Single and Fabulous. Exclamation Point.

I keep having these moments where the actions of others, or the lives they chose to live, stop me in my tracks and make me question what I’m doing.

It’s mostly guys I used to date, finding their way into my timelines and forcing me to notice that they’re married. Or living with their girlfriend. Or engaged. And these are the guys that I’ve filed into the category of “Ugh, I can’t believe that chapter of my life actually happened,” and yet my stomach turns a little, because if they’ve found their happiness, I can’t help but wonder why I haven’t found mine.

It’s a twinge of self-doubt that makes me put social media down and keep going. I know realistically, I’m not exactly out of time. I’m twenty-six. I’m so young. I know that. But it’s hard to not feel the pressure when you are surrounded by happy people with their happy spouse or fiancé buying their happy house, and it makes me look at my life like I’ve somehow screwed everything up.

When in reality, I have never been this happy, ever. I love my job. I just got back from four days in NYC for work that was an absolute dream (see last post) and I know that my career is just going to grow from here. I also know that even if I did meet someone who could potentially “be the one,” I’m not entirely sure I could give them my full attention right now. I’m not sure I’m capable of giving someone my full attention, and even if I could, I don’t think I’d like myself that way.

I had a lot of good talks in NYC over bottles of wine with my boss, a woman eighteen years my senior, about relationships and what I’m looking for, and she suggested I stop dating men in their twenties because I’m already ahead of them. She told me I’m too mature for twenty-six, and while that’s not a bad thing, men in their twenties are probably just going to disappoint me with their immaturity. She’s right, I am really over the idea of just “hanging out” with someone. And guys my age don’t seem to grasp that there is a difference between dating and being in a relationship. Although the couple of guys I’ve gone out with in their thirties haven’t exactly been what I was looking for either.

I just don’t think it’s my time yet. I’ve always pictured myself getting married in my thirties, and I still have three and a half years until I hit the beginning of that decade. I just hate that I occasionally feel like something is wrong with me, but on the flip side, you couldn’t pay me to be married right now. I’m having way too much damn fun building my own life. I just need to find a guy who’s doing the same.

So this is what I keep telling myself in these moments:

You do you. Stick to your guns. And if you occasionally have a meltdown about dying alone, then so be it. Freak out, get it out of your system, and then pick yourself up and get back to business, because this ladder that you’re climbing isn’t going to climb itself.

Moment of Humility.

I avoid dating because while I have become pretty good at managing my mind in normal single life, I have always been afraid that I’m not quite ready to let someone in again, and that trying to do that before I’m ready would unleash some old behavior.

And hey, I was right.

I don’t trust men. Chalk it up to daddy issues, blame it on the fact that almost all of my serious relationships have been extremely manipulative, it doesn’t matter. I don’t trust men. I also have a tendency to get paranoid when I’m not grounded.

I like to have the power. So I walk into relationships with men that I know are way more into me than I am to them. I never have to really open up, they just look at me with gleaming eyes and I get to stay safe, fully able to walk away unscathed if I decide that I’m bored.

And I always get bored. Because I’m just not that into them. The men that I fall head over heels for never want me. So I settle with the ones that do but I wind up bored or annoyed or bored and annoyed because I don’t view them as an equal partner.

“Why even date them?” is the logical question to ask.

Because I convince myself that I’m interested. Because I’m lonely. Maybe there is an inkling of attraction there. But I’m an all or nothing kind of person, and when things are right for me I’m 100% in and know to my core that it’s the right decision. If I’m “not sure” or “trying to figure it out,” then it’s not for me.

So I either talk myself into going out with someone I know is very interested in me or I let myself be talked into it by someone trying to set me up. Neither situation ever turns out well for the guy.

This is my dating pattern. I’m fully aware of it.

I’m sorry to all the guys that have been a victim of this. Y’all should start a club or something. I recently realized every single one of these relationships looked exactly the same, down to the personalities of the guys involved also being super similar.

I’m forcing myself to be hyper aware of it because I’m going to try my best to not do this again to someone. My next relationship is going to be with someone I truly care about and know I want to be with, and if that means there’s a decent chance that I could be truly heartbroken by it, then so what. At least I’ll know it’s genuine.