I feel like I get asked, "How are you single?" regularly enough to make me ask myself. Through my journey into adulthood, I have learned a positive response and mindset for me to personally have.
But let's talk about the toxic responses first...
It's my fault...
I can remember as an undergrad internalizing all of the blame for me being single, as if it were a bad thing. I would sit alone in my dorm telling myself that I was too ugly for anyone to ever be interested in me. I would never take pictures of myself and did not like taking pictures with others. To be honest, only within the last year or two have I been able to look into a mirror without feeling disgusted. Only very recently have I been able to look in the mirror and like what I see. The point is that for whatever reason that I felt guys weren't interested in me, it was all my fault.
"...I just need to move."
I moved from one extreme to the other. I went from taking all of the blame, to pushing all of the blame on others. I would tell myself that I just need to move. The guys around me were too immature, too dumb, too closed-minded, and all around just garbage. Whether or not any of those things are true is irrelevant. What I came to realize, however, is that I was walking around with a chip on my shoulder that caused me to put out so much negativity. I felt like it was me against this town of terrible men. I would try to justify it by saying that I was protecting myself. I had to learn that there was a difference in protecting myself and being a stereotypical male-basher. I acted like because a few guys, that were on their own journeys and dealing with their own issues, may have "done me dirty," then all guys were the same.
Now I have a more productive mindset around the matter. I realized that first, I was being so negative toward guys who were just experiencing some of the same things that I was. This is twofold. First, I had to take a step back and realize that dating and hookups were new territories for these college boys...just as it was for me. People will go to great lengths to keep something secret. I knew that I would and had, so I couldn't be so critical of people that were going through their own journeys doing the same things. Does it suck being on the other side of it? Of course, but it is a process that people go through to grow.
Second, all of that negativity was hurting no one but myself. Being angry takes so much energy. It took me many failed attempts at confronting guys who couldn't care less about a situation, to realize that holding onto that anger was not worth it. I would really sit around sulking and pouting, thinking that the guy, who couldn't physically see me (we would both be too closeted to be talking freely in person), would feel bad to know that I was mad. 😂😂 Girl, he doesn't care and neither should you. I really would let a guy that I only knew for a week or two, completely ruin my day. *sigh* We all have to learn.
Now, when a guy is not reciprocating my interest or positive energy, I just keep it pushing. Why? Because we just aren't a match. Him not being interested in me doesn't make him dumb or a terrible person worthy of my rage. Also, it does not mean that I now have to try to prove to him that I am worth his time. I should not have to work to make someone value me, because my value and worth is not based on their opinions. I love a metaphor, so here is one. An Hermès Birkin does not have to scream, "Hey look at me! I'm worth so much." A person with an eye for designer handbags will recognize the immense value in it and treat it like the work of art that it is. That isn't to say that anyone that doesn't have that eye is somehow beneath me. The truth is, that person may have an eye for cars which makes us not a match in the first place. So of course it is takes so much energy to try to get that person, who is interested in cars, to see the value in a Birkin.
Another thing that has really helped is devoting that time and energy, that I would be misplacing into a situation that wasn't right for me, back into myself. Instead of trying to fall in love with someone else or push them to be their best self, I need to fall in love with myself and becoming the best version of me. As RuPaul says, "If you don't love yourself, how the hell are you gonna love anyone else?" Loving myself gives me the solid foundation for going into future relationships of all types. I could break that down, but I'm already rambling. Anywho, I also would tell myself that I wasn't ready for a relationship because I wasn't where I was supposed to be. Basically I let all of the self-doubt keep me from becoming a better me. So how could I expect an honest, authentic relationship when I was being neither honest nor authentic with myself? That has really helped keep my spiraling thoughts in perspective. I just think about how much I change and grow as a person. I am not the same person that I was a year ago, so a situation where a partner fell in love with that person would not have been sustainable. Also, I do realize that this is more specific to me being a trans person. I am just at a point in my own journey where we (me, myself, and I) are in full sprint. Chile, we are jumping, flipping, and flying through self-growth. So in all honesty, for me, at this point in my life, it is more important for me to focus on my journey and taking care of myself, than trying to find a romantic relationship. Many trans people talk about a second puberty once they start to transition. That is pretty much where I am. I'm emotional, I'm growing out of shoes and clothes like crazy, and I get turned on at the whisper of a boy's name. 😂😂 No but seriously, I have ripped the inner thigh/butt of two pairs of pants in the past two weeks. Also, I literally had to pause a movie every 5 minutes to catch my breath because the sight of Mark Wahlberg in it was just doing things to me.
Why am I single?
Because I am on this amazing journey learning to understand and love the most important person in my life...me. I just have not found the right person to accompany me on this journey yet. That does not make the journey any less fulfilling. It also does not mean that I am alone or lonely. I have learned in the past week that I have a nice support system. ❤️