The last time I was really and truly single, I was still in college. Apparently, dating outside of college is vastly different. You can’t just walk into a campus coffee shop and strike up a conversation about the Advanced Renaissance Art final with some guy who has statement facial hair. Now you have to get an online dating profile and you have to wear contact lenses and suddenly every person you’ve ever met wants to set you up with their friend/coworker/cousin. You spend about two months being really sad about your last relationship and whining about how lonely you are, so your friends do the friendly thing and try to introduce you to new people who might be willing to make out with you. And for some reason, because you’re being ‘set up,’ you want nothing to do with these prospective dates. You just won’t have that charity shit.
Now you’re back to being a moody teenager. You can do everything yourself, you’re your own person, you don’t need anyone’s goddamn help. You got a 4 on your AP English Literature exam, does that sound like the kind of person who needs help meeting guys? Every day after work, when you just wanna go home and make pancakes for dinner — cause you can do that when you’re single! — your friend texts you, ‘Come to trivia night and meet my guy friend who has a beard and is single and wears plaid a lot just like you do!’ and you text back, ‘I DON’T NEED YOUR CHARITY WHO IS THIS ANYWAY!!!!’ Then you draw little angry faces in your pancakes with a fork, and you eat angry pancakes for dinner instead of just regular, indifferent pancakes.
Plus, you don’t even know if you want to meet someone new. You’re beginning to do that thing your peppy chickfriends told you to do and ‘focus on yourself.’ You’re doing laundry every week, and you’re even separating the colors from the whites. Yesterday, your jewelry matched your outfit! You begin to look back on your former relationship and you’re realizing more and more how much time you spent talking about your feelings. In retrospect, your relationship is looking more and more like one of your old Xanga entries. You think about one of the last arguments you and your ex had:
You: What’s the matter?
Ex: I don’t wanna talk about it.
You: Whatever. Fine.
Ex: Are you seriously mad now? Because I don’t wanna talk about it?
You: No, I just I think we should talk about it.
Ex: I don’t wanna talk about it!
You: OH, WE’RE GONNA TALK ABOUT IT!
Neither one of you even knew what ‘it’ was. You never found out. But ‘it’ is probably one of the main reasons you broke up.
Still, you feel like you’re passing up some pretty cool guys just in the name of not accepting help. Your friend introduces you to a super good-looking guy who goes to Julliard, but he’s wearing a baseball cap, so he and his fraternity brothers probably raped someone in college. Your mom’s friend tries to set you up with her son who’s in medical school and just went through a tough breakup as well, so you’ll ‘have a lot to talk about.’ That sounds like a really fun date, you can both carb-load and then cry into eachother’s hair. But you still go on that date, cause you figure maybe he can write you a prescription for Prozac (spoiler: he can’t). Your coworker brings a guy to a party so you can meet him, and he’s a straight-up Ralph Lauren model. No joke. He’s a fucking model. What is your coworker trying to do to you? Make sure your self-esteem dips so low that you never leave your apartment again, let alone let someone see you naked? You’d totally go on a blind date with this guy — if by ‘blind date’ you mean you would date this guy in a world where you were born blind and don’t know what either one of you looks like. You begin to think your coworker is trying to ruin your life, so you do the safe thing and quit your job.
You just want to meet someone in a spontaneous and perfect way, not in some weird forced set-up pseudo-date thing. You want to be walking down the street one day (preferably in October), in the rain (but a very light rain), in a perfectly form-fitting cardigan sweater, skinny jeans, and Steve Madden boots, and suddenly feel an unexpected gust of wind blow some tall, handsome, intelligent, funny, quirky, sweet, available guy (who really enjoys baked goods, cats, traveling, ramen noodles, poetry (but not in a gay way), and Lord of the Rings trilogies on USA right into your lap. You wish all these people who keep trying to set you up with guys could be as realistic about relationships as you are.