If I were a good feminist, I would be happy about being single. I would celebrate it and I would scorn women who dreamed of being housewives and I would do fabulous single woman things like travel Europe on my own.
I am not a good feminist.
I am not incapable. I am strong, I am independent. I don’t need a man. I do, however, want one.
I want to be wanted. To be desired, lusted after and loved.
I want someone to say goodnight to. To sit next to on the couch, lost in our own worlds but not alone.
I’m always alone.
I am not unhappy about this. Don’t get me wrong. I like my life, I have it good.
But romance? It has never come easy to me. I have had fantastic boyfriends, relationships that inevitably and sadly and ego crushingly end in heartbreak. Some people are lucky in love and some people are me.
I have friends and cousins who have never been alone. The friend who has dated her boyfriend since she was fifteen. Nine years and happier than ever. The friend who moved back to this country two months ago and is already head over heels. The friend who dated her first boyfriend for five years, was single for a week and has been with her second for five years now too.
They just moved in together.
I tend to put at least a year in between relationships. This time it’s been longer.
It’s easier when you have single friends, which I do have. And as a result, I tend to spend a lot more time with them. I feel bad about this. I don’t spend as much time with some of my oldest friends as I should, as I would like to.
I feel like Bridget Jones. We have these lovely girls evenings with wine and Pimms and sumptuous meals (cooked by our former chef friend) and inevitably the discussion of engagement rings and wedding venues and you need to start saving because I’m getting married in Mauritius in two years crops up.
And I sit there in silence. I have nothing to contribute and, quite frankly, I’m not interested.
What I am interested in is my new job, my new career path. Making a success of myself. Saving for New Years in Rio and not a wedding in Mauritius.
I’m interested in meeting new people, exploring new social circles, saying yes to first dates and hoping that someone in the midst of all this will be the guy who’ll fish cat hair out my tea and rub my toes when my arthritis is acting up (I have arthritis in my toes. Anther story, anther day) and watch Matilda with me and think it’s cute that I know every word.
I am not interested in discussing engagement ring designs. I am not interested in discussing how I want the question popped. I am not interested in wedding budgets, venues and dresses. I am not interested in five year plans that end with quitting your job to be a homemaker. I am not interested because I have nothing to contribute.
I love my friends. I want to be supportive and when there is an actual wedding happening, I will be.
But for now, I will sit in silence and poke at my beef fillet and the next night I’ll go out with my single friends and I’ll dance and laugh and flirt inappropriately.
And then I’ll go home alone.
I don’t like to talk about weddings because it hurts, just a little bit.