After spending 3 years of my early 20's in my first and only monogamous relationship, I was happy to be single again. I was eager to see what else was out there, and I promised myself I wouldn't tie myself exclusively to one man, unless I could see a long-term future with him. Since then I've been "single, but dating". For me, this means that I am always "technically" on the market. In practice, that's not exactly true. I've dated some men who I saw regularly for extended periods of time, and while seeing them I neglected to meet and date other men, so I've been monogamous in practice, if not in spirit.
Personally, I might have been happy remaining single if not for two things: One is that many of my friends are in some sort of serious relationship. That means that while I still see my friends, I see them far less, and usually in contexts where I'm less likely to meet single men or have wild and crazy nights. Secondly, I don't feel like it's as easy to meet men these days.
I can't pinpoint exactly when or why it became harder for me meet men. Here are some non-conflicting theories:
- I don't go out as much.
- I don't hang out in hookup or meet-up spots as much.
- I'm not as pretty as I used to be.
- I'm not as young as I used to be.
- I'm not as patient as I used to be.
- Most of the age-appropriate men are already paired off.
- Single straight women outnumber straight men in the city where I live.
- Dating technology makes it so easy to assume that there is always someone better around the corner.
Last year I completely neglected dating, telling concerned or curious friends that I was just going to die alone. In reality, I wasn't determined to die alone, I was frustrated by how fruitless online dating seemed. More recently, after a few more engagements and another friend moving from NYC I realized that I was literally going to die alone, unless I put myself out there again. And where, exactly, is "there"? Apparently it's the hell of dating while in your 30's.