I’m writing this post from my bed.
I’m un-showered, even though I came home from CrossFit three hours ago.
I’m slugging back red wine and crushing a party size-serving of chips and salsa.
I turned my phone on silent an hour ago, just so I would stop checking to see if the guy I like has responded to the text I sent earlier.
Needless to say, I dont think you get much more single than this.
There are nights when I rejoice in it, and there are nights when I sulk in it.
Tonight, its the latter.
But as I sit here, elbow-deep in a bag of Tostitos and knuckles clenched around a topped-off glass of wine, I cant help but be grateful for this single life Ive been living for almost a year now.
Its an unexpected and for me unwanted learning experience.
I say its “unwanted” because Im the relationship type.
Ive never had a one-night stand (nor will I ever).
I like commitment.
Dating gives me anxiety because I never know what to say or do.
Should I text him first? Will he text me?
Whats the right emoji to use? Should I even use an emoji?
Let me screenshot this and send it to all my friends to see if its okay.
What should I wear?
Unwanted or not, Im on one hell of a self-learning curve.
I think its so important for every woman to have this bittersweet journey, especially in her20s.
Im learning when to keep my guard up and when to let it come crashing down.
Im learning how to be patient.
I’m learning what I like and what I dont.
Im learning so much about myself because Im finding time for myself.
Im trying new things.
I’ve joined CrossFit and hot yoga, and I quit some unhealthy habits that were crippling my self-esteem.
Ive tried tons of new restaurants completely free, thanks to first dates.
But besides learning about myself, Im learning a lot about the dating pool.
Let me tell you this: When they say there are plenty of fish in the sea, it’s true.
But the ones you want to catch are really, really hard to find. They’re borderline nonexistent.
Ive met tons of guys ranging in age, profession, personality, height, hobbies, etc.
However, after dozens and dozens of dates and hundreds of right swipes that have amounted to nothing, Ive been able to put a label on just about every single one.
Ive boiled them down to six main categories:
1. The Ex
When one relationship ends, its so easy to look back at a previous ex and question why that relationship didnt work out either.
Call it delusion or curiosity, but it always seems like a logical first step when youre single.
So, if youre both single, why not give it another whirl?
Its comfortable. Its fun.
Its your opportunity to double-check hes really not the one who got away.
When my high school sweetheart found out that my recent ex and I had ended things, he came back into my life the same way he left it: like a tornado, leaving a path of destruction in his wake.
Without getting into details for his sake (and his girlfriends, whoops), the verdict was we broke up for a reason.
Thats always a validating feeling.
In the words of my inner spirit animal, Taylor Swift, we are never, ever getting back together. Like, ever.
But hey, like I said, it cant hurt to double check.
2. The Non-Committal Charmer
Hell tell you youre exclusive, but he won’t ever make you his girlfriend.
He’ll monopolize your free time to ensure you dont spend time with anyone else, but he wont commit.
Youll never meet his friends or family, so dont even try.
He is in complete control of the relationship because you let him be.
His charm, wit and personality compel you to stay.
His goal is to perpetually keep your relationship in a hostage situation.
You want to see other people, but you dont want to put what you have at risk because its comfortable and fun.
Youre convinced that at some point, hell come to his senses.
So, youre going to want to quit while you’re ahead. Dont waste any time.
3. The Egotistical PrickWho Plays On Your Heartstrings
Is it rough to call these people sociopaths?
Theyll do everything they can to make you like them in a short period of time.
Theyll cook you your favorite dinner, buy you nice wine and compliment you on the weird things you wish people would notice.
They make it so easy to let your guard down.
Then, one day, theyll just stop talking to you.
Theyll give you some bullsh*t excuse like theyre just “not ready for a relationship right now, or they really like you, and “it scares” them.
No, you just needed an ego trip. Or, you needed to get laid.
These types of guys are the reason all women are a little hesitant, confused, broken and yes crazy.
There are plenty of them out there.
4. The Former Frat Guy Who Just Cant Let Go Of College
In my opinion, these guys are the absolute worst.
This is mainly because they dont even realize theyre being the absolute worst. The naivety isnt at all charming.
He doesnt have to be a frat guy. Hes just the guy who loves college.
He cant grow up.
He loves his boys and beer pong more than he loves his job. He knows more about chugging beers than investing in a 401(k).
He has no idea how to start or maintain a conversation. His career path is questionable.
He most likely has the life goal of being a stay-at-home dad.
Thats what she said jokes are far too common, and he finds them far too funny.
While I personally havent gone on a single date with one of these guys, they exist in the masses.
So good luck, female young professionalsof America who thought men matured after college.
AsI say to my dad, “Im looking for the smartest idiot over 25.”
5. The One Youre Just Not That Into
These, for me, are the most common.
Then again, I think they’re common for everyone.
If we were into every person we met, there wouldnt be anyone special, right?
But sometimes, you really want to like someone.
He hasa great job. You love hisfriends and family. He’s funny.
You have everything in common. You can text all day and never run out of things to talk about.
Your Snapchat exchanges keep you laughing all day long.
He’s proud of you. He cares about you.
Youre even a perfect match (according to the stars).
But, you just arent into this person, no matter how hard you try to be.
While relationships take effort, you should never force yourself to fall for someone because you think you’d be great together.
It’s a recipe for disaster and heartbreak, and that’s one sad situationI won’t ever willingly walk into.
So when you find yourself in this kind of mess, you have to break the ice.
It’s unfair to string the other person along when he’s clearly feeling all the emotions you wish you could.
When you’re dating someone youre not into, but whom you love as a human being, breaking the ice is a double-edged sword.
You both end up hurt and bummed.
Every person I talk to tells me the one will walk into my life when I least expect it.
It wont be because I spent my entire lunch break swiping left and right (mostly left).
It wont be because I asked my co-workers, friends, family and acquaintances if they know someone else whos completely exhausted by the routine dating scene.
It certainly wont be because I got drunk enough to get the nerve to walk up to a guy and strike up a random conversation.
No way, not me.
Im told Ill meet someone in a sweet form of serendipity.
Ill accidentally spill my coffee on him at Starbucks.
Well bond over the fresh produce at Trader Joes.
Well be at the same bar for happy hour.
Something will happen.
When that something does, in fact, happen, all those heartbreaks, mistakes, moments of weakness and feelings of guilt will wash away.
You won’t question whether your guard should be up or down. What or when to text won’t be a thought.
Everything will slip into place.
Because as everyone always says, “When you know, you know.”
So until then, my advice to every single woman out there is this: Be a lady.
Be fearless, but not careless.
Be willing to love and unafraid to get hurt.
Put yourself out there. Learn to love yourself.
Discover hobbies that fill your time.
But this is the most important piece of advice of all: Never ever settle for any of the five who come before “the one.”