(Originally published on 10/07/17)
Edua… why are you single?
People have been constantly asking me this question over the last few months. Most of you guys, know parts of my personal life thanks to this blog which, of course, has included details about my love life. From the older guy I dated back in my high school years, to the incredible Swiss man, to the guy who drove a Crown Victoria, if you’ve been reading my publications, you know what I’ve been up to. Well, sort of.
After my last break up, I was left emotionally unstable and it took me months to get better. It wasn’t because I missed the guy or wanted him back, but because I now felt like I couldn’t trust anyone. I felt as if no one really cared about those three words and eight letters that should be treated with care. To many, they’re so hard to pronounce and so incredibly easy to forget.
People would encourage me day by day, especially my older sister and my best friend. Everybody was telling me that I didn’t deserve a guy like him, that I was much better without him and that I deserved so much more because I was a good guy. All I could think of was: really, you think so? If I deserve so much, then how come I don’t get that wonderful man?
Single is a word some people used to be scared of in their thirties. Nowadays it’s a word no one want’s to be labeled with in their twenties. Why’s that? We get things in such an easy way thanks to social media and dating apps, which makes it very easy to be vain and treat people as is they were toys we can collect to increase our egos. The more matches you make, the more your ego goes up. This has allowed many to play with other people’s feelings and/or treat them as if they were garbage before moving on to their next Tinder match. In a nutshell: the more you date, the more you realize how difficult it is to actually trust someone. “Single” means that you’ve been fooled so many times your self-esteem might be falling apart.
My best friend and I, always like to discuss these topics over a few cocktails to lighten up the mood. Jared, that’s how we’ll call my bestie… is sure that, it is social media what’s made it so hard to build up a serious relationship. No matter gay or straight, it is hard.
So, you are single (and I don’t know if it only happens to me, I’d like to think I’m not the only one) but then someone asks you stuff like “Why are yo single?” or they say “Oh my gosh, girl, you’re so pretty, where’s the boyfriend?” And all you can do is smile because you don’t know what to say. I get that question asked quite often. “Oh, Edua, how can you be single?” “I don’t get it, you’re so cute, why are you single?” I never know how to answer that. I just smile and then I give a sip to my margarita. In fact, I have some issues with that question.
After you’re being asked about that with such a frequency, you start to wonder: “Yeah, why am I single?” “Is it that I am actually this horrible, psychotic boyfriend who traps men in his web so they can be at my disposal anytime I want? Is it that I suffocate them? After a while, that question made me think that, of course, I was the problem. I probably suffocate men. I probably try too hard to make everything perfect, including my love life. I probably trap them in my web and then I get over-emotional. Yes, I’m a crazy boyfriend, that’s why they run away and that’s why I’m single. Sadly, I believed those things for several months.
Around April, I knew I had completely moved on. Of course, I wasn’t looking for a relationship again, but I had realized that I was young so I should go out and just meet new people. I met one or two guys whom I had dates with. We would have so much fun talking, dinning or dancing and then, at some point, they would stare at me and say something like: “Wow, I can’t believe you’re single, how can you be single?”. To me it’s like…. if you like me, if you are having a great time with me and you think I’m tooextraordinary as for being single, then why don’t you make me your boyfriend?? (Of course not in that moment, you know what I mean). But they don’t. And why aren’t they bothering making you their boyfriend? Because some of these guys just want to have fun.. and not in a Cindy Lauper kind of way. The trick here is that they ask you out on a date, they say all the right words to make you think that they actually want to get to know you much more, so that you can feel comfortable with them and, eventually, after some drinks and a few nice words, you’ll get into their beds.
I literally became a psychologist trying to understand gay men minds and behaviors. I must say, that is one tricky job. We don’t want to be fooled, so we need to be careful. For example:
My friend Jared has been single for four years now, because he doesn’t trust men so easily anymore. Back when we were in high school , he began dating this gorgeous blonde-ish- nerdy-boy. Jared thought he had found his high school sweetheart and, since this boy was very peaceful and nerdy, he thought he would never, ever hurt him. A few months went by, until one day, they were spending the afternoon together at this boy’s house. At some point, both of them fell asleep, but Jared woke up first. One of the first things he saw was his boyfriend’s laptop screen on, showing a Facebook message notification. Wanting to open that message made him feel as a crazy boyfriend, but curiosity was killing him when he noticed the message came from one of our classmates, so he opened it. There was the truth. Golden boy exposed. His boyfriend had been maintaining some dirty conversations with our classmate. Dirty conversations which graphicly suggested they were already having sex. Jared was shocked and heartbroken. It was scandalous… and it was high school, so you can picture the drama after he found out.
How do we not see those things coming?
One night, after remembering my friend’s story, I realized how much I tend to trust people. We think we have the puzzle solved, we think we know them, we think we’re safe. Then one day we crash against the wall only to realize we’ve been fooled… again. I finally understood that I was not crazy, or over-emotional or picky. I now had an answer for that question.
I’m single because I’ve given my 100% to guys who’ve barely given me their 90%. I’m single because, yes, I want everything to be perfect. They’ve made me believe that it is wrong to want things to be perfect, but perfection isn’t hard to get, you know? The point of committing to a relationship is for both of you to give your best, your 100%, your loyalty, your fidelity, your complicity. That is perfection and there’s nothing wrong with wanting any of those things. I’m single because I rather being alone than consumed by an unhealthy relationship and, above all things, I’m single because I just won’t settle for someone who gives me less than a 100%.
During our Instagram times, when everyone has picture perfect relationships typing #goals in the caption of their photos, we might tend to settle for less of what we actually deserve, only because we so desperately want to fit into the happily-ever-after-circle of people. For many years, thanks to media, we’ve been told that it is much better to be in a relationship than being single and lonely, and that is why so many young people rush into finding a partner; they feel the pressure and they end up having unhealthy and unrealistic relationships.
I think it is wonderful to be in a relationship and I do believe, like Paul Varjak says at the end of Breakfast At Tiffany’s, that people do belong to people, but now I understand that being single gives you focus to clear up your mind and identify the things that you don’t want for you. In the end, you are also transforming into a better version of yourself, let’s not forget that we need to give what we want to receive. Right now, I’m constantly learning and kind of starting to love being single… and so should you.