Especially in The Time of COVID
If I were single, the oat milk in my fridge would last longer. I wouldn’t have to go to the grocery store so often and risk getting COVID. If I were single, I wouldn’t fall into the toilet in the middle of the night because my partner forgot to put the seat down. I wouldn’t have to share my side of the bed, my nightstand, my midnight snack. I wouldn’t have to explain myself when I had too much to drink.
If I were alone, I wouldn’t have to run my washing machine so often. I would save money on the electric bill. I could start seeing myself again. Treat myself to dates, rom coms, ice cream with just one spoon.
Being in a relationship is overrated. There’s an inevitable push towards marriage, children, anal sex. I told my boyfriend I masturbated and he frowned. I guess I cheated on him with myself. Is that a crime?
In the media, being single is presented as a struggle, a handicap, a sign of arrested development, mental illness, etc. With societal pressures to partner up, people may find themselves in relationships that aren’t healthy.
People are breaking up in the time of COVID. Divorce rates spiked in parts of China and in the US, and are increasing around the world. Quarantining with a significant other for months can feel like spending several lifetimes with that person. The year 2020 put couples to test, and many couples are realizing they are not compatible.
Before March 2020, I regularly hosted speed dating events at various venues in New York City. Many of the daters came with specific expectations that were rarely met. They left frustrated that people did not fit into their box. If you want to find a partner, you have to keep yourself open to the unexpected and not compare yourself to others. I asked one woman what she was looking for and she said, “All my friends are married. I’m tired of being the only one.”
However, she is not the only one. A single friend of mine is currently navigating the dating world, and she often complains about how exhausting it is to have conversations on dating apps. She has anxiety about ending these conversations when she is no longer interested. Sometimes when she does end an interaction with someone she met online, her potential date turns into a virtual troll.
Not having to answer to someone can be quite liberating. Being without a plus one is absolute freedom. Nothing has to be a compromise. You don’t have to have a discussion about what to watch, what to eat, what friend you can have other. When I was single, I took it for granted because I was worried about how I was viewed by people I didn’t even care about. I kept thinking, Will I be single forever?
In an age where we binge watch 15 second videos on social media, and are able to swipe through people’s dating profiles at the speed of light, it’s no wonder we are so impatient when it comes to meeting “the one.”
Dating online used to be an alternative to going out and meeting new people, but it’s now the new norm. Today, it’s considered weird and unexpected to meet people randomly in public, even though that’s what we are craving to get back to. Like this difficult time we are in, being single is temporary, if you want it to be. For now, enjoy your own company and be grateful that you are not trapped with someone who makes you unhappy. Wasting your own time is one thing, but letting someone else waste your time is regrettable.