HOST INTRO: Love, marriage, kids – these are things most people they’ll one day have. But what might a life look like without them? Rebecca Scott reflects.
My parents are still married and not unhappily. This is ironic because when I talk about love, I sound like a poster child of divorce. I am the highly educated single woman the New York Post loves to remind will die alone because she went to college. But my singlehood can’t be attributed just to a scarcity of resources. I never had a high school boyfriend, a college boyfriend, a post-college boyfriend. I had an elementary school boyfriend for two weeks once but we don’t talk about that.
I’m 27 and I’ve never been in a relationship.
Most people are surprised to hear this. And It’s comforting to know the general public thinks you’re cute enough for long-term commitment. But then they ask me why. I used to tell them I don’t know but that answer is very, very upsetting for a lot of people. So now I just say there might be a reason but I can’t afford that many hours of therapy.
To be clear, my situation isn’t for lack of trying. The Lost Boys of Tinder feature prominently in my iPhone contact list. Ross. William. Ben. First name, followed by a period, is how they’re all saved. I can’t match every name to a face but some of them I’ll never forget. Like Graham, period. He kissed me in a stairwell before I had time to catch my breath from walking up four flights and, in that moment, I thought I would die. Of suffocation, not happiness. Or Ian, period, with whom I drank two whole bottles of wine at a fancy jazz club on a work night. We spent the whole time arguing about whether or not free will exists. The next day, I exercised my own by never texting him back.
Most of my friends are in relationships. They’ve recently started taking big steps with their significant other, like signing an apartment lease and starting P90-X together. I see them less than I used to and soon I’ll see them even less than that. This is what happens. People grow up and fall in love. They have two and a half kids. Their lives become consumed by doctor’s appointments and parent-teacher conferences and picking little Martin up from a sleepover in the middle of the night because of his bed-wetting problem.
We live in a world where Love with a capital L isn’t just a thing – it’s the thing. And, until recently, it was something I assumed I would have. Marriage, kids, a semi-isolated family unit where blood ties reign. It’s society’s favorite roadmap – and while it doesn’t lead everyone to happiness, it at least makes a person feel like they’re going somewhere.
As if this world doesn’t already do everything it can to convince women they’re bad drivers, failing to pass these landmarks sometimes makes me feel like I’m on my way to being really, really lost. But then I remember the old adage: marriage is hard work. I think maybe that’s because we expect it to save us from this feeling – and we’re surprised when it doesn’t. Maybe we’re all lost. Which means, maybe, that none of us are. Who knows – I might end up alone or I might meet someone tomorrow. Either way, it’s comforting to know that I can eat an entire pizza by myself.
OUTRO: Rebecca Scott is currently in the market for a vulnerable single man who will come over to fix her broken dishwasher.