I went to see Brooklyn on Sunday. I recommend it; it’s a really good film. Without wanting to ruin anything for anyone, here’s a quick summary: Eilis, an Irish girl, emigrates to the USA, where she meets a nice American man. Then news from home brings her back to Ireland, where she meets a nice Irish man. And then the poor girl has to choose between them.
Like I said, it’s a great movie. But if you detected a slightly sarcastic edge to that last paragraph… well, that’s because there was one. As we left the cinema, I’ll admit to feeling a hint of frustration that good-looking young men aren’t throwing themselves at me wherever I go – and slightly resentful towards people who seem to have strolled into great relationships, whilst apparently making no effort at all.
Now just to be clear, I am genuinely okay with being single. All that stuff I said on Valentines Day? I totally meant it. But, like most single people, there are days when I feel a bit blue about it, especially considering my last three dates have gone like this:
1. Most boring man on Earth. (Never commit to lunch on a first date. Lesson learned.)
2. Pleasant evening, followed by ‘I never really know how I feel about this sort of thing, but I’d be up for going out again if you want.’ (Ooh, the romance.) And then before we got around to arranging anything, he’d met someone else.
3. Lovely evening, followed by total silence (and before anyone says ‘there’s still time’ – this was a month ago). But at least I got a free theatre ticket out of that one.
These phases are usually accompanied by one of two things: complaining to friends about my sad single life – in the vague hope that one of them will suddenly remember that fit single man they’ve got tucked away for me – or signing up with yet another dating site, only to decide there’s nobody good on there and remove myself the next day, once I’ve snapped out of it. And I do always snap out of it, because funnily enough, I kind of believe that old chestnut about ‘Mr Right will come along when you least expect it; you have to be happy with yourself first’. I don’t like anyone else saying it to me, obviously, but it’s fine to say it to myself.
And because apparently I listen to myself more than I listen to anyone else, for today’s post, I thought I’d share a few of the things Sad Single Me has said, with answers from Fine With Being Single Me. And if you’re fed up with being single, and if you’re better than I am at listening to other people, I hope it helps. At the very least, you know it’s coming from someone who gets how you feel.
1. What if I never meet someone?
The obvious, instinctive answer to this is ‘don’t be silly, of course you will’. But having heard that countless times from other people, I know how annoying it is. So instead let’s just ask the question, what if you don’t meet someone? What’s the worst that could happen? If you like your life, have good friends, get along with your family and enjoy what you do, maybe it doesn’t matter if you don’t meet the man of your dreams too. Better to be happy with what you’ve got than dwell on what you don’t.
2. Why does everyone else have it so easy?
First of all, they probably don’t have it as easy as you think. Just because someone’s relationship looks like a fairy tale from the outside, that doesn’t mean anything. And secondly, if and when the right person comes along, maybe it’ll be that easy for you (and then everyone will resent you for exactly the same reason).
3. What am I doing wrong?
Probably nothing, as long as you’re being yourself. And if someone doesn’t appreciate you then, they’re not the right person for you anyway. The worst thing you can do is to act differently to impress someone, because then you have to keep acting that way as long as you’re with them, and before you know it, you’ve changed yourself to suit someone else, which is the last thing you should ever have to do.
4. What if I already met the right person and didn’t know it?
Personally, I like to think I’d know if that had happened. Unless it turns out my life is actually like Pride and Prejudice, and it’ll all somehow work out in the end, but only after one of my sisters has run off with an unsuitable man and had to be rescued. That would be quite cool. For me, obviously, not necessarily for whichever sister it is.
5. Where are all the good/normal/interesting/available/straight men?
Er, I’m afraid I can’t help you there. The best we can do is to assume they’re out somewhere, and just a bit lost. Notice I didn’t say anything about having a good sense of direction…
Any other singletons reading this, who also have the occasional Sad To Be Single day? And if so, how do you talk yourself out of it?