I hear it all the time: HOW ARE YOU SINGLE?!
Also, if you’re a close female friend of mine: I’d date the shit out of you if I was a man.
Both of these things are equal parts great and hilarious. My friends know how to make me laugh and boost confidence at the same time. Sometimes the former comes from people getting to know me. I credit this to my ability to enchant most everyone. I’m a people-person who likes to make others feel good.
Dating, in summary, is frustrating. Most of the time, I find myself bitching about how I seem to be the only interesting one on most of my dates. I’m so largely un-captivated by everyone, and just independent enough to not give a fuck if there’s a man in my life. I want to take a vacation? Neat. I’ll book a trip by myself, or hop in the car and day trip somewhere close. I want to go camping, but no one else can go? Cool. I’ll grab my hammock and hoof it deep into the woods, disconnect my smart devices, climb a tree, and stare at the stars (which I’ve actually done, and it was amazing).
Inevitably, after months of trying, failing and growing general disdain for an entire process now riddled with fuckboys and fakes who say a lot of shit they don’t really mean (this is my least favorite), I finally had an epiphany: Why am I spending so much effort on people I don’t know, making that such a priority, when I have a life full of wonderful, awesome people that I already know I like whom I could be spending time with instead?
And right then, I decided to stop putting all that effort toward dates, to spend more time cultivating strong, healthy, loving friendships with people who already matter. And you know what? Best relationships I’ve ever had.
I’ve become great friends with a girl I knew casually through an organization. We make it a point to see each other once a week and call each other often, even though we live ten minutes apart. She’s one of the most supportive, loving, fun, kind, kick-ass individuals. I make it a point to make time for her and vice versa, and she’s generally all the qualities in a friend that I try to provide for others. She rocks. I’m making time to see “extended family” and regularly pursue meet-ups with friends who are insanely busy. I want these people to know that they matter now because eventually, we will be in different places. I want to have those friends all across the country who matter. And who feel like they matter.
We live in such an easy time, where the convenience of communication makes it all too effortless to take each other for granted. I’ve noticed relationships have become more about convenience than care, where actual effort and fostering a strong bond with someone seem to fall by the wayside. We take for granted the idea that someone is a “text away,” and with that, we throw their feelings out with those sporadic messages.
I’m dating the fuck out of my friends, and my life has been damn great as a result. I feel happier and things seem grander because I’m so busy filling my days with really great people. And my dates are far more enjoyable because I know the bad ones will give me lots of fun stories to laugh over with the people I’m really committed to: my freakin’ fantastic friends.