Am I lonely as a single twenty-something? Hell no. I haven't hit my prime.
Single (adjective): only one, not accompanied by others, alone, umarried. Thank you Oxford Dictionaries for helping me define my status. But, something is missing.
Summary of my relationships
I will own, in my past life, I was a serial relationship-er. I loved belonging to someone. I had no problem being alone, but some arm candy never hurt. As I progressed through my career, challenges of long distance relationships or relocating became the focus. It felt like I had to be the one who sacrificed what I wanted out of life and be in the shadows of another person.
There are certain patterns I noticed in partners I was not willing to deal with for the rest of my life. First, never being someone's priority. Yes, I was told this frequently. I was lucky if I made his top five. Second, someone who smothers you and literally cannot be alone with themselves. Maybe this person has a pattern of retreating, buying dogs, being impulsive. I love Justin Timberlake (note: "J" name), but I am not paying $1K for a concert ticket or moving to Texas to be reunited with my half missing cousin. Finally, I need you to accept, own and move on from your dark side. We all have demons. I have put in the time to work on myself, I need you to do the same. Therapy is not shaming or diminishes your masculinity.
Red Flag #1: I cannot date "J" names.
I should also tell you I have a curse of "J" names. Yes, all my long-term relationships were "J" names. Anyone I was seriously interested in in the dating game, "J" name. The dude I was ghosted by two weeks ago, "J" name. I should have known better. On dating apps, I don't bother swiping on "J" names, which narrows the pool greatly.
I realized through my long-term relationships, I was pushed to understand what it is I need from a partner. Let's start with basic needs (Maslow's Hierarchy of Dating): all teeth, 401K, health insurance, full-time job and has worked on their demons.
Single is a choice.
Just like lovebirds who "choose love" or "I choose to love you everyday", single is a choice. I have seen peers settle. Maybe the options in the area are low, or they don't want to keep putting themselves out there. So they get comfortable. They will choose crazy, or lazy, or missing front teeth. And that is their choice. I have basic needs that need to be met. Being single requires a vetting process.
Single is not a status.
Please re-read the above heading. I am a career driven woman who is focused on her goals and bettering herself. Single is not my status. Self-love, self-care and self-improvement is my status. If I am not settling in a relationship, I sure as hell am not settling in my goals and aspirations.
I am choosing to be single. I am choosing to wait until I find someone who exceeds Maslow's Hierarchy of Dating. Single is not my status. My status is focused.
I am not in my prime.
But really. I am a full-time doctoral student and freak out every Monday. In this moment, I have no desire to be a bride or a wife. I choose to "learn" through love. I choose to be single. I choose to have Maslow's Hierarchy of Dating (LOL). These are my choices. I do not need you to ask me "why" or "you are a catch". I already know that. I choose to be focused, open-minded and improve myself on a daily basis.
I celebrated with a medium iced coffee with toasted almond, skim milk and one pump of mocha from yours truly, Dunkin' Donuts. Thanks Nancy, my favorite Dunkin' worker on 86th Street.