“I don’t think this is going to work. Good luck with things.”
That’s a real text I received from a guy I never even went on a date with.
“I didn’t realize there was a ‘this’,” I replied. “Bye.”
I’ve been on both sides of rejection. I’ve stopped hearing from guys I went on dates with and I’ve told guys that I didn’t feel a spark. But this most recent experience was new to me.
This guy – let’s call him Al – and I never actually went on a date. We met at a bar where we spent the entire night dancing and making out. I gave him my number, not sure if I would ever hear back, but four days later he texted me to invite me to happy hour with a bunch of his friends. It was hardly a date at all and we went our separate ways at the end of the night. We didn’t even kiss goodbye. I had a great night with what I thought was a new group of friends and I was looking forward to hanging out with them again. I thought Al was cute and all but since we had yet to go on a date, I was happy to just be friends with him.
But the next day he texts me the oh-so poetic, “I don’t think this is going to work.”
I never thought I’d be rejected by a guy I never even went on a date with. I thought I was making new friends but his text made it clear that I couldn’t hang out with any of them ever again.
This kind of behavior isn’t abnormal in the dating world today. Courtship is over. Men no longer feel they need to woo women with love letters and flowers. They can just send her a simple text or an oh-so-romantic message on Tinder that reads, “Wanna sit on my face?”
Casual dating is basically the norm for 20-somethings today. Young people switch from relationship to relationship quickly and don’t get married until their late 20s and early 30s, if they even get married at all.
Modern technology makes it possible for people to meet many more possible suitors than ever before, as Aziz Ansari explores in his equally comedic and anthropological debut book, Modern Romance. Long gone are the days where most people would “find a decent person who lived in their village or neighborhood, and after deciding they weren’t a murderer, get married and have kids – all by the age of 22.” But are we spending too much time trying to find the one? Could we be just as happy alone?
In Kate Bolick’s first book Spinster she explores the possibility of being happy as a single woman in the modern world. A possibility that has become a reality for her, being unmarried all her life. Bolick certainly embraces living the single life. Long gone are the days of Pride and Prejudice when you needed to get married in order to ensure financial stability. You’re no longer a failure to your family if you decide to not tie the knot.
It’s perfectly fine to live alone with your cats if you want to. I mean let’s be honest, that’s all I’ve ever needed. In Spinster, Bolick expands on her 2011 Atlantic cover story “All the Single Ladies” that embraces an end to “traditional marriage.” Times have changed and thanks to more positive attitudes on single parenting and women in the workforce, it’s okay for women to decide to not get married.
I recently unwillingly moved into a studio apartment. I had about 10,000 roommates back out on me so I really had no choice. I really didn’t want to live alone. I feared that one day I would slip in the shower, hit my head and die, after which my cats would eat my bloodied face. I read The Cut’s January 2015 article titled “Does Living Alone Drive You Mad?” and vowed to never put myself in that position.
But alas, here I am. And it’s not that bad. I never have to wear pants. I don’t need to put in headphones to watch Netflix. I can pee with the door open. And no one ever has to hear the conversations I have with my cats. Call me a crazy cat lady all you want; I proudly wear that label like a homecoming queen’s sash – covered in cat fur, of course.
Maybe I’m not trying hard enough to find my soulmate. But what is my alternative? Dating apps have always been an annoying chore to me. And there’s no luck in trying to meet someone IRL; the guys in my city are either jerky brogressives, in relationships or not attracted to my gender. Nevertheless, I’m okay with being a 23-year-old single, recent college graduate living alone in a studio apartment with her two cats, a Netflix account and a hefty supply of white wine. At least for now.
This post is an edited version of an article previously published in The Indie Chicks.
Title image via Reductress.