When you're the only single friend in a big group of taken women, it can feel like you're a rare breed that's on a limited feature at the local zoo. They've heard of you, they've seen others somewhat like you, but you are a sight to see. They're not interested in taking a peak, either. They want a good, long look. They want to press their noses against the glass and watch you live. They want to get a good look at your frontside and backside and the way you eat and sleep. They wiggle onto their tippy toes to get the good view of how you interact with others. It's like nothing they've ever seen. They want to take selfies with you and post them on Instagram with vague and suggestive little captions like "#singlelady status" to both place you on the meat market and make their spouse jealous for the night.
The thing is, if you're happily single, you look at your friends who are in relationships with the same wonderment. But you know that their kind is within the realms of the social normative. So while you want to press your nose up against the windows to their apartments at night and see what it's like to sit down with the same person every single night over takeout, separated by elbows and phones, you mind your own business — because it's rude to treat someone's life like an exhibition.
If you sometimes feel like the zoo animal in your group of friends, these following questions are probably ones you're pretty sick of:
1. Can I play with your dating apps?
My datings apps are not games. It's not like logging on for a round of Words with Friends or Candy Crush. It's a careful, calculated, finger-selected database and that I take seriously. There are real, live people on the other side of those icons. No one deserves to be toyed with by someone who wants to play pretend single for five minutes at someone else's expense.
2. What kinds of things do you do on a date?
Dating hasn't changed that much in the last few decades. We go out! We get drinks, we eat food, we see movies, we go to concerts, we get to know each other in public places with access to alcohol and some level of casual entertainment. I'm not going to swinger parties and taking tantric aerial penetration classes with my Tinder dates. You're not missing that much.
3. Don't a lot of people on the Internet have STDs?
No, that's definitely not a thing. People have STDs everywhere. There's no higher concentration of them on the Internet. I proceed with caution and protection — just the same as always.
4. Do you date more than one person?
Do I go out and meet different people on different days of the week? Sometimes. I'm not looking to rack up a collection of bed fellows, just trying to get to know people. But just because I'm single doesn't mean I'm constantly on the hunt for a partner. I enjoy my independence, but I also sometimes enjoy the company of a new friend over a drink.
5. What's the craziest thing you've done in bed lately?
This question makes me more sad than annoyed. I loathe the idea of losing your spark in the bedroom in a long-term relationship. I like to think that if you're with the right person, your chemistry allows for your sex life to be ever-changing and not stuck on some robotic-replay mode of whatever gets the job done.
6. Are you worried you won't find "The One"?
I'm more worried that I'll rush into a relationship in order to feel like I'm fulfilling my societal duties as a 20-something woman and end up with an expensive divorce. I'd rather wait until I find someone that I'm 100 percent confident is a good match, even if that means waiting until I'm a 40-something.
7. Do you ever get lonely?
Sure. Sometimes I think about how nice it would be to share a moment with someone else. But I like being with myself, too. Being single has forced me to have a good relationship with myself and not rely on anyone else for my happiness.
8. Do you want to third wheel with my Husband and me for V-Day?
This is a nice thought. Single women can often feel left out, as their coupled friends tend to plan activities together, so it's nice to know that you can still be included. But it's also unfair to assume that all single woman are home alone, watching rom coms, and crying into their dirty pajamas. I repeat, not all single women are sad to be single!
9. Do you want kids?
Asking a single woman if she wants children is a thinly veiled insult. Some women do, others don't. Some can, some cannot. It's a private matter, not a juicy topic to spearhead a brunch inquisition.
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