I know. There’s a knot of fear in your stomach saying, “But..if I don’t date, I’ll never meet someone!” Babe, have you met someone yet? What could you be doing with all your dating time? How could you reclaim the hours and minutes you’ve spent swiping your sanity away? I’ll let you decide what you do with time that belongs to you, and here I’ll just point out the extremely real perks of not wasting your life in search of someone else.
There are obvious complaints about singlehood. No one to try new restaurants with. We don’t split rent. The constant “how are you single” questions from friends. Even the “this is why you’re single” jabs from the internet. I could gripe about never having anyone around to manage the spiders, or perhaps the struggle involved in having to freeze half of my groceries because otherwise they’ll go bad before I can eat them. But no, today I’d like to bitch about something else entirely, something that’s — as far as I can tell — entirely ignored by the single and dating set, despite the fact that it causes us active harm, every day: It’s the assumption that if you’re single, you have to focus on dating.
You’re not thinking about it, you didn’t plan it this way, but a side effect of growing up in a society built for couples is that if you’re not in one, dating is a very passive, assumed chore. Have you ever questioned it, or is dating just something you do? You’re not in a relationship, something’s “unfinished,” so you date! There isn’t some big decision, “I’m going to date now!” It’s just an incredibly common activity that’s part of singlehood’s default setting. It’s never challenged, questioned, or rebelled against. Single bad, couple good, date date date until you’re in a couple, then you can stop dating. (Unless of course you’re half the men on dating apps, who just keep right on going. I digress.)
We focus on dating under the assumption that it’s simply the thing that’s done by singles. Then of course dating sucks more than a Dyson V11, so maybe even without realizing it, you’ve ended up in the hellpit of miserable dating culture coupled with the casual belief that you have to keep slogging through it. Not only that, you have to make it a focus, or else somehow you’ll feel like you’re not “doing enough” to not be single anymore. Because single is a horrible thing to be…