I DON’T WANT A BOYFRIEND.
OR A GIRLFRIEND.
OR A PET.
OR A FUCKING PLANT.
I swear to God, everyone and their mother decided that this was the week that they should tell me that I need a boyfriend or a husband. Everyone has this perfect guy that I should meet. Wouldn’t I make the most bestest mom? Maybe I should by myself an animal.
I don’t want it. I reject your fragile and ignorant attempts to make my life look and act like yours. I don’t care if you’re happy. I don’t care if being married and having kids has given you a direct line to the red phone in God’s office. I don’t care. I know who I am and what I’m about.
First, I don’t want to date. I’m not saying that I don’t find men attractive. I’m not saying that there aren’t times in my life when I’ve thought, “Sex sounds awesome right now.” But here’s the thing, I’m selfish. I don’t want to care about someone to the extent dating them would force me to care. I don’t want to share my secrets with anyone or share with them my deepest hopes and fears. That to me is weakness. I don’t want anyone knowing that much about me. I hate the idea of that. It doesn’t seem right. It’s the social version of this:
Second, I don’t want kids. I’ve never come across a single child that’s not made me go, “And that’s why I don’t want children.” I’m not just talking about holy terrors. I’ve come across really cute kids, genuinely adorable sweethearts whose souls are full of shyness and Care Bear farts. I still look at them and my body growls, “fuck that shit.” I don’t want kids on a visceral level. I might hate them. At least, I hate the idea of sacrificing my life to rotten little assholes who won’t love me for roughly two decades even though I’m the only thing standing between them and death, and then when they do finally love me, they’ll spend the rest of my life calling me eighteen times a day. I can’t handle that. I can’t. And I don’t have to. So I’m not going to.
Third, I’m still a good Christian. I have faults– an amazing amount of faults that at certain times have made me questions just exactly why God loves me or forgives me. Being single is not one of my faults. Not wanting to be a mother is not one of my faults. Despite the perpetuated myth, being married doesn’t make you a good Christian or a better Christian. Being a worthwhile human being is not reliant on someone else wanting to get into your pants, how many times you get into someone else’s pants, or for how long the so-and-so’s pants were gotten into. The sum total of anyone’s lives is not reliant on having a significant other.
Fourth, it’s not that I’m just not ready yet. I’m not on the relationship train heading through Single City on my way to the final destination of Marriage Town. I live in Single City. I’m not on a train. This is not a phase. I’m not in transition waiting to get over this huge block in my life or correct a huge flaw in my personality. It’s not even that “I might never be ready” because that’s insulting. I’m just not a relationship person. Don’t act as though I’m missing parts or pieces. I’m a whole person capable of intelligent thought. I’ve actually had a lot of intelligent thought, really hard and scary thoughts that resulted in me being honest with myself. I want to take a path less trodden.
Fifth, I’m just as scared as those facing a lifetime of marriage with one person. I have weak moments. I wonder if this is the life I should have. I grapple with my decision, questioning if it’s right. Being single is scary. I don’t have the same sort of built in support others have. My support is my family and friends and they live all over the place, and (albeit rightfully) I take at least second place to their significant other. I also know that when I’m old, I won’t have a spouse or a child to take care of me. When my parents pass away and maybe even my siblings, I’ll be the disintegrating old lady in a state nursing home. I probably won’t have any visitors either. That’s sad, yes, and very scary, but I refuse to get married simply to change that outcome.
You see, at my core, I know I’m being me. This is me, single and crazy and surprising angry and opinionated. I carry the primal feeling that I’m meant to be single and childless in the the same way others know they are meant to be with someone or be a mother. I’m a totally different kind of creature and, yes, I do feel as alien as some people think I am. I know I exist within a .01% group of humanity, those who truly feel called to be single and aren’t just saying that to mask the pain of being lonely. I mean, I can get lonely, but it’s not painful. It’s just like an internal clock that reminds me I should go visit Ashley or write Keri another letter. Being lonely isn’t bright and sunshiny, but it isn’t distressing and agonizing either. It reminds me I’m alive and that I’m blessed to have people who make me feel not lonely.
So please, please, please stop trying to find me a man, or any living thing that I need to take care of. I’m happy just taking care of myself. Also, please, please, please don’t be that dill hole that tells me to “ignore them!” or “set them on fire.” or “not care what they say.” I can’t ignore them; they search me out. I can’t set them on fire; they aren’t worth the jail time. And I do care what they say because it hurts and makes me feel like I’m less of a person. You can’t stop me from feeling that way. I know because I can’t stop myself from feeling that way.
Instead, maybe just say my feelings are valid; that you’re sorry people have trouble understanding my alternative lifestyle, but you’re really happy that I’m confident in who I am and you’re excited to see where that leads me.