Decoding Singlehood

Dec 9, 2016

No, I'm not turning into a Thought Catalog writer or some chummy word factory showing some awful signs of being a hopeless, hopeless romantic in a superlative way. But during these times, where loneliness seems to be the answer for all eerie questions, I think of why I'm single. Questions too, come to me like big, big waves, but "why am I single?" seems to be the only thing that's unanswerable.

I've surveyed my friends and they'd say the same thing over and over again — "well, you're always too busy." While it's true and I'm thankful that I am, sometimes I think I'm not too busy for love. I have time, if you ask me. If I have time researching about how to make lasagna in the wee hours, I sure have time to cuddle and snuggle with someone before going to sleep. If I have time making almond milk and cold brew coffee, which both requires strict measurements and 8-hour time brewing, I sure have time to fight and kiss and make up with someone adorable and endearing.

Other friends say I have high standards. If it's standards that we're talking about, I don't prefer rich, artistic, highly intelligent, overly creative individuals. I prefer someone who's as hardworking as me, intelligent enough to prolong conversations, and open minded enough to understand art. I'm pretty sure my standards aren't high enough, I'm not even looking for good-looking individuals.

My dating life is boring. Except for that one time I dated someone my age who's living off parent's money, not graduated from school, and not sexual. My standards have been met, I said to myself — intelligent and creative, also very, very lightly good looking. I shall emphasize 'very, very lightly good looking,' for it needs clarification. It didn't work because I came at a wrong time, when affection wasn't there anymore and I was a bit too late. We ended our three-month dating stage with a 'cheers' of rum coke hidden in a small, gritty indie bar in the middle of Chinatown.

If you're thinking I haven't tried hard enough to look for hands to hold and mouths to kiss, you're wrong. I have been swiping left and right on Tinder, talking to strangers on other apps answering strange questions like "top or bottom?" "pic?" "got nudes?" "got place?" to which I answer, "top bunk of the bed for it's cheaper," "yes, I'm a photographer — do you want a portrait?" "I have a body of work dedicated to nudity, wanna see?" "place for what, though?" Yes, I know my answers there salt my game but to be honest, I've answered "top, no nudes, can't host" before sending my hottest, up-to-date selfie.

Thanks to the creators of these apps, my sex life hasn't been that much of a bore. One-night-stands are my go-to whenever it's dry season, and I take no shame in saying that because it's the truth. I don't hide the fact that these carnal desires have been fulfilled with strangers, as I have dedicated an exhibit for that.

Once, a friend told me I was provocative that's why I was single. As much as I would like to disagree, I have also explored that theory. Perhaps love won't come my way because sex is blocking the pavement. But to my defense, I don't go out just looking for sex and satisfying my lust. I go out on masturdates, (look that up, it's a term coined by millenials for dating yourself) and I look at strangers long enough for them to notice and I turn my glance elsewhere. I answer to questions nicely and I make sure I smoke two cigarettes to make sure someone needs a light. Smell the subtle desperation? I let that kind of air out because unlike what they say, I'm not a snob.

In all honesty, I am a hopeless romantic. I give gifts on random days with sticky notes and love poems. I make mixtapes and list of movies to watch. I take people I like to cool places and make sure they enjoy. But on the flipside of the coin, I'm also a self-centered, career-hungry, go-getter, creative. I make sure that I get what I want and I go places for it, often leaving homes and people behind while hoping that they're still there to accept me when I come back. If you've noticed, in this lengthy word vomit, I have used my possesives quite much, and that's the kind of person I am. Perhaps that's why I'm single.

Amidst all this decoding of my own singlehood, perhaps the raison-de-etre of this is that I am not ready. Yet. I am not ready to use 'we' instead of 'me', or 'us' or 'ours.' Grammar says it's necessary to use these words when there are other people involved and that these possesives do not belong to a single self and that these should be used when there are 'selves' involved. Although I still wish to share my bed with someone else apart from a cat, or make coffee not only for me and my officemates but for someone I dearly adore, I don't think I'm ready for these things. Wanting takes no courage but commitment needs otherwise. It takes a million words to solidify a statement on commitment, a million other commitments to say 'us,' 'ours,' 'we,' in a whole paragraph.

Or maybe this is all useless because the main reason why I'm single and undateable is I'm ugly.

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