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Being Single & Dating In 2019 as a Twenty-Something in a Big City

I've done plenty of posts throughout the course of the existence of this blog about the topic of being single, usually posted sometime around Valentine's Day, the arbitrary day of love and all things red and pink and admittedly extremely delicious candy. This is probably going to be a similar post, but also not really because this is coming from a completely different place. Well, not really. I'm still single. Except for this time I'm single, 23, and living in New York City, not a dateless college student who stares longingly at pictures of attractive, foreign boybanders on the internet. 

My friend group has always been split into two groups: people in committed relationships (I'm talking one year+ into the ole dating game) and singletons like me. Someway, somehow, I tend to gravitate towards people who are already in established relationships, no doubt my subconscious trying to find people who won't make me go out and get sloshed at bars and act as their wingwoman so I can keep my weekend nights to myself. All jokes aside, I'm used to being a third or fifth or seventh wheel. And genuinely, it doesn't bother me. It doesn't even phase me anymore, to be completely honest. 

Maybe years ago, it might've made me question my life a bit. This would have been no doubt because of a combination of deep-rooted insecurities and societal pressures to not be alone forever, yada yada yada. How I felt years ago isn't all that important right now. I'm tackling the popularly debated topic of love, relationships, and being single, especially in the digital age. And you constantly hear mixed things about dating nowadays. 

You should go out and meet people! Apps are trash! I found my boyfriend on Tinder and we've been dating for two years and have a dozen succulents and an adopted cat named Ruth Bader Gins-puuurr-g. Tinder is just for hookups! Bumble is the bees-neez. Bars are overrated. I feel bad for people trying to date today. Man, I wish I was single. I love Niall Horan with my whole heart and soul and no man will ever live up to those expectations. 

Okay, so the last one is straight out of my brain but we're just going to bypass that and continue on this lovely conversation about...whatever I decide it's going to be about.

I've been a bridesmaid in two of my friends' weddings, both of whom are my age. No tea, no shade, but I have known people that would have had a full on panic about this. Which is fine, that's their prerogative. My only thought was more of a hope that there'd be an open bar at the weddings so I could get hashtag LIT. If you were wondering, no I did not get lit at either ceremony, but that was the least of my worries when TWO LOVELY FRIENDS WERE YOU KNOW, GETTING MARRIED TO THEIR PEOPLE!!!

Everyone is on different tracks in life. My chapter at age 23 did not involve me getting married, which is fine. My chapter at 23 just seems to involve a heavy dose of swiping and trying to figure out if that dog in their photo actually belongs to them or if they just found a cute dog for a photo and knew it would hook, line, and sink me suckers like me. Which like, dope! 

My version of being single now feels more intentional than just how the cards have fallen. I could have put forth more effort in previous years, sure, but I just don't think I was ready mentally in terms of self-confidence and all of that mumbo jumbo that rules a majority of my life. But now? I mean, my makeup and hair looked good enough for me to pass for an 8 today so I'd say things in the self-confidence department are on the up-and-up with some ways to go.

Saying that I'm single by choice sounds like a really big bullshit excuse, one that no doubt deserves a side-eye and look of doubt. But that's just the truth. I've not sworn off all men, no matter how many times an hour I declare "men are trash!" to anyone who will listen. I'm just not looking for much in terms of, well, long-term. That seems like a really big commitment for a 23-year-old who consistently has very distinct "phases" throughout the course of her life because she cannot decide on a single thing long-term. I don't have an answer to one of those "where do you see yourself in five years?" questions. I just sort of stutter and stammer and make some kind of awkward joke about how I don't really know what to expect tomorrow.

This is also my excuse not to get a dog, but let's be real: I'd rather have a dog (especially a Corgi named Cheddar) than a boyfriend. Only one of them will inevitably break my heart! The other one will just give me cuddles and occasionally shit and piss on my floor, but only out of love. Just to be clear, the latter was referring to the dog, but if the shoe fits I guess...

Where was I? Oh right, I'm deliberately single. It's only fair, truly. I don't lead someone on, I get free time, and I have one less person in my life to set reminders on my phone to text back because my communication skills are just that terrible? Sounds like a deal to me!

The whole point of this post seems to just be one big advertisement for the fact that I'm single, as if every single other aspect of my life doesn't prove this (see: my Instagram Stories highlight 'Me Being Me') exact fact. I guess that's not the point of this. I'm not here to give you a bunch of dating advice, because that's not my area of expertise and my one piece of advice is always just "DUMP HIM!" so I wouldn't be much use anyways.

I'm not going to delve into the nitty gritty of my male encounters, even those that ended in an awkward one-armed hug at the end of the night before I legitimately sprinted off. Okay, sprinted is dramatic, but I felt like maybe I was walking much faster than usual...

This is a post sans divulging into my personal life and more just one celebrating the fact that like, hey, it's cool to be alone! It's a nice reminder, especially around this time of year. But hey, if you ever wanna embrace the single life, just listen to Ariana Grande's new album. That one really hits the spot! 

*bops to "break up with your girlfriend, i'm bored" on repeat*

Sweater: Bershka
Skirt: Bershka
Boots: Urban Outfitters
Sunglasses: Miu Miu

Photos by Emily Polner


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