In case we haven’t met yet: Welcome to my blog. My name is Krysti. I write all about being single on the public internet. Who knew this would be my life, but here we are.
It’s pretty weird being “that girl who writes about singleness” – but here I go again reinforcing that title, right? The strangest thing to me about being single is how little we talk about being single. Besides, of course, how much we talk about singleness being so hard and singleness being so lonely and singleness being the worst. And then of course we (and by ‘we’ I mean ‘married people’) talk about season of singleness and how to pray your way through and how to persevere and oh, wait, we’re back to talking about how singleness is the worst again.
I think we need to start talking about it more. At the very least, so I’m done being typecasted as the one weirdo who keeps doing so. If we talked about singleness more, if we all shared our experiences, maybe I would have known these things ahead of time. Instead they caught me completely off guard….
People Congratulate You for Strange Things
Right about the time my 50/50 split of married friend and single friends took a sharp turn to more of a 80/20 divide, I started getting really weird comments like “It’s so great you’re happy for them!” and “so-and-so mentioned how supportive you’ve been during the engagement, which I think is so wonderful!”
I’m all for a stop at affirmation station, but I don’t see any of my married friends being thanked for being happy for a newly engaged friend. I don’t see any of my married friends being told in hushed tones how wonderful they are for being supportive. I’m real sick of people assuming being single means being miserably, unhealthily, vindictively single. Yes, I can be completely single AND supportive of my friend. Yes, I can have no boyfriend AND be happy my friend is in love with hers. These are not mutually exclusive things.
I also get congratulated for going to friends’ weddings. “That is so sweet of you to go!” “Wow, I bet they really appreciate you being there.” Uhhh didn’t know my lack of a plus one made me a VIP wedding guest. I guess I did save them an extra $50 on a second plate, but still. Please stop acting like me celebrating a friend’s exciting new life stage deserves a trophy.
I even get applauded for hanging out with people. As I’ve mentioned, we’re now at the point in life where more of my friends are married / coupled off than not – which means hanging out with groups of people I love can sometimes mean fifth, seventh, or even ninth wheeling. “It’s so great you’re still friends with [insert group here].” “Wow, looks like you all had fun the other night – glad you decided to go.” Ya, I HANG OUT WITH MY FRIENDS. Why is this shocking and in need of affirming?
I basically get congratulated for being a human and it’s weird.
People Apologize for Their Life Looking Different than Yours
A really fun moment that happens a lot in my life is when a married / engaged / married-dating friend has to go to a wedding / birthday party / big important event sans their significant other, and are complaining to me about the inevitable awkwardness that will be braving a social event solo. At some point in said complaint, they realize who they are talking to – me! A single! A person who survives social events solo every damn day! – and they become all flustered and apologetic and try to tell me how it really won’t be so bad after all, ha ha ha, they actually miss being single, isn’t it so fun? Right? Maybe? Wowwww let’s change the subject.
Or a friend will come over for dinner and they’ll try to help with the dishes afterwards, and which point I’m a great hostess and say you don’t have to do those. And they laugh me off and say you know the rules: one person cooks, the other person cleans! At which point I remind them, actually, I’m single, so both jobs fall to me daily. Oh, that’s not what I – I mean, some people – well. You know. Huh. Dinner was so good!!!
Here’s the thing, married friends: our lives are allowed to look different. In fact, I would assume they look different in some contexts. You are allowed to complain to me, or talk to me, about said differences, because it’s your life. If we’re friends, I actually want to hear about it. If we’re not friends, please don’t talk to me, because I’m really bad with strangers.
I get it can be uncomfortable to realize you’re talking about very-married-things to your very-single friend – but you never have to apologize about it. If you’re married and have gone to the last 17 weddings with your spouse, I imagine it would be awkward to go to one alone! You don’t have to apologize to me because you normally have a wedding date! You don’t have to apologize to me because you normally only do half of the cooking. You don’t have to apologize to me you have another person legally bound to be in your life.
Okay, but speaking of only doing half the cooking…
Grocery Shopping and Meal Prep is Pretty Dang Hard
Did you know grocery stores are actually set up with families in mind? And all those Pinterest recipes feed 4-6, which I bet is real handy when you’re cooking for a family – or if there’s two of you and ta-da perfect dinner for tonight and leftovers for lunch tomorrow for both of you! But when you’re cooking for one, suddenly you have the next 6 meals of exactly the same thing. And let me sound fully privileged and spoiled and annoying: I’m not a big fan of leftovers.
I got this fancy Instant Pot for Christmas and made this really delicious meatloaf and mashed potatoes (all in one pot!) – that I then had EIGHT TIMES THAT WEEK. Cooking for one feels wasteful (buying all these ingredients, using half), time consuming (so much work for ONE meal?!), and exhausting. There are weeks I’ve considered putting an ad online for a “boyfriend” where the basis of our relationship is once a week we swap meals we’ve prepped. (Wanted: single male. Must be: decently frugal & own glass pyrex. Can’t be: a serial killer or gluten free.)
Once-Single, Now-Taken Friends Don’t Know How to Deal with You
When all your friends are married, you have your set single friends who are great and understand the nuances of texting a cute boy or awkward first non-date dates (“we’re just hanging out….?!”) and the like. (Married friends, you have great advice and all, but the last time you texted a cute boy for the first time was literally years ago and it is now 2018.) Single friends are great.
But some single friends suddenly become not single. Which is really exciting and wonderful, but it’s like they feel the need to apologize-without-apologizing that they are no longer part of your single club. This something that needs no apology (see above). Especially in the early stages of new relationships, where everything is so exciting and so new and I want to hear all the details – and it’s like they are scared to tell you how happy they are. Or ashamed of finding said happiness. Or are worried talking about their happiness in front of me is not allowed for some strange reason.
So many people warned me when your friends get married, your relationship with them changes. So far, my friendships with married friends have been great. Its my single-turned-dating friends that don’t know what to do with me anymore.
You’re Told to Keep Your Standards High
…but are strangely constantly reminded of everyone who doesn’t
Y’all, this is weird. But sometimes people in my life enter into new, not-so-great relationships and people keep reminding me of what they did to land their new relationship. Hint hint hint.
“It seems pretty serious! So exciting for her! I hear they really like each other!”
“Oh, cool. I thought he wasn’t a Christian….?”
“I hear they really like each other!!!!”
I am not hating on Christians dating non-Christians. You do you. But I find it really strange that I am always encouraged to fight the good fight and not settle for anything less than what I deserve… yet as soon as someone else lands a relationship it’s shoved in my face like maybe I’m just doing something wrong and should learn, from their example, the error of my ways.
I am constantly told to keep my standards high. To know what I want and to not settle for less. To keep doing what I’m doing. And yet people around me enter into less than ideal relationships and it’s suddenly WELL LOOK AT THEM, MAYBE TRY WHAT THEY’RE DOING.
You aren’t Allowed to Explain to People You Actually Enjoy Your Life
Whenever the topic of singleness comes up when I’m chatting with people one-on-one or catching up with a group of friends, I try to share where I’m currently at with it. Oh, I was dating so-and-so but this-and-this happened. Wow, I’ve been on so many dates lately. Goodness, I haven’t been on any dates lately. Whatever it is, as soon as the word single has left my lips it becomes this strange we’re-listening-but-we’re-pitying-you. Or I-hear-your-words-but-I-think-you’re-lying. Or even this-sweet-girl-she-sure-is-in-denial.
There’s this unfun assumption that if you don’t have a romantic interest at the moment, your life is a little less than. And it doesn’t matter how you personally feel about it – we all see your life as less than and are going to sympathize with you for being less than. We aren’t going to judge you or assume unkind things of you for being single – but we are going to all agree on being single as being less than. Okay? Okay.
I don’t understand this. Not only am I not allowed to like being single, I’m not even allowed to have valid thoughts to share on my singleness – it has already been decided for me how I feel. Even if I am saying the exact opposite, it’s seen as me attempting to cope with my sad, pitiful life. Bless her soul, she’s trying to convince herself she likes being single!
Unless, of course, I am asked to write an article or walk on stage and talk about singleness. Then it’s like PREACH, KRYSTI. YOU TELL ‘EM, GIRL. Apparently I can be okay with singleness on stage, but not in real life. Cool.
If I’m being honest, this is so disheartening and frustrating and belittling. It makes me extra thankful for the friends in my life who know me and let me love being single some days and hate it other days and feel ambivalent about it most days. The friends who hear the words actually coming out of my mouth make up for the people who placate me, nodding their heads, while silently brainstorming who to set me up with.