have tried it, several times in fact. I’ve run into two main problems with online dating: I’ve met men who treat it like an endless brochure of women who when you make a misstep or you don’t check a certain box they automatically move on to the next person; Or, they just don’t know how to communicate with another person. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten the text message, I think you’re great, but I just don’t think this is going anywhere so good luck. Okay we’ve been out like three or four times dude, like literally, we can be friends or you can call me to tell me this grand revelation. I get it, communication is hard.
So this is my situation with dating, it sucks. It’s why I’m single. Dating is the worst. I even wrote a post about it several months ago. I think we should be intentional about it and realize that on the other end of that telephone is an actual real person …not just a face on some app somewhere. I digress. You should go check it out. #shamelessplug
So where does this leave ME, and you if your not me?
I’m glad you asked. Here are a few takeaways for us singles that I think we would collectively all agree would be really cool. I don’t want to blanket statement a whole congregation of people, so take what I say with a grain of salt. And if you are single and really awesome about it, good for you. Genuinely. I’m titling the short list I’ve compiled — How to help yo single buddy.
How to help yo single buddy
- Understand where your single buddy is at. In my case, I don’t want a boyfriend. I want a partner, someone to build a life with. I don’t do serial dating because I hate it. It’s boring and tedious and I’ve become really greedy with my time. I want to meet a person that I WANT to spend time with that will compliment me as a person. My better half per say. I don’t do one night stands and I don’t want to date three dudes at once for free meals out. I don’t do that. BUT, I’m me. Your single may be super pumped about being single. They may want to just meet new people and get to know them. I keep saying I do…but it is a lie. I don’t want to meet a ton of new dudes. I really, truly don’t. I don’t have the time or the inclination. But a lot of people LOVE dating, they really enjoy it. You have to understand what they are looking for in relationships in order to be a good friend in that area to them.
- Understand that your single buddy is tired of your pity. Okay, I am not any less of a person because I am not a couple. On the other side of that you don’t have to say things like, “you are so lucky your single, you can do whatever you want.” “You better enjoy things like that now, because once you’re married, you won’t have that freedom.” “You’ll find someone.” Uh, okay. Can you just not. We’re single and that’s cool. You want to be single cool. You want to be married cool. Embrace what you want and quit acting like the other people have it worse or better. Enjoy your season.
- Understand we can be content in singleness but also want something else. Okay, this post is about how to help your single friend. Right. So quit telling them to just be patient. Quit telling them they will just find someone. Where are they finding them? Where are they suppose to be patiently waiting for Mr. Right? How about let’s be giving tactical and actionable advice here in this context. It is not wrong for us to chat with you about how we WANT to find someone. Just listen. Your immediate response doesn’t have to be anything other than that.
- Understand that YOU have some responsibility too. If you are my friend, you are part of my village. The people in the village are supposed to look out for the people in the village. I can’t tell you how many times friends have told me that they know who would be PERFECT for me, and then nothing. Nobody calls anyone, nobody sets anything up. Just nothing. They just know someone who would be awesome for me. You know how dumb that is. You know how many friends I have who’ve heard the same thing. Why don’t people set anyone up anymore? What is that? Are you nervous that someone will be murdered and you will be the one blamed. That is literally the most outlandish and worst case scenario that I can think of. I can in no way think of a reason that you should not be setting up your friends. If they are a willing participant in said set-up that is.
So, I hope you have gleaned some insight into my heart on this subject. I am not at all saying that you should play matchmaker to every single one of your friends. What I am saying is that the dialog to how we treat singleness should change a little. Because… who doesn’t want to bring a little more love into the world.