Anyone who knows, or indeed follows me, knows my thoughts about being single. They know I’ll bring it up every second day or chuck it in every few posts or so, just to let them know my thoughts on the subject haven’t changed in the past few days.
They all know the main reason for my
concern obsession is that within our friendship group, for around eighteen months, I was the only single person. Those demographics have shifted somewhat now people have split up and new people have moved in and out of the group, but the roots had already been anchored in my head. I was the only single person, in the history of the world... ever!
The seed was almost certainly planted during my travels. There’s only so much eating alone in hostel common rooms, exploring cities on your own or burying valuables in the sand before going swimming that you can take before you seriously start to wonder if you are the only singleton in the entire universe. I have been single for 34 of the 38 months I have been in Melbourne and was 21 when I got out of my last serious relationship. I have dated in that time, who hasn’t? But alas, nothing ever passed the magic 4th date (although it did provide me with some rather interesting blogging material!) The last year has been a particularly substantial drought, during which time it only rained twice. It seemed everyone I met had a partner and those men sitting by themselves at the bar or in cafes were simply waiting on their beautiful girlfriends. I despaired and obsessed further, I was clearly destined to be single forever.
Forever the third wheel.
Forever at the head of the table.
Even this chair on Brighton Beach today was twisting the knife and reminding me that my book was not sufficient company...
Doesn't it make you a little bit sick?
Last week however, there was a storm, something that completely uprooted the tree and its roots. It was fast and sudden, almost tornado like in its nature and its ability to leave me spinning and reeling emotionally from it.
And no, before you ask, I did not meet anyone, or even get a kiss for that matter. I. Am. Still. Very. Clearly. Single.
I went to a friend’s birthday, it was a 20’s theme so I was very much enjoying getting my flapper on. It started mid afternoon and continued well into the night, and yes, we had all been drinking continuously during that time. The friend in question, The Fellow Brit, has a circle of friends that closely resembles a spirograph pattern, with lots of smaller circles branching off the centre. She is someone who does ‘girly girl’ friendships very well and doesn’t have a lot of male friends. The demographics of this particular event meant that everyone was in their groups of four or five and occasionally diffusing into other groups. There were only about two guys there, both with partners (see it’s the theory again!) I was happy and comfortable, warmed by wine and emitting a dangerously red glow as a result. Then at around 8pm, the whole vibe changed completely, and I do not exaggerate when I say this. My friend, The Free Spirit invited along her male friend, let’s call him Average Joe for the purpose of this post. Not to be derogatory or disrespectful here (because that’s not what we’re about!) but he was just a normal guy, not Comic Book Guy’s twin but there was nothing drop-dead-and-hope-you’ve-a-change-of-underwear gorgeous about him either. I’d actually met him once before, albeit briefly and he was a nice guy. To put it simply. He was a guy. A normal single guy, nothing more and nothing less.
It was with his arrival that the energy of the room and the mood of the party totally shifted. In that instant. A lot of the girls started standing up straighter and smiling coyly. They all began to direct all of their energy towards Average Joe. It really was quite unbelievable. One girl was particularly predatory, quite literally trebuchet-ing herself at him. The Free Spirit, who had earlier decided that The Maneater was her new BFF after a particularly engaging conversation over a cigarette, admired her “fiestiness” whilst I stood there, completely agog. This girl made Samantha Jones look shy! I had never seen anything so ruthless before. I have seen girls who see what they want and go for it but never on this scale.
I stood there meekly and prayed that her manner would send Average Joe running for the hills, not because I was particularly interested in him, but because if this kind of extrovert and overconfident behaviour was what was required to hold a man’s attention then I was fucked. There was no way in hell I could ever have that much confidence and quite literally catapult myself at a man head on. Of course, he totally bought it and my heart sank. Again, not because he didn't "pick me" but because of the level of confidence and effort required to complete the sale!
The sudden change of atmosphere in that room as soon as he walked in sent a resounding message that hit me with the speed and force of a freight train: I am NOT the only single person in the world, far from it. Not only that but my fellow singletons are ruthless! The Maneater did not care that I was in the middle of a conversation with Average Joe. To her it was a case of kill or be killed, as Dating Darwinism means outrunning any competition, no matter what the cost.
I do not have the confidence to do that. I don’t think I’ll ever have the confidence to do that. Do I really have to do that?
Is this what the dating world has come to?
Please say no…