My experience at the wedding I attended this past weekend has illuminated what is the most annoying/painful thing about being single (opens in new tab).
It is not the loneliness. I'm fine doing what I want whenever I want. In fact, now that I've mastered making coffee in my new French press, I officially don't have to leave my apartment again (opens in new tab).
It's not the unsatisfied craving for sex. I can get by without sex. I'm completely self-sufficient in that department, sadly (opens in new tab).
The worst thing about being single is the pressure from my family to get a girlfriend. What is it about people who settle down? They automatically play matchmaker as if their way is the only right way (opens in new tab).
It might even be even worse if I was a woman (opens in new tab). Apparently everyone must have babies at some point in their lives too (opens in new tab).
At the wedding, there were two single girls. Interestingly, the pressure to chat with these girls did not come from my parents. I believe they've given up by now.
The first girl, Jenn, was pushed on me by my older sister and my cousin-in-law. Before the push-off, my cousin-in-law (he was a bit drunk) lectured me about how he knows I want to settle down and how I owe it to my family to do so (opens in new tab). It felt very medieval.
During dinner, my older sister called me over. Her judgment when she's drunk is terrible — plus, her kids weren't with her over the weekend, so she was doubly dangerous. I approached my sister, who was chatting with Jenn and, to my horror, my sister said: "This is Jenn. She's single."
How bad was that intro? It made it look my sister thought I needed help, and I was desperate to meet a girl. Actually, salads had just been served, and that's what I was really interested in at the moment. I stared longingly at my salad, which sat at my empty seat.
I wasn't attracted to Jenn. As my little sister thankfully told my older sister: "Jenn is not Rich's type."
And I hate to seem rude, but I didn't think Jenn was cute (opens in new tab), and I wondered if my older sister thought that Jenn was the best I could do.
The remainder of the evening, my cousin-in-law continuously asked why I wasn't with Jenn, and urged me to be more aggressive (opens in new tab). But no one even thought to ask if I was interested in Jenn.
I was at a family wedding for 24 hours in San Diego. In order for me to try for this girl (who lived in D.C., by the way (opens in new tab), so I don't know what the ultimate point was), she'd have to be gorgeous and awesome. I wasn't just going to cut out with some girl when I was at a family wedding (opens in new tab).
I thought my little sister was "getting it" when she told my older sister that Jenn wasn't my type. But later on my little sister tried to get me to talk to the other single girl. She said: "Oh, this girl is so cool and pretty — admit it."
She was, but I noticed that her legs were straight and not curvy and that was enough for me. If I'm not attracted completely to a girl (opens in new tab), I'm not going to try. There's no point in settling that way.
By now, my family thinks I'm stunted in attracting and going after women. This blog is proof enough that they are right in a sense (opens in new tab). But, I am not so bad that I won't try if I find an attractive girl. In fact, I get so excited I announce it to whoever is around when I think a girl is hot.
I thought my family, more than anyone else, understood my "Prix Fixe Menu" theory. I don't like going to restaurants when they have that menu laid out for me. I go to a restaurant because I like what they have, and I can choose to order what I like.
This idea of "we have to help Rich get a girl" makes me feel stupid and inadequate. I'm the first to admit that I'm clueless and need help. I like advice, but I don't want hand-holding (opens in new tab). And it's even more annoying when the family tries to "fit the square peg in the round hole" like the Jenn thing: I'm just not attracted to most women (opens in new tab), so why should it be forced or assumed?
For those of you who are single, does your family pressure you to settle down? And what about those of you who are settled — do you find yourself trying to "help" your single friends? What's the worst thing about being single? Can it possibly be worse than the pressure to settle down?
Follow me on Twitter:twitter.com/richravens (opens in new tab)
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