No this is not a post about the department store Big W! No this Big W refers to the WHY question many or most single people get asked.
Why are you still single?
And look, the answer is obviously highly individualised and multifactorial, but I’m sure many can at least partially attribute “still being single” to exhaustion. Dating, or trying to, is exhausting.
Downloading and using the various dating apps involves finding decent photos of yourself that convey the right message (or at least photos that certainly don’t convey the wrong one). What to write? How honest should I be? Marketing oneself does not come naturally, let me tell you.
Then if you do match with someone, what follows is often a terribly painful online conversation that dies a long, slow death as each person becomes less and less interested and runs out of things to say and the enthusiasm to think of something.
Plus it’s finding the time to meet them. Particularly as a single parent you don’t get heaps of spare time. You either want to lay horizontal for so long you risk getting a bed sore, or drink champas with your friends, or any number of things that don’t involve trying to eat a meal over awkward conversation and managing the fear of having something in your teeth.
So meet people “in real life” you say. That’s also hard. Most people are out for a reason – to be with friends or family or work colleagues. Running off to chat to that good looker across the way isn’t always appropriate. And for those who are out hoping to reel one in, it’s a bit like a PCYC/barn dance for teenagers – boys in one area and girls in another. Ok maybe it’s not that bad, but it’s hard work and it’s awkward.
But the really exhausting part of dating actually comes after all that – when you do meet someone and everything seems very promising, until it isn’t. It’s the spark that isn’t given enough time to catch alight, the “platonic sleepovers” that bring up any number of confusing feelings and questions but are never properly talked about.
It’s the mixed messages that lead someone down the garden path, and when people seemed invested but were really just trying you and your lifestyle on for size. “Does psuedo-step dad look good on me?”
So when you’ve ridden a tumultuous or even mildly emotional rollercoaster just to find yourself back to square one – you’re exhausted. In that moment the shared life / love you envisaged seems further away than ever. So much harder to achieve.
Even if theoretically you’re actually one step closer.
Header image source: Meetup.com