‘Single’ Does Not Mean ‘Available’

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This originally appeared on Kiki & Tea. Republished here with permission.

I’m single. At 32, many of my friends are married with two kids. Due to my age and my status of “single,” people assume I’m actively looking for love or that I need help in finding a man. When the fact of the matter is yes: I am single. But no, I am not available.

The word “single” seems to conjure up responses of pity from people who think I must be desperate to find a mate, pining away over my borderline “crazy cat lady” lifestyle when in reality I’m not upset. And I’m not sitting around wishing Prince Charming would knock on my door now.

I don’t want to be set up. I don’t want to do Internet or blind dating. Right now, I don’t want to put myself back out there. I am fine with this, so why can’t others accept it too?

I’m of the firm belief that in order to open myself up for a healthy relationship, I first need to learn to love and accept myself. That I need to be happy with who I am and be satisfied with how life is treating me. I need to be the best version of myself, I need to be content before I commit to being one half of a couple. I’ve recognized this and will continue on improving different areas of my life, for me. I don’t want to be a burden in a relationship. I want to feel I’m bringing the best of me into the situation, right from the beginning.

My luggage is not leather, nor is it Louis Vuitton. It isn’t neatly compartmentalized and it is in no way orderly. My baggage is heavy, messy, raw, and if we must get into brand names, I’d file it under “emotional.” I want to sort this baggage out before I get “back in the game.” My next relationship shouldn’t suffer because my past ones have been riddled with deceit, betrayal, and abuse.

So if I’m OK with where I am at right now, why can’t people in my life accept this? Why do people feel the need to point out that “time is ticking” or that I need to get on Internet dating or that they can set me up with their brother’s girlfriend’s cousin’s best friend?

Please don’t invite me to dinner parties and ambush me with a single man of an appropriate age. I see what you’re doing and whether or not it’s out of misguided kindness, at the end of the day, society needs to realize that being single doesn’t automatically equal being available. These are two very different words.

Now, if God decides to drop the perfect guy right in my path and I can’t get around it, I won’t fight it. I’ll know it’s real, because I’ll be comfortable and happy. Until then, please let me get on with my life, my way, without trying to set me up.

Maree is a 32 yr old high school teacher with a combo of gypsy blood and rock & roll in her veins. She is a tomboy who is passionate about her christian faith and her family. Maree enjoys writing, reading, and going to gigs, as well as collecting sneakers and hospital wristbands. Maree is passionate about helping students cope with learning difficulties and helping them recognize their self worth. She is also an advocate for ‘Invisible Illnesses’ and loves her bed more than words can express.

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