The most common refrain I get from friends and even acquaintances on Facebook is “I love your dating stories!” This is said with such enthusiasm from both married friends and single friends. Even those I may not have spoken to in over 20 years will write to tell me that my stories make their day. Obviously I am glad I can use my disaster online emails and dates as fodder to make people laugh. And of course, as a coping mechanism so I don’t lose hope. But something I read the other day in this article gave me pause.
The writer asked six former flames why it didn’t work out between them. And one of them said something very profound. He said he felt she was defined by being single. That she identified with it so strongly that he didn’t feel she wanted to share her life with someone.
This hit home with me as I’ve made such a public spectacle of my dating life that I wonder if I’m sending the signal that I don’t want to be in a committed relationship. Because I so willfully mock those who reach out to me and take me on dates, am I defining myself as the funny single girl and not the single girl looking for love? (Insert Carrie Bradshaw quote here)
The writer of the article resolved to stop writing about being single and took down all of her dating profiles. I had taken a hiatus over the past few months myself from being online and it definitely helps shift your perspective. No aimless searching through profiles.
No playing the Tinder “game.” Because looking for love should not be a game. It should be taken seriously. And maybe that’s the problem. With all these ways to check people out, it’s easy to dismiss them or not consider them serious candidates for couplehood. We’ve become a society of quick fixes and when we don’t like what we see, there’s always another site or profile to move onto.
So I am not officially taking myself offline or declaring a moratorium on writing about dating, but I am going to be more cognizant of how I position my desires and hey, if you know someone for me, don’t be shy!