“Have you tried internet dating?”
I never would have thought that I’d be making 7AM appointments for coffee. Welcome to the world of the working man, hmm?
Anyway, this morning I’m having coffee with a friend when, after the generic pleasantries are out of the way, the conversation steered towards the love life direction.
I find it amusing, actually. When you’re single, this is one of the most important questions that people have to ask you. My grandmother’s been asking me every time she sees me for years now, “Have you got a girlfriend yet?” Or something along those lines.
Not to say that over those times I haven’t had girlfriends at different stages (just to clarify), and I understand her perspective – she wants more grandchildren on her knee while she has the chance, so I should hurry up for her sake!
It amazes me, though, that it is so important to so many people – perhaps even more important to many of them than it is to me!
However; there was a long period of time where it was vital to my own existence – and I can’t help but ask the question now: Was it so important to me because it was so important to everyone else?
Is there peer pressure to be in a relationship?
When one of the first questions that almost everyone asks you is reinforcing the fact that you’re single, then does that actually serve to produce the feeling that you need to be in a relationship in order to be on the same level as your already-involved friends?
It becomes a pressure. While it’s probably not the conscious message that people are trying to send when they ask you about your love life, the fact is that there becomes this impression that you aren’t complete if you don’t have a partner. It’s as though we’re meant to be defined by who we are in a couple, not who we are individually.
And that’s wrong.
When it comes down to it, I’m actually happy where I am at the moment. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to have someone to share my life with, but it’s not anything I have to rush. The fact is, I don’t want to be defined by my relationship. I’d much rather the two of us being defined as individuals who complement one another and enhance what are individual and independent qualities.
Second, I accept that right now I’m probably better off not in a relationship. There are other things I want to focus on, build and grow in my life so that I am the best person I can be when that wonderful lady comes along.
I hope you’ll hear my heart here. I’m not saying by any means that this isn’t the case for other couples. I do think it’s a fair statement to say that some couples are together out of a need to be with someone rather than the right one, but that’s not for me to judge, and if it works for those people, then great. For me, though, I’m happy to be single until the right one shows up.
So my statement is this: Singles, Unite! (See what I did there?) Don’t feel a need to be defined by who you are as half a couple, but be defined by who you are as a person – and find someone else who is defined by who they are as a person too!
And when that friend asks you if you’ve thought about internet dating? Well, you never know – I know it’s worked for friends of mine, and it might work for you too. You never know where you’ll meet someone these days, and in a world of online communication, maybe that’s where the best options are. To quote the friend who asked me about internet dating: “You’ve got to drop your hook in where the fish are!”