Introvert Problems: Being Single Is Way Too Easy For Me

OOne of my goals for May was to go on one date. This isn’t a particularly ambitious goal, and online dating gives me access to so many potential dates. I’ve got (hypothetical) options! So why am I three weeks into May, dateless, and only half-jokingly thinking that I’m going to be single for the rest of my life?

I dropped my dating life when I found myself with too much on my plate back in March.  It’s been about a month and a half since then and I haven’t really done anything to get back to dating.

Sometimes I think I should really get going because I don’t want to find myself in a mad dash to find a man when I start getting close to 30. I’ve heard of that happening to people, and it’s possible that it could happen to me too. But on the other hand, I’m pretty comfortable just not dating at all.

Being single is just easy for me. I’m amazed by people who seamlessly transition from singledom to being in a relationship because I’m finding it to be an absolute struggle.

Can you relate?

I’ve always enjoyed being single, and I still do, even as I get older and am starting to feel more pressure than I used to  about being in a relationship.

Being single is my status quo. It doesn’t really take any effort, I’m largely satisfied, and it suits my intense need to do my own thing and have my own space. I don’t need to be accountable to anyone and I can make major life decisions without needing to consider how it will impact a significant other. I don’t need to deal with the sting of rejection or that gawky stage of trying to get to know someone. I can just be myself with me, and I value the comfort of that. Being single is fiercely familiar. It’s comfortable. It’s safe.

On the other hand, dating is pretty uncomfortable for many people, including me. Even though it can be fun, it’s also awkward, disappointing, and rife with refusals and failure. I say this as someone who hasn’t had any particularly negative experiences, and if I’m honest, as someone who hasn’t had much experience to begin with.

Related: The Late Bloomer Diaries: Online Dating for the First Time

The point of mentioning this is that I don’t think I’m jaded. I’m just intensely frustrated with what feels like the loss of peace of mind, personal freedom, and liberty from nonsense with little apparent return.

Texting someone everyday just to keep the conversation going largely feels like a chore. I think I’ve literally written text “Jason” on my to-do list for the day, alongside my schoolwork and the things I need to do for my job.

I really don’t like small talk.

I start getting tired an hour into a date.

I feel like I need a PhD in human behaviour to make sense of the games people play online.

I don’t like the pressure of trying to get to know someone before he or I or lose interest because we’re both getting interesting new profiles popping up on our apps every day and therefore mistakenly feel like perfection in a significant other is attainable.

I don’t like feeling that investing in one person isn’t smart if I don’t want to be played for a fool. Why would I do that when “Anthony” is probably talking to 50-11 women and can drop me like a hot potato at any moment?

That being said, I’ve definitely tried to make the best of it: making it a point to use dating as a way to check things off my bucket list, recognizing that I’ll learn and grow a bit from every date, savouring the attention, deciding that I’m going to enjoy myself regardless of how the date goes. But when the date ends and I’m heading home feeling tired, stressed, and confused about why I don’t like this guy, I have to wonder: does anyone actually enjoy this?

To be fair, online dating isn’t all bad. It’s a great way to meet people I would otherwise never come across, it’s amazing in terms of quickly getting information about guys I find interesting, and if I’m honest, it’s a really wonderful tool for getting over myself. One of the things I learned the fastest when I started dating online was that I’m not special, which is an oddly liberating thing.

Related: Little Pink Book: Online Dating Doesn’t Have to Work Against You

Nevertheless, online dating feels terribly inauthentic at worst and a bad match for my personality at best.

Am I trying to get fine dining at McDonald’s? Am I looking for quality where there is quick, cheap convenience?

The thing that attracted me to online dating was that it required very little effort and yet seemed to yield an abundance of options. Now that I’ve tried it for a few months, it seems like that is my exact problem with it. Nobody, including myself, really wants to go all in, so we shuffle from first date to first date hoping to find someone that allows us to keep being wonderfully (woefully?) effortless.

The idea of meeting and getting to know someone offline, which previously struck me as a lot of work with far fewer options and little payoff, suddenly looks pretty attractive. Wouldn’t it be nice to take my time in getting to know someone? To slow down and not feel like there needs to be a “spark” present at our first ever face-to-face meeting in order for things to go anywhere? To have feelings for a guy before I go out with him?

But of course, that could turn out to be an irritation too.

Related: Little Pink Book: 5 Lessons I’ve Learned About My Dating Preferences from Online Dating

Maybe the truth of the matter is that dating is just hard and I might have to wade through some discomfort, unpleasantness, and foolishness before I find something that I want to hold on to, or even give up my beloved singleness for. I’ve seen some of my happily-booed-up friends do the same, so I guess it works? Maybe?

I’ve read some great articles, like Remaining “SANE” in Singleness, about people who are finding healthy ways to cope with being single, but I need an article about healthy ways to cope with dating. Because this ish is difficult.

Even though I don’t like leaving the comfort of my single life, I do it because I realize that finding someone I’m compatible with could add an amazing dimension to life. I struggle when it comes to the uncertainty of getting there, though. I’m a planner. I like timelines, processes, steps, and logic. Unfortunately for me, dating doesn’t come with an instruction manual. It isn’t an equation that’s solved in a few rational steps. There is no input that guarantees me the output I want. Dating won’t fit in the box I want it in, and trying to wrestle with this is exhausting.

Related: The Cost of Chasing Dreams: Persevering Through Uncertainty & Failure

Since this blog is big on lessons, I think the thing that I’m learning is that clichés like “good things don’t come easy” are clichés for a reason. Sometimes things are just weird, tricky, and plain old vexatious (I got my thesaurus out for that one) and we have to find a way through them in order to get a shot at what we want.

There is another, more challenging lesson too: there is value in asking ourselves hard questions. If dating is so much of a frustration for me, is it something I really want to participate in?  Or do I just need to change my approach? These aren’t the kind of questions that I’d typically answer in two minutes, but I do think they’re something I need to sit and think about for a while, even if they’re hard to swallow.

What about you: is/was being single easy or hard for you? Do/did you find dating hard? How did you deal with it?

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Image via Emma Frances Logan @ Unsplash


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15 comments on “Introvert Problems: Being Single Is Way Too Easy For Me

  1. I have to agree, I enjoy being single and I’m only 25. I’ve dated guys before but I realized that being in a relationship only stresses me out. I don’t even want to get married, and thinking about marriage is scary as hell. I see all of these kids that are MY age getting married young and it seems like the normal thing to do these days. I don’t know, I just don’t want to be apart of that, jumping on the bandwagon and getting married young becuase everyone else is. I totally agree with you that being single makes me happier than being in a relationship.

    • Hey Maryann, I’m glad you can relate! I definitely think I’m in the minority a lot of the time, though sometimes I think people might miss the simplicity of their single days. I feel pretty ambivalent about marriage myself, though I do wonder how I might feel when I’m older. Have you always felt this way about marriage?

      • No I haven’t felt this way before, but I’m a very strong and independent person and the older I get and the more I see people I know getting married, the more afraid I get. I’m in my mid 20s and I haven’t done anything exciting in my life. I need to focus on myself and my career. I don’t need a man to make me happy. I don’t need anyone to save me. I can save myself.

        • I hear you! For a long time marriage felt like settling down and like I’d be giving up on my dreams. My perspective has changed but I still recognize that relationships are a LOT of work and you’re right – there are career matters and our own issues to sort out too. I feel like my life could use a little excitement as well 😑 Maybe it’s time to take a trip…

          I admire how independence you are. Hoping you’ll find exactly what you need.

          • Yeah. I mean it’ll be nice to meet someone, but right now I need to focus on myself. Thanks! I’ve always been this way.

  2. There’s a whole lot I could write about single/dating and the M and K work (marriage and kids that is) but anywho to the last letters as that’s neither here nor there. However; when I was single and dating (and yes I still am single, not dating tho) but I found out that I only wanted to date and be in a relationship because I was looking for some type of fulfillment and I felt as though that would do the trick – but it didn’t, there were a lot of issues that I had going on that I needed to work out and I was looking for that “perfect” guy (no such thing) to do it for me. I’m still single but this time I have a different approach about it, once I started working on me and really working on me, my confidence skyrocketed and I now realize what I want and don’t want in a relationship. Before, when I was broken – that’s all I was attracting, broken people but now, a guy won’t look my way but it doesn’t bother me, just let’s me know that something on the inside is getting repaired and those once open wounds are now being closed so the real person I need can come. (just my two cents)…but I always love your blog posts, it’s hard not to comment on them. (thanks for the post link ; )

    • It seems that I somehow missed replying to this comment – I’m so sorry, Roshonda! I guess it’s better late than never, so here we go! I really relate to realizing I need to sort out my issues! If I’m honest, I think my approach to keeping guys at arms-length is probably rooted in some insecurities I haven’t properly dealt with.

      I LOVE that you’ve done the hard work of working on yourself and are now confident! Confidence is one of the most empowering feelings ever, and it’s a real f-boy repellant too. I’ve noticed that when the way I feel about myself changes, I attract (and repel) different kinds of people. Hopefully you find yourself in a place where men are attracted to your confidence. It’s obvious that you have a lot going for you, and a broken man isn’t going to like that. But a confident man on the other hand? Uh, yeah!

      • It’s okay Sis, I understand 😉. I feel as though we all have some type of insecurity that if not dealt with, will pour over into a relationship; I know I have. Yesss, i realize that, that’s why I’m not attracting the guys I once used too because that confidence is level is SKY HIGH! You’re so right, we repel and attract based on our confidence. I always look forward to your responses. Love ya Sis and hope you’re doing well! ❤

  3. Amazing post! I admire your personality since a lot of people are nowadays dating just because they think it’s what they should do!
    I believe that there’s nothing wrong with being single too, nor is it any wrong to feel better single rather than in a relationship.
    I also believe that dating should actually be reserved when you actually find the one (woops now I sound real cheeeesy😂🤭) but it seriously will feel different💖

    Love reading your posts! x

    • Hey Jesica! Thank you for the lovely compliments! You really put a smile on my face.

      I’m really curious about your take on dating – are you talking about getting to know someone first and then dating them only if you feel like they’re the one for you? That sounds like it could be really romantic ❤

  4. First, let me start off by saying how lovely your writing is! Well-written blogs aren’t as popular as they should be and yours is very well-written.

    And second, I totally agree with you. Dating is tough! I’m an extrovert and I had some major issues dating. My first proper date was in grad school. I had a bucket list in college and the only thing that was never crossed off was going on a date. One time, I got real close to checking that item off my list. A guy asked me out to a movie, but I misunderstood the movie he wanted to see and thought he was bringing his wife and kids with us 😂😂😂 True story. You can read about it here: https://scribblesandtostitos.com/2014/03/14/on-the-time-he-asked-me-to-go-out-with-his-wife-and-kids/.

    Anyway, so dating was difficult for me! When I like someone, I really like them. I can’t half-step, so all the games people play don’t work for me. As far as how I dealt with it, I just tried to have as much fun as possible. I went out with friends, met guys, and when I’d give out my number, I didn’t expect much. Sometimes we’d go out on dates, but I was very sure about what I wanted, so when a guy didn’t meet my expectations, I let him go. (Sometimes not fast enough, but that’s a different story.)

    Great post!!

    • Yay! Thanks Yaa Yaa! Getting a compliment on my writing is the best, because that’s a whole half of why I blog (the other half is to build a community). I’m working on the popularity part, but it’s looking like I’m going to need to take some marketing classes because I don’t understand this social media and SEO thing at alllll! How’d you get your blog off the ground?

      Haha, I literally laughed out loud at that story! How did you get “wife and kids” from “I Think I Love My Wife”? Either way, though, it sounds really bad if you misunderstand it! 😂😂

      Honestly, I think chatting with my friends about my dates is the best part of dating. Nothing like getting in the group chat, whipping out my best GIFs, and having a good laugh at the mess that is dating. I’m good at letting guys go too, maybe a little too good…🤔

      • Sure! And girl, I am still trying to get my blog off the ground! I’m still learning social media. Apparently Pinterest is a great way to grow readership. I’m going to launch a group with other like-minded bloggers to exchange tips and tricks. I’ll keep you posted. I’ve learned that blogging in community is the best way to thrive.

        Lol, when he asked me to the movie, he said, “Hey let’s see “My Wife and Kids.” And I guess I didn’t hear his entire sentence, so I thought he said: “I’m taking my wife and kids.” And I never clarified. I assumed. You know what they say about assuming. It’s funny now, but I was so embarrassed when it happened! He never asked me out again, obviously lol

        Yes, I agree! I used to love telling my girlfriends about my mishaps. And blogging about them too!

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