Making The Case For The Single Guy
The running joke amongst my friends is that people who are married (or hell, even people in a committed monogamous relationship) absolutely hate their single male friends. I know this is true because they are always trying to set me up on dates with their co-worker, or college friend, or sister’s ex-roommate’s cousin, in the hopes that I will find true love and therefore no longer be single.
It comes across as sweet enough—they want me to feel the same level of spiritual and emotional connection with another person that they share. But there’s a part of me that distrusts their innocent intentions. Like Tom Sawyer convincing his cronies to whitewash the fence, my well-meaning buddies are trying to get me to share their burden and pick up the chore that they’ve decided to tackle.
Misery loves company, after all. But I’m not buying what they’re selling.
I love being single. The freedom, the autonomy, the control I have are irreplaceable. I’m never more than two hours away from a spontaneous road trip or weekend away. When friends have an extra ticket to a show, sporting event, or theater production, I’m always the first one they call because I always say YES. If I see an attractive girl, I don’t have to pretend not to notice her. I walk right up and introduce myself. Unlike my romantically involved friends, I never have to check my schedule with anybody else. I never have to refuse a social invitation because I am obligated to spend more one-on-one time with somebody I already live with. I know there are definitely perks to having someone you love share your day-to-day life and responsibilities, but I’m just not convinced that they are more valuable than the perks I already have now.
According to my mother, I’m just “finding my way.” My uncle says I’m sowing my wild oats before “some gal slaps the chains” on me, and my brother believes that I’ll “just never grow up.” But I’m not so sure.
There will always be overgrown man-children with Peter-Pan complexes who are too afraid to settle down, but I assure you, I’m not one of them. I am not scared of romantic commitment. I am simply averse to the concept. My life is full and ebullient. I share it with friends and family, whom I love dearly. I’m not lacking in affection or emotionally meaningful bonds. I have no parental issues to speak of—I meet my mother every Sunday morning for church. Children love me, and I love my little cousins more than anything in the world. I do not fear change, I actively embrace it.
Instead of defining who I am by being the “other half” of a couple, I am able to adapt and change to each new casual partner I see, date, or sleep with, according to her needs. I am whoever she wants or needs me to be. Until I want to be something else.
The stereotype of the 30-year old frat-boy prolonging his adolescence by bedding as many women as he can before one of them ropes him into marriage will always persist. In truth, I never lie to get laid. I never deceive my partners, and I’m very upfront about my decision to remain unattached. I’ve never cheated on any girl in my life, and I don’t plan to. I’m not notching numbers on a bedpost to brag to my friends. I’m making connections with as many interesting and attractive people I can. Sometimes, that connection is physical. Sometimes, it isn’t.
To be honest, it’s just easier for people to think that men like me are simply overgrown 15-year-olds without the spine to make a strong and lasting commitment to anybody but themselves. While I’m sure the criticism fits a certain percentage of single dudes, there are also a growing number of intelligent and thoughtful men (and women) who are simply enjoying the fact that men and women are on a much more level playing field these days.
We’re finally reaping the benefits of sexual liberation and the closing of the wage gap. When women set their own sexual standards and earn their own money, everybody wins. We no longer “need” to marry one another for sexual or financial security. And that’s a great thing.
A woman will not date me for my car, my apartment, or my job because I never use them as sexual marketing tools. If a girl likes me, she likes me for the way I make her smile, for my laugh, for the feeling she has in her stomach when we part company for the first time—not for any superficial bullshit that other guys have used to “sell” themselves to her in the past.
Women who are just as smart, successful, and sexual as I am don’t fall for tricks, pick-up lines, or insincere posturing. These women don’t intimidate me. They turn me on. And meeting as many of these women as possible and establishing connections with them—be it intellectual, spiritual, or physical—is my favorite thing to do. And my favorite reason for remaining single.
Because how could I marry just one? Each person I meet brings out a new and exciting aspect of my own personality, challenging me to broaden my definition of myself to create more common ground with people who fascinate me. Sipping dollar beers at an open mic in Brooklyn can be twice or half as much fun as a “Fashion and Finance” mixer at Tavern on the Green. The crowds are polar opposites, but I’ve met charming and challenging women at both venues who have brought out the best in me.
I can’t say for certain that I’ll ever find one woman who will be everything I need her to be (it’s unfair to ask that of anyone), so I’ll continue living the single life and simply hope that my married friends don’t hate me too much.