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Saturday, December 20, 2014

#RelationshipStatus: You are cordially invited to be alone

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@JoshuaDolin

“Do you know how hard it is to find a Valentine’s Day card that doesn’t have the words ‘husband’ ‘wife’ or ‘boyfriend’ on it?” I asked Collette last week at Target.

“It’s impossible. Apparently you and I are the only people that send our moms cards,” Collette said. “Oh, and did you hear? Two more people that we know are getting married.”

Marriages have been happening for centuries, but it feels like everyone is getting married and having children right now.

However, according to a report from The Huffington Post, the national average age for women to get married is 27 and 29 for men.

“How does that even happen?” I responded. “Some people our age have already gotten married and literally reproduced another life and I can’t even get a guy to buy me a drink.”

“I agree,” Maggie said. “Sometimes my ovaries just tingle and say, ‘Maggie get in vitro already, you’re never going to find a man.’”

For those of us who watch romantic comedies and have been under the false impression that everyone gets married in their 30s once a beautiful man saves their life and is coincidently their soul mate, are we doing something wrong?

Of course I am always happy for my friends who have found someone special and are creating a life together, but it always leaves me wondering — will it ever happen for me?

Aurora and I recently went to a wedding together, where the same thing happened as every previous wedding. I get drunk as fast as possible and eat an entire layer of the cake.

“I need to stop coming to these,” I said to Aurora. “Like congratulations, you found each other and are happy and the most serious relationships I have ever had are with clothing brands and fast food.”

One thing different at this wedding, however, was our mission to find single, attractive men.

At some point after the bride and groom had their first dance, and I had finished my first bottle of champagne, we met a group of engineering students from UNM (score!) And somehow we convinced them to take us out bar-hopping after the wedding.

Aurora and I like to think of each other as twins because we share so much in common. So much in fact that we actually chose the same man to flirt with… at the same time. But as we each had one hand on each of his thighs and were flipping our hair way more than necessary, there came a point in the evening when we realized that we were not interested in any of these men. I was only interested in feeling loved since I had just witnessed two people commit their love for each other. So instead of spending the night with a man, Aurora and I spent the night in our bed together.

“Well, now marriage is actually legal for me in this state,” I said. “I mean at least before I could blame the law for my loneliness. Now I don’t have an excuse and it’s obvious that my neurosis is why I am single.”

“My logical opinion about people our age getting married is that whatever decision they make is the right decision for them,” Aurora said the next morning. “My emotional opinion on the matter is f*** that noise. We’re hot. What the hell?”

“I just can’t watch one more flash mob proposal video,” I said to Maggie a few weeks later. “I get it, OK? You have a boyfriend that loves you and coordinated a viral YouTube marriage proposal and boys don’t even want to get Starbucks with me.”

“Everyone feels like they have to get married right now or that they are missing out if they are not in a relationship, but we’re only in college,” Maggie said. “Pump your brakes and slow down, crazy.”

Maggie has a point, but do you know someone our age who is married? Or maybe some family member who met their spouse in college? College seems like the best place to find a soul mate.

“Is that what I need to do to find a husband?” Collette said while we were at Monte Vista last weekend. “Just dress like a slut? Is that the only way to get a guy’s attention anymore?”

We say that everyone is special at something. The men’s basketball team is good at sports, the engineering department is smart and ASUNM is good at annoying students during election season, and most of the semester.

But are there some people who are just better at dating than others? Do they have a natural talent for creating chemistry with others and finding a spouse? And if that is true, then what are the rest of us supposed to do if we aren’t gifted with that skill?

As much as I would love to set up a registry at Williams-Sonoma and shop the J. Crew wedding collection, I have come to realize that I don’t actually want to get married now.

It’s not the act of marriage that I feel I am missing out on, it’s the love from another person. Being single can be fun, but after a while it leaves me wondering — am I the problem?

“I’m tired of dating,” I said to Ashley. “I am so over going out and meeting new people. It’s stressful and exhausting. The scary thing is that I have been alone for so long that I just prefer spending the night in bed watching Netflix than having to go meet someone new.”

“When I was younger, I thought that everyone would always find someone to spend their life with,” Ashley said. “Then as I got older I saw that some people spend their whole lives alone and they even die alone. At first I was scared and it didn’t seem fair, but now I’m okay with dying alone. I would like to get married, but I’m not just going to settle with someone for the sake of being married.”

Ashley has gone out on a few dates now with a 22-year-old who has not only already been married, but also divorced.

“When Eric first told me he was divorced I was thinking ‘OK, how fast can I run out the door,’” Ashley said. “But then he explained it more and I realized that he is mature and looking for another serious relationship, so it’s actually kind of attractive.”

Most of us have been to a wedding. The decorations are beautiful, the food is great and the cake is amazing. But now that our peers are pairing off and settling down, where does that leave the rest of us? When is it officially pathetic to still be single? If I make it to 30 and still have not married someone does that mean I can pull the proverbial plug on my love life? And in the current dating scene, is something wrong with us if we can’t find a man to #SayIDo?

Current Relationship Statuses:
Josh: New possibilities with a Tinder match
Ashley: Having sleepovers with her divorced beau
Alice: Too busy at work to think about Bill
Collette: Finding the compromise outfit between slut and housewife
Aurora: Continuing her flirtationship with the farmers market baker
Maggie: Free alcohol at weddings? Count her in!

#RelationshipStatus
#SayIDo

Facebook.com/RelationshipStatusUNM