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I remember the first time it happened.  Pay attention closely, because you might not realize you’re in this same predicament until it’s too late.  So here are the warning signs:

First, everyone is going to stop doing whatever they are doing after the question is asked.  Second, their eyes are going to widen and they’re going to lean in to you with bated breath.  Finally, the air is going to go stale around you and the ground is going to open up if you don’t have a good enough answer for them, so be prepared to jump in… or that’s what I wished I could have done EVERY. SINGLE. TIME someone demanded to know:  “Why are you single?”

The time that I mentioned earlier, happened in high school.  My best friend at the time invited me to hang out with her, her boyfriend, his roommate, and his girlfriend (someone else who went to high school with us) while they bar-b-cued.  After all the games and practical jokes were out of the way, Peggy’s* boyfriend asked me:  “Kendra, why don’t you have a boyfriend?”

All the fun stopped, and suddenly I was the center of unwanted attention.  “Um… I don’t know, I haven’t really thought about it.”  I thought that that would have been it, but then he persisted, and then everyone else joined in almost demanding to know why I was single.

The pressure, my goodness.  The pressure.

But I felt better when I read Erica Renee’s “Annoying Misconceptions About Single Women”  and felt myself nodding through the whole thing.  But once I was done, it also made me sad because why is this a topic that needs to be discussed?  Why is it that people are so quick to throw a misconception on a single person than actually ask them and probably get a true answer from them anyway?

Just like at the bar-b-cue, I was having a great time.  I didn’t even notice that people were paired off because I was enjoying the company.   But then the fun got sucked out of patio when they started demanding to know “what is your deal?!”  Or that time I was at a wedding, and at the reception someone told me to “hang in there, that’ll be you next.”  Or after someone asked me why wasn’t I dating after I left my husband and they told me:  “You shouldn’t give up on yourself.”  I wanted to yell:  “I’M NOT!”  How did you equate me taking some time to myself, giving up on me?!?!  I LOVE ME!

After periodic years questioning I began to wonder myself:  “Well, why aren’t I dating?  Am I giving off some type of no-man vibe?”

Once the questions began to turn to criticism I had to shut myself down and remind myself that my singleness wasn’t affecting me, only other people who were too preoccupied with it.  Who cares if other people are uncomfortable with me being single, because I’ve never been!

Honestly, I LOVE it!  Not saying that I have closed myself off from ever wanting to be with someone, but I’m not going to rush it just because people expect me to.  I’m honestly enjoying life right now.  If I’m happy, then be happy for me.

Also, to all single people, please don’t allow someone to push you into a relationship you’re not ready for just so they can stop feeling sorry for you.  Truth of the matter is, they’re not going to be there when you go through the emotional pitfalls of a failed relationship because you weren’t ready to to be in it.  Most of the time it’s someone trying to live vicariously through you anyway.

Be happy, whether you’re single, actively looking, or actively not.  Plus, how can you truly enjoy being with someone else if you can’t even enjoy being with yourself?

Kendra Koger enjoys dropping knowledge and the occasional tweet @kkoger.

 

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