A perspective on singledom from both sides
A common pain point for many single men and women are the ‘lack of quality candidates’. I hear this comment so frequently that it causes me pain to hear the opposite sex say the same of each other!
The math just does not add up, for if it were really true, if there REALLY was ‘no one out there for me’, then people wouldn’t get married. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 113,535 marriages were registered in 2015 (source: abs.gov.au, 2016). There would’ve been a lot of dating to lead up to that number of coupledom, so perhaps the issue may be a bit broader than ‘not enough mates to date.’ Maybe it comes down to expectation and perspective of what we want in a partner.
In all fairness, I once had this attitude and as far as my eyes could gaze all I could see were married men, creepy men, flaky men and sociopath men. That lasted a while until finally the iron curtain fell and I realised that among the sea of men I had friends… Male friends… And lots of them. Soon, I realised that these guys were the ones I could be 100% myself with, confide in about anything and laugh/cry/laugh/scream at them (in that order) and still be friends. I thought, “Isn’t that just what I need in a man? A friend?” My world opened up, my perspective changed and finally, it started raining men.
ALL THE SINGLE LADIES
So let’s start with the ladies. Firstly, you know all those movies you watch? The Notebook, Pretty Woman (wow I am really showing my age!), Are We Officially Dating Yet and all those other rom-coms that unfold these beautifully galant stories about love conquering all obstacles in a pursuit beyond belief that is accompanied by a strategic mix of gushy songs that plays the emotions. LIES, it’s all lies. Hollywood are spinning lies about what love and relationships are because they serve as a comforting alternative to the ‘real thing’. The fact is, the real thing, REAL LOVE is often messy, confusing, sometimes a little mundane and there is no background music.
And that goes for the lead role ‘man who wins your heart’ – he doesn’t exist! The perfect culmination of strength, compassion, talent, firm abs, charisma, sensitivity, articulation, good hair and intellect is not possible in one man. Some of these traits are even mutually exclusive! So, maybe it’s fair to say that you need to manage your expectations and not demand perfection. Sure, pick a few things that you like, but when that ‘list’ runs past five fingers it’s time to stop and have a reality check.
I always say to my single friends (who, might I add are all STUNNING), “You’ve probably already met him. You just haven’t given him a chance.” I had a rule in single days to always ALWAYS say yes to a date – no matter how awkward the situation or how unattracted I was – and go on a date at least twice. The first time is often just weird and doesn’t really count. Second, third, fourth… You start learning some remarkable things about that person and become pleasantly surprised.
The fact is, the real thing, REAL LOVE is often messy, confusing, sometimes a little mundane and there is no background music.
And also consider this: what do you need in a future man when you have a six month old on your hip and a toddler at your ankles? A smooth talker? A six pack? Exceptional musical talent? NO!! You need a guy who is faithful, responsible, mature and DOMESTIC!!!! And I think all those things sums up a FRIEND (except the domestic part but men can be very easily house trained).
Think about all the ups and downs in life and the best person who can be by your side. James Bond, Fabio, Casanova, Genghis Kahn, JFK, Hugh Hefner and all the other womanisers throughout history are not known for taking little Mary to jazz flute recitals / Johnny to soccer practice, changing nappies, paying bills and taking the rubbish out on bin night. Lovers that aren’t your friends will magically disappear into never-never-land when sh*t hits the fan, hardly ready to be a listening ear or supporting shoulder when you’re ugly crying over massive or minute issues in your life. See exhibit A below:
So, gorgeous girls: choose your friends wisely. Choose your lover with due diligence and don’t be afraid to phone a friend for a character check 🙂
SHE FRIEND-ZONED ME!
Guys, all I can say is this. If a girl friend zones you, then take that as a good start towards something that could potentially grow. Don’t get annoyed and give up after week numero uno of ‘pursuing’ a girl because it’s taking too long. Girls aren’t apps that are downloaded in 30 seconds. Be patient! Friendships and relationships are organic, they need to be nurtured and cultivated so they can grow. It will probably take some time for the girl to take you out of the friendship box and even consider putting you in another box (don’t be stalking now – you don’t want the criminally registered perverts box). So, take the time to sow. It is a universal rule that whatever you sow shall be reaped – sow kindness, selflessness, genuineness and it shall come back to you. Maybe not in this person, maybe via someone else. But remember, slow and steady wins the race.
Now, it is also worth pointing out that personal grooming, good manners and confidence is of utmost importance here. Deodorant is your friend. Being kind to waiters and anyone in the service industry will get you brownie points. And lastly, confidence is that one differentiator that will show her that you are OK with who you are. And why shouldn’t you be? You’re a guy. Guys (generally) are funny – girls love that stuff. Guys are courageous – girls go nuts over that. Put yourself in the firing line because if you don’t, potentially you’ll be in the 12 items or less supermarket line for a very long time. Accept that you will be rejected, but that you will also be accepted, but you have to be in it to win it. It’s like the lottery, except you actually have a chance – a very good chance – of winning a prize!
I’m signing off and my final words are: Ladies, get over yourself and go date that ‘just a friend’ man who you trust and love spending time with. Gents, get some confidence and if it’s not the right time to have the DTR (define the relationship) conversation yet then just be a patient and sincere friend. On both ends, I truly believe there is a lot more to gain than lose when we step out into something that’s a bit scary and risky and isn’t that what life is all about?
In summary, an honest poem by me:
May your first conversation be awkward
May your laughter be over-exaggerated because the jokes are so bad
May your pupils dilate when you make eye contact
And may you check your phone only once every minute for a message from bae, but it’s only your mum asking how to connect Netflix to the interwebs