Poetry and musings of a zany Mormon girl who is very proud of her Erda roots.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Why I'm Still Single

The following is a post I began several months ago. Since it is the Week of Love  around here, I think it would be appropriate to delve back into that deep pool of dating "advice" that I can offer to all of you.


Advice, indeed!

Read on at your own risk; there is little but amusement in my words.

Why I'm Still Single

When single people first meet they go through the 'standard' questions pretty fast: What's your name? Where are you from? What do you do for a living? Where did you go to college?

But what they're really getting at is: Are you available? And if so, why?

Why, indeed.

Was it a recent break up? Here, let me comfort you.

You're too committed to your work/school/hobby? Oh, ok then.

You don't know how to date? Let's work on that together.

You just haven't found someone yet? Let's work on that together. 

You have a cripplingly low sense of self worth and can't see how anyone would ever love you but really hope that someday, someone, somewhere is going to shatter your self-imposed glass ceiling of social limitations and wisk you off on a brave white horse? He he...oh, wait... you're serious. Huh. See ya later!

There are a lot of reasons for people to be single.

It has to do with a serious lack of "another" person because, after all, it does take two to make a pair.

The thing is: every individual has a reason that is so totally individual that it's hard to compartmentalize and pin point exactly why someone is still single.

But this is my blog and since I'm the only individual who contributes to the content, let's delve into the reasons for why I am still single, shall we?

The Question

It takes about three conversations or one encounter with my cooking before a person will work up the nerve to ask me: Why are you still single?! And they usually aren't asking about why the "boyfriend" position is not currently filled -- no, they want the skinny on why the "husband" position is still up for grabs. They ask as though it is unimaginable that I haven't been swept off my feet and carted off into a sunset that banishes singleness only to dawn as a new day of marital bliss.

Apparently I possess communication skills sufficient to recommend me for marriage and cullenary wizardry potent enough to settle the matter.

Geez, if that was all it took I probably would have been a child bride! I was quite precocious at five, which consequently was the age my mother began allowing me to be her sous chef. By eight I had memorized my favorite chocolate cake receipe and would bake at least once a week as long as someone else would lift it from the oven because I was scared of being burned alive.

Actually, I was scared of a lot of things, including child molesters, so I don't think marriage would have suited me in Kindergarten.

By six years old I had regressed socially to the point where talking to another child was difficult and communicating with an adult was nearly impossible. Yes, I can carry on a conversation now that seems some-what intelligent but it has taken me years and years to be at all comfortable talking to a person I don't know well. In fact, it takes me about six months before I really start to open up. Most people give up after six days.

Not that I blame anyone for eschewing my company except to nibble on confections and share a few thoughts. While I think that I am delightful, it's understandable that some people hate sugar and loathe spice. Those types and I are better off in seperate social spheres anyway.

The Intimidation Factor 

Since this . . . issue. . . has been brought up many, many times in the years following my sixteenth birthday I'll give it some consideration here. When some cute young thang is sitting at home every friday night wondering when her daddy is going to live up to his promise to dissuade hordes of suiters with the help of a very large stick she sometimes turns the eye inward for a bit of introspective detective work. When that fails to provide satisfactory answers she begins to ask those who know her well. When they tell her that she intimidates boys because she's too amazing she goes in her room and cries it off. Who wants to be told that they are more than sufficent and thereby undesirable?

The thing is: I don't buy it.

 The last time someone made a point of telling me how intimidating I am it quickly became evident that he suffered some emotional damage from others and was still healing. Pointing out my flaws -- real or imagined -- made it easier to forgo commitment.

I am a strong woman. I have goals and plans to achieve them. I have many accomplishments. I will not be made ashamed of who and what I am. I will not apologize or be made to act less than my potential dictates.

If this is intimidating, then please man up and talk to me once you've gone through puberty of the brain.

The Dismissive Attitude

The last time my grandmother visited she gave me a garnet ring and made a observation: You're dismissive to the young men.

The ring was because we shared the same birth month and because I was one of her favorites.

The observation made me cry.

Heavy sobs that tore at my heart until my temples throbbed.

She was right and I hated to admit how dismissive I had been. I wear the ring as a reminder to try and give the young men a chance. 

While it doesn't negate the fact that I have been very guilty of not giving men a fair chance, I do have good reason for behaving in a dismissive manner.

I learned the hard way that unrequited love is the easiest type because it really only takes one. And no matter how devoted that one tries to be, it will not make up for lack of interest from the other.

So, without meaning to, I learned to settle. I learned to love from a distance and in my imagination. I learned to find gratification in masochistic heart break.

This vein of undesirable self discovery has led me to be far more patient with men and women alike and to make opportunities for others to get to know me and take advantages of opportunities to show my friendly side. I genuinely love to hear a person's history, thoughts, and dreams. Instead of self-consciously waiting for a Prince Charming to approach me and then focusing on why it won't ever work, I try to be as cheerful and content as possible while branching out and making friends.   This has influenced the way that I date and form attachments.

So, Why Am I Still Single?

While there is still more to the equation the simple answer is, "I don't know." But know that I've changed a lot because I've thought of why and what can be fixed and what must simply be accepted.

I used to think that I didn't have to worry about falling in love. It would just happen one day. Like waking up and realizing that I'd grown up, I'd simply be in love and know him when I saw him. It all seemed terribly romantic. Love at first site followed by eternal fidelity without a second thought.

What has become quite evident is that all relationships take hard work, tenacity, and forgiveness. I guess I'm waiting to find someone patient enough to get to know me slowly, build a history with me and fall gently into love.

And that, my friends, takes time.


  1. Z, I love this post. I know in today's society, especially your religion, being single at 25 is not easy for others to understand and accept. I have been envious of you for being so strong, independent and sure of what you want in life--and in a mate. I don't think you should settle or compromise that for any reason. The alternative to your life choices is me.

    I was so desperate to be saved from my life and from the damnation of others for being still single and my young mistakes, that I jumped in head first into situations that no one should enter into lightly. Now, at 25, you stand "still single" and I stand days away from my second divorce being finalized. You are right when you say that you will know some day, fully, because you will. I made the mistake of using my head to guide my heart into 'love' and although I have some valuable experiences, some patience for myself and for what I KNEW was in God's plan would have saved myself some heartache and reputation damage.

    One day, long ago, the single thought hit me: I am in love for the first time. I was extremely young and played my own devil's advocate for awhile. Eventually, even my own deterrence didn't work and I had to give into the reality of being so in love to a depth so many years beyond my age. When the immaturity factor took its toll and broke my heart, I was lost and confused. I stayed in the same 'place' for years just waiting for this situation to correct itsself and bring back the one person who saw my soul the way I knew others would someday see it and knew me without even a word.

    Eventually, I convinced myself that God's plan must have reached its expiration date, as I was still hopelessly waiting for something that seemed so... hopeless. I moved on and lead my heart by my head with logic. I married a sensible man who cared for me deeply and would always care for me. He was wonderful, and logical. It was years later that I found myself destroying our relationship that I questioned why I had been able to enter into this so fully knowing I had just been telling myself it was the logical thing. I started my life over, determined to do it right.

    When another man entered my life who claimed to love me more fully than the last, I thought to myself about soulmates. How horrible is it to think that one person is destined to be with another (as this man thought he was tied to me) and the recipient of that affection be destined linked to another? His certainty of our compatibility confused me and, finally, led to me the choice that I must be too blind to see something that is clear as day for him. Again, I made this leap out of what he said was logic. Based on feelings that I was feeling, but I was manufacturing. Much more quickly than before, this relationship turned toxic, on both sides, and we found ourselves locked into a life together that was never what either of us wanted. I had failed again.

    On my wedding day in 2009, I had one single tearful thought: I wished he was here, I wished the man on the other end of this aisle was the one from God's expired plan for me. I had never been able to let go of those feelings, but logic told that one day they would dissipate.

    The rest of my story is long and complicated and there is no end to it in sight as I am only 25. The point I am making, is that you are right to wait for the right person. Only you know what is best for you and your life. Only you will know magic man when you see him. You will know and it will come. Don't get in a hurry to listen to your head, because when it comes to matters of love, it knows nothing.

    You are amazing. Great post.

    1. Felicia, thanks for your comment. I'm sorry that your path has been so confusing. That must be very difficult. I do believe that the Lord knows all and that He is guiding each one of us. It's a comfort to receive personal revelation of the validity of that thought. While I've had many experiences that have been painful, each one has taught me a valuable lesson. I believe in finding the good in every situation. And I know that you have had the good with the bad, the sweet with the bitter. There is a plan for you. You are not forsaken. And neither am I.