“I found you an amazing guy! He’s really cute…”
The more time I spend being single, the more people who are coupled up seem to think they know what to “do” to help, because obviously being single is some sort of disease.
They want to set me up with their friends’ friends, take me to the bar to find me a one-night-stand, or just give me ridiculous advice on how to find a man (one friend suggested that I start prowling golf country club bars because “that’s where the men are.”
Not only do I not golf or have any interest in the sport of golf at all, but I’m pretty sure I would fit in better at a country club as a waitress or even the janitor than I would as a member.)
Being set up by my friends wouldn’t necessarily bother me if they put some actual thought into who they are matching me up with. While I know they mean well, most of my friends have traveled so far into the bubble of coupledom that they completely forget what it’s like to try and find someone who actually shares your interests.
The men they try to set me up with are boiled down to just one criterion: singleness. As long as he is single and I am single, apparently we are peas and carrots, peanut butter and jelly, Romeo and Juliet. Never mind that he shares exactly none of my interests, zero of my moral/religious beliefs, and not one of my life goals.
“Well, come on Emily, he’s single!”
Yeah, but he’s also an Orthodox Jew (I’m Catholic), makes a living playing the bagpipes (to my ears bagpipes sound like someone drowning a bag of cats) and doesn’t ever want to have kids (while I haven’t actually made this final decision yet I don’t want to take it off the table on the first date.)
One friend of mine has what she thinks is the right idea for me. She constantly emails and texts me opportunities for what she calls a “comfortable lay.”
I’ve tried to explain to her that one night stands are not really my cup of tea, but that just seems to spur her on to encouraging me to get myself into a friends with benefits situation.
What I haven’t shared with her is that I’ve actually had an FWB partner in the past – an ex who also happened to be single quite often. Sex without strings can be the right thing for some people some of the time, but it gets old when you want much more than that. Although his mind-numbing immaturity, which he likes to refer to as “boyish charm,” was quite entertaining at times.
Most recently one of my best friends decided on the spur of the moment to ask one of the men she teaches with if he had any “single friends” for her “single friend.”
By the way, married people love to set singles up. It’s almost as if they are living vicariously through my sex life – or lately, lack of sex life, but shhh, don’t tell them that!
Of course her friend had a single friend (they usually do). He wrote to her in an email, and I quote, “I just sent my friend an email to let him know that I’m working on something for him. I kind of know his type. Do you have a picture of your friend that you can send me? I’ll be able to tell if he will be interested or not.”
Now, there were two things in this email that insulted me. One: he told his friend he is “working on something for him.” I am not a Powerpoint presentation, nor am I some sort of object to be acquired. Two: he said that he “kind of” knows his friend’s type and would be able to tell if he would be interested or not by judging me solely on my looks.
OK folks, I am not naïve enough to think that most people go by physical attraction first and foremost when determining if they are interested in someone. But it’s just the way he said it. Not to mention: where is the picture of this man that I get to judge? How come he gets to decide if I am pretty enough for him to date? If looks matter that much to him, then shouldn’t he assume that looks matter to me as well?
The whole business left a bad taste in my mouth. And then the guy said his friend wouldn’t be able to schedule a date until February 16th because his schedule was so hectic, I was even more exasperated. But guess what? I agreed to the date, because sometimes the crap and awkwardness and judgment in the beginning is just shit you have to go through in order to get to your happy ending. And you never know when it’s coming.
Emily Little (nee Campbell) was a perpetually single girl who recently met and married her Mr. Right. Her blog, Dating Emily, has been a two-year diary of her adventures in relationships. Her life of bar-hopping and casual dating has turned into one of dog-walking, craft-making and budgeting for eventual home ownership. But just because she can make a mean casserole doesn’t mean her adventures are over. As she prepares to become a first-time homeowner and eventually, a mom, she is discovering that the adventure may just be beginning.