h2>Dating : I Can No Longer Blame My Body For Being Single
So, here’s what I do know…
I’ve rewritten and deleted and rewritten and deleted and rewritten this post and can’t seem to figure out how to talk about being voluntarily single without sounding:
- Like I’m lying to myself.
I like being on my own and that isn’t exactly a novelty.
I am none of these things. I’m happy for those in relationships and am hopeful for those looking for love, but I am neither. I’m also not asexual. I just like living in the moment and in this moment, I’m happy being alone.
I’ve held off on writing this post for quite some time. Mostly because I don’t think there’s any novelty to it outside of the fact that it’s made me face that reality that I hide behind my weight. If you read the title, I hope you aren’t here for some rant about living a loud and proud single life or whatever — those are just depressing.
Like I said, my story isn’t unique. Think about it — girl is conditioned to believe she needs love from boy, girl then has some enlightening experiences with boy, and finally, girl realizes she’s perfectly content loving herself.
It’s a pretty standard narrative. One that perfectly outlines my life up until this point, but again — it isn’t unique. So, the real question is, is that a problem?
Is it a problem that my story isn’t a unique one when cultural narratives seem to suggest the exact opposite?
I know many people that happily buy into this idea. So much so, that I’ve met many women that are frightened by the idea of being single. If there’s one thing young girls are conditioned to believe, it’s the idea that a relationship is the ultimate goal.
From an insanely young age, we’re bombarded with fairytales, cartoons, and stories telling us that the princess isn’t happy or complete until she finds her prince. Then, we get older and consume preteen media fulfilling the same narrative. Girls that have boyfriends are cool and happy, whereas those without are probably ugly, weird, and generally undesirable.
I bought into this narrative when I was younger, as I’m sure many of you did as well. While it didn’t rule my life, I was convinced that a boyfriend would make me happier and not having one meant that something was wrong with me. This way of thinking stuck with me throughout my time in high school. I always blamed my weight. If I was thinner I would have a boyfriend. I would be happy. Because that how all of this works, right?
I can’t blame my weight for being single anymore.
Fast forward to college. What a wild place. I’m thankful for my three-year stint as an undergrad because it taught me far more about who I am than I would have ever imagined. Among other things, it taught me that attention from men doesn’t make me feel better about myself the way I thought it would.
As I said, I always blamed my weight and I don’t think that’s a far fetched thing to do. We’re taught that fat is slovenly, grotesque, and generally something that’s okay to openly ridicule. Looking back, it makes total sense that I internalized these ideas and blamed my lack of relationships on my weight. It’s an easy way out. When I blame my weight, I don’t have to focus on the other factors that actually contribute to my singleness.
In a lot of ways, being fat is the perfect excuse. It serves as a metaphorical and literal layer around any deeply-rooted issues lurking beneath. You can blame just about any social problem you’re having on your weight and while some of these are warranted, there are a lot of issues that have to do with who you are as a person and not how you look.
Let’s be real. In college — and probably just about anywhere else — if you’re a female with a pulse, you can usually find some dude that’ll be into you. I was about 60 to 90lbs heavier (depending on the year) during undergrad and I still had no trouble finding guys to go on dates with. It took small instances like this to chip away at the whole “it’s a weight thing” delusion that was built into my head.
It’s not a “weight thing,” it’s a “me” thing. Even when I was actively dating in college, I didn’t put any effort into it. As cruel as this sounds, I couldn’t bring myself to care beyond surface level intimacy. That’s just where my head has been for the last few years. I’m thinking it’s a phase, but maybe this is just who I am?
In conclusion, let’s keep it casual.
I know that attention from men isn’t enough to make me happy. I know that my body isn’t the problem. I know that I like things the way they are. So, what exactly does this amount to?
In essence, nothing.
I’m going to continue to choose nothing for the foreseeable future. I like where I am. I derive my joy from work, my dog, sticking to my health goals, creative side projects (like this very post you’re reading right now), and the knowledge that I can go through the same routine or have a radically different experience from day to day.
Maybe I haven’t met “the one” Maybe I’m too busy living in my own head to notice? Either way, I’ll continue down this road fully aware of the fact that it’s by choice and not because of my physical appearance. There’s a lot of comfort in that.