Why am I still single?”
How many times have you asked yourself that question? How many times have you found yourself sitting on your bed watching an old episode of Bones while stuffing Oreos into your mouth and wondering why you’re alone?
Oh, is that just me? OK, then.
Or, how about when you’re sitting on campus and you run into your crush? Only he’s not alone — he’s with some chick who wears light-wash bell-bottomed jeans with running sneakers? Really? She’s the one with the boyfriend?
After all, if Honey Boo Boo’s mom could somehow find lasting love, what the hell is the matter with you?
Well, what have we learned in the last three months, “Lovegame” readers? I’ve tried to teach you the ins and outs of hooking up with friends, one night stands, heartbreaking rejection, flirtatious texting and more, and yet it feels like it hasn’t been enough. You’re still single, so where do we go from here?
Let’s break it down. If you’re still single (and looking), then it could be because of a multitude of reasons: A) You want it too much, B) Your past relationships have ruined you, C) You flirt horribly or D) You can’t see what’s in front of you.
We’ll start with A. And as we start, we’re going to make a promise to be honest with each other and with ourselves: We want it too much. We want the fireworks, we want the butterflies and we want the late-night cuddle sessions. Every time we see our best friend change their profile picture to a photo of them with their beau ice-skating, you want to punch them in the face — and then promptly cry to yourself because you want that so badly.
You need to take a chill pill here, kiddos. Stop wasting your time thinking about hypotheticals, lusting after those who don’t lust after you and embarrassing yourself to get attention when you’re at parties. Take a step back, live your life and let love come to you.
I know this might be hard, especially if you’ve had particularly crappy relationships in the past, which brings us to B. Toxic situations have a penchant for completely ruining our visions of love for the future, and we need to detox ourselves of that poison. Get that image of that loser ex-boyfriend or your crazy ex-girlfriend out of your head. Forget about the one who got away.
You need to wash yourselves of the past to move on. If you keep bringing the darkness back into your life, you’re just sabotaging yourself. Every hookup and relationship is different, and you have to treat it as such.
But let’s be real here: if you’ve been in toxic hookup situations and relationships, chances are your flirting skills have taken a hard hit. I have a friend who was in a relationship for years before calling it quits this semester, and their flirting skills — or lack thereof — certainly reflect that. People ask me how to flirt and honestly, there’s no one true answer. Sure you can be a cute texter and say all the right things, but nothing can fake true chemistry.
When it’s right, you’ll suddenly turn into Casanova, trust me. You don’t need to force anything, or else your inadequacies will be cast into the open. Be yourself, and you’ll attract the right person. And unless you’re planning on murdering someone, no rules (even mine) apply in the dating game. I’m just a 20-year-old girl. You could follow my advice to the T, or you could be out there in world, living your life.
Which brings us to point D. Look around. Are you sure your potential beau isn’t right in front of you? You might be so busy that you’re shutting yourself off from the person you’re meant to be with. Open your eyes to new types of people. If you only like to date athletes (good luck with that one) then try saying yes to a date with that cutie from your science lecture. Don’t have expectations, and don’t have a checklist of qualities that you want your love to have.
But to be perfectly honest, you’re probably still single because it’s just not your time yet. As hackneyed as it might sound, I truly do believe that we all have soul mates out there waiting for us. And when the time is right, we’ll run into them. People often ask me when you know that this is “it,” and I always respond, “You just know.” You feel a jolt in your bones every time they accidentally brush up against you. You fall asleep to dreams about their eyes. The sound of their voice makes your heart do somersaults in your chest. You can’t get them out of your head even though you’ve spent months convincing yourself that you don’t need them.
Now that’s something that you can’t force. That sort of attraction and love is something that you can’t rush. It’s something that you can’t seek. You’re single because you’re supposed to be single right now. You’re single because it’s not your time yet.
Accept that fact and you will feel a weight lifted off of your shoulders. Be happy with yourself, be happy with who you are and start to live in the present. Don’t waste your remaining days here crying over your hypothetical soulmate. You two will find each other, but in the mean time, have a little fun. Go to a random party. Say yes to every date you get asked out on (come on, a free meal is so worth awful conversation). Open your heart and open your mind to a world of possibility.
Keep your chin up. Even though I might not know you, I know that you are a fabulous, strong, beautiful, funny, smart person. And someone else will see that someday.
One day you’ll be like all those other sickening couples. One day you’ll get someone to give you a massage after a long day of class. One day you’ll have someone who’ll make you cookies. One day.
Sheridan Watson is a junior majoring in critical studies. Her column “Lovegame” ran Thursdays.