In this modern world, where dating comes in all shapes and forms, where all different apps are available at a drop of a hat. Where you can just download and start swiping for a potential mate - I mean why would someone choose to be single, when the choices are endless?
The story I am about to tell you, is one where there is no dating, no intimacy - nothing! Yes, ladies and gentlemen, this year is my eight-year anniversary of being single, and celibate!
I am thirty-one, a single mother to a daughter who is eleven years old and I have not had a partner for some time - insert blushing emoji here. I first became a single mother ten years ago, and since then, I have only dated one man. Why, you may ask? Well there is not one particular answer to that question, but what I will say is that I wanted to spend some time working on myself, my daughter and my career. Emphasis on the some, as clearly, some time, became years. And it never seemed to phase me. I am a woman who can be single and enjoy my own company, therefore my singleness has mainly been through choice.
Due to having my daughter at the young age of 20, I had to put my career on hold. When my daughter turned three, I took a leap of faith and decided to pick up where I left off, which was after I received my B-Tech in Performing Arts and an AS Level in Film studies from college. For me, studying has not been my excuse for not dating, it was more the case that I would never delve in a relationship that is not what I truly wanted. For me to begin dating, it would have to be with a man that would be mature and able to reciprocate love. Basically, someone who is invested in a committed relationship. Not just something casual.
The Date that never happened
A few years ago, I did however try a dating app site, out of sheer curiosity of course. I found out quickly that since I had been absent from the dating world, a lot had changed. Swiping was now a thing in order to find a potential date or partner. Women could now make the first move for once, I mean wow! Hashtag women power. But despite all this, I came to see the results were the same, the men were not my cup of tea! I would talk for weeks - but most men wanted to move so fast - within a day or so of talking, they wanted to meet. To go for a drink! Indeed, sex appeared to be on their brain. And so, the conversations stopped there.
An uncomfortable story from this new dating app world, was when I began talking to a man who was a writer like myself. We spoke for a couple of weeks. All seemed pretty much ok, until, dum dum dum, he announces that he has a wife! And not only that, but he was in a polyamorous relationship. Way to break the ice, a whole week later. He told me that it was easier and was less drama. Now, whatever preference a person has in the dating world is totally okay with me. If it brings you happiness, and you are being truthful with your relationship status then great. But, this way of dating was not for me.
Another story, from this same app, was when I was talking to a man who told me he was a teacher and that he had an ex-wife and a child who lived across the road from him. Straight away things seemed odd in our conversations and it was evident that he was still involved with his ex-wife.
It has become apparent that the dating world has not much improved since I was last in it. To be honest, I am certainly not missing out by the looks of it. But one thing is for sure, in all these eight years I have been both single and celibate, I have honoured myself and my values. I have focused on me, and my own self-love. I have become wiser and mature in my choices of potential partners. Many people are shocked when I tell them I have been single for eight years; they just cannot believe it. They say ‘Aww why?’ to which I say, 'well, to be honest, I have not come across someone I am into, which is someone who is down to earth, has integrity and is whole heartedly ready for commitment.' and until then I choose to be happy and to be single.
committed relationship, who is truthful and is down to earth.