Notes from the newly single
By Jennifer Markham, Contributor
I’m fresh out of a near five-year relationship, and let me just say the dating world has changed a lot since I was here last.
Does anyone even try to meet people in their daily lives, or do you just set up your online profile and hope for the best? It seems optimistic in my opinion, given the number of true gems out there (not). I’ve come across a few faux-pas already: posting pictures with guns, snakes, or upwards of five gorgeous women, showing your abs in the bathroom mirror, or some awful combination of all of the above. I’m tempted to “smile” at those guys and have a heart-to-heart, just for their benefit. I’m told paying for sites eliminates most of the riff-raff, but maybe I’m cheap—or maybe I’m the riff-raff, I can’t speak to that yet.
I’ve also had the experience recently of redefining the term “third wheel.” At my friend’s 30th birthday I was honest to goodness the 19th wheel. It was me and nine couples; and when it was time to find our seats, take pictures, order, and get the bills, it felt that way.
Maybe it’s because I’m now almost 30, instead of being in my early 20s, but since when did my singledom become a problem that every man, woman, and child feels the need to fix? And even worse, attempts to remedy by fixing me up with their grandson, stepbrother, or cousin twice removed. Now when I’m checking out a cute guy, I also check out his left hand for a ring, and wonder if he’s got three kids. This also wasn’t so much of a problem five years ago, when matrimony wasn’t this exclusive club all your married friends are trying to convince you to join.
I did something every single girl does: I went underwear shopping. Yup, because you just never know who might end up seeing them, and a sexy pair is like insurance—there just in case. As opposed to the thread-bare, stretched-out elastic pair of granny panties, which are more like a good excuse to make sure no one sees them.
Even with the sexy red lace pair on, are all single girls self-conscious of their sexual experience, or lack thereof? Because some single girls go on a rampage, and all the power to ya sister, but I just don’t have that much game. So I turn to who’s already on my list, because if you visit an old notch you’re not making a new one right? I did not make my choices with this in mind, I did not plan for this. Slim pickings.
Topping the list is my ex who I’m on amicable terms with, since hopefully I haven’t yet followed suit with every other ex-girlfriend on the planet and “gone crazy.” How is it that such a high percentage of guys share the same classic story? “Yeah, we had a good run, until we broke up and she went nuts!” He didn’t approve of my choice of rebound, but that’s to be expected. I’d have been more creeped out if I had seen them high five-ing behind my back. I offered to write the ex’s online dating profile for him, since writing is my thing, but he didn’t jump at the idea.
I think every girl secretly hopes that, should they ever become single again, they’ll have prospects. Not a “fight them off with a stick” situation, but reasonable guys they know who might celebrate their new addition to the single world. This did not happen to me. Not only did I get none of the attention I did want, the attention I didn’t want got amped up. All the old and creepy guys celebrated.