A couple of weeks ago, my high school reunion served as yet another reminder that I'm part of a dying breed: the single guy. My peers are all ahead of me, and I'm even being lapped by some.
Unfortunately, my high school reunion opened up some sad thoughts. But I did stay at my parent's house, and I must say that getting to go to Chic-Fil-A did numb the pain a bit.
Our outdoor event on campus was an interesting place to have this all set in. It wasn't too long ago that I'd be leaving campus on a crispy Autumn Friday afternoon thinking about whatever girl I happened to be into. In those days, I had so many romantic goals, but I've realized that these goals have not been met.
When I was younger, I promised myself that I'd only have sex with five women in my entire life. Not only have I surpassed five, but I'm hard pressed to think of a woman on my "list" that I don't regret having sex with. I figure I'll just regret every single one until I meet the girl I marry, and then I'll wish she's the only girl I ever had sex with. But, maybe that's too traditional and I should deal with it-- everyone makes mistakes.
I also thought that I would have had some serious girlfriends by now. "Serious" meaning they'd be someone I'd take to a family holiday, someone that would inspire people to whisper to each other: "maybe they'll get married some day." Well, I haven't even come close. And I don't see much on the horizon either.
My reunion was rife with kids running around, which was scary. Now, it's one thing to have a kid. But now some of my friends have walking kids. I mean, that's like a mini human! I'm so far behind, I can't imagine having a child or being married, much less being told to meet on Sunday for brunch by a girl I've dated for a month.
I'm trying to decide if I'm a rebel for being single amongst my friends, or if I'm a loser. The fact of the matter is I'm probably a little bit of both. It's fun being one of the few guys who hasn't yet found love, but at the same time I wonder what is wrong with me...and I'm trying to decide if time is running out. Maybe I'll be one of those artistic NYC single guys who frequents coffee houses and art shows, too busy for marriage. On second thought, I'm not that cool, so I better hurry up and get hitched.
Many of my fears are based on time:
- Having my parents witness my wedding and children
- Have my children around my friend's children's ages so
they can be friends
- Having a kid while I'm still young enough to physically move
Women tell me that they feel more pressure to settle down because they can't have children as easily past a certain age. I don't feel pressure in that sense, but I do fear that my appearance and my "game" (not that either are working for me presently) will fade as I get older. So, do I have to put a rush order on finding that special someone?
My close friends are split: some are married with kids, some are living with girlfriends, and some are not close to anything serious. So, luckily, I don't feel too much pressure from them. It's only when I look at the progress of normal people when I realize I'm behind.
One of my best friends from college moved in with a significantly younger girlfriend a couple of years ago. Eventually, he found out she was cheating on him, and they broke up. He and I may move in together at the end of the summer, so we'll be back out on the town again. He told me that his ex "took everything." This is another tough situation. It's so risky to get deeper and deeper into something, only to have it blow up. You lose years you could have been cultivating a relationship with the right person.
In a sense, my friend and I will be starting anew when we move in together: senior singles on the social circuit. It will be fun failing, succeeding, and trying to figure things out with him. But, I hope that this noose that keeps tightening with every passing year of singleness doesn't add too much stress to the whole thing.
Do you feel added pressure to find someone because of your peers, or your age? What do you do to combat the pressure? What are the fears you have as you grow older while remaining single?