You know what is really easy? Being single. Yes, there are some things you have to deal with as a single person: loneliness, independence, no children, lack of physical affection, the whole eternal salvation question . . . but these issues aside, I have mastered the art of being single. It is not hard.
In fact, it is way easier than dating. I know what I want. I know what I need to do and how I want to be dealt with on any given night. I know what TV shows I want to watch and which I want to record on my DVR. I don’t ever have to wonder about my feelings or if I need to be more sensitive to myself or if I need to spend more time showing myself how I feel about myself.
I don’t want to minimize the plight of single people but I really do believe it is easier to be single than in a relationship. As we all know though, just because something is easier doesn’t mean it is preferable. There are compelling enough reasons to want to practice the more difficult lifestyle of marriage (see above “things you have to deal with as a single person”). So tragically (in my humble opinion), if you have aspirations of marriage, you must leave the comfortable, rational, and easy world of singletons and subject yourself to the worst of all states of being: dating.
Now, I know what some of you are thinking: “What is she talking about? I LOVE(D) dating!” And for you people I have only one thought: We could never be friends. (I kid.) Honestly though, I do wonder if something is wrong with me. Gidget (yes, that Gidget) once asked her mom a profound question: “Why don’t I like dates?” I thought I would take this opportunity to answer her:
Gidget, it is no surprise to me that you don’t like dates. They are often awkward, uncomfortable, and forced. Usually one of you will have stronger feelings for the other (sometimes it will be you, sometimes them) and this inequity will drive the dynamic of your relationship. Mis-communication, assumptions, insecurities, and past issues will be freely used to stunt the growth of a relationship and then there is the understanding that all the time and work you invest in it will likely be fruitless. Because the reality is most relationships DON’T end in marriage, meaning they end–often painfully. Then you have to start all over again, trying not to taint the future with the mistakes and hurts of the past but knowing it is really hard not to.
Gidget, dating is hard and inconvenient and the only reason we do it is because there is the hope that once in a (long) while something clicks and you find someone special and even magical and get to experience the euphoria that just maybe this one will last. Kind of like you and Moondoggie at the end of this movie.
Yeah, that’s what I would have said. Thing is, when I did a quick internet search to make sure I had Gidget’s quote right I was reminded of what Gidget’s mom actually did say in response. She answered that Gidget is “too genuine to pretend anything you don’t feel yet.” Interesting, Gidget’s Mom. And WOW. A simple statement that really explains a lot of the uncomfortable feelings I have surrounding dating. I don’t like pretending. And I don’t like being pretended to.
So yes, being single is easier than being in a relationship because we can more easily deal with ourselves in a genuine way. I do think, however, that the act of “pretending” is a great test when you are dating. The guy or girl that makes you feel like your authentic self? Well, that just might be someone worth sacrificing your “easy” single life for.
Vera Taylor is a 30-something single who tries to step out of her easy "single" bubble into the harder "dating" bubble as often as possible.