In the past couple of weeks or so I have received messages from men via online dating sites saying “I can’t believe you’re not taken” and “how is it someone as gorgeous as you hasn’t been snapped up yet”? As though the way I look is the only measure of whether or not someone will want to be in a relationship with me.
It may be that the men sending these messages think they are complimenting me. They are not. How come I haven’t been snapped up? This suggests that I am sitting passively on a shelf in the great big shopping centre that is the dating world, dormant until a man comes by and finally, oh joy of joy, chooses me! This is a very old fashioned concept of course, dating back to when women were expected to sit prettily by, waiting for someone to point and them and beckon, giving them no say in the matter at all.
In modern times however, when it comes to choosing a mate, don’t both mates get a say in the choice?
Online dating is a bit of an advertising game and it is true that the format of it is such that people can browse a large selection of (supposedly) available people to whom they may be attracted. But to suggest that to be with me, a man merely has to be quicker than all of the others to “get” me, is insulting and quite telling of the mentality of the man making this suggestion.
But back to the original question… why am I not yet “taken”? Let’s review the past year’s dating record shall we?
Firstly, I had a lovely boyfriend who I liked a lot. We went pretty quickly into a relationship and whilst there were many good things about him, there was some not so great stuff which left me feeling very much as though I was being suffocated. My lesson from this? A freshly separated fellow is not the fellow for me.
Then there was the man I really liked. I was attracted to him, good conversation, he was gainfully employed, nice looking, intelligent. We went out twice then he ghosted me.
Another quite nice chap came along and whilst I did really like him (and he fulfilled at least one of my criteria in that he was a very good kisser), ultimately we wanted quite different things. He was looking for someone to take care of him and as a single parent, the last thing I want is someone thinking that since I am looking after my kids I can look after him as well.
Since then there have been a few first dates. A chap who used a very old photo, always frustrating. A chap who had some potential but who’s lack of self-restraint meant he couldn’t seem to resist texting me, even when I asked him to stop.
There was also the chap who I am pretty sure is married. He texted me on and off for a couple of months but every time it came to meeting up there was some reason why he couldn’t. Actually, there have been a couple of those.
So there you have it. A short explanation as to why I have not been whisked away, snapped up, taken, acquired and so on.
The real reason I am single is because I quite simply haven’t met anyone I liked enough to pursue a relationship with. I have a busy life, with kids and a job and friends and I am not going to dedicate my free time to someone else for the sake of being in a relationship. Life’s too short for that!
It may be that I never meet the right person – I have certainly written about that before – for now however, I am going to actively keep dating. At the very least, I will meet some new people, and I certainly won’t be sitting on a shelf, which as everyone knows is extremely boring and is not conducive to have any fun at all.