Twenty-Something + Single

“So would you want to keep doing this?” I asked. 

“Doing what?”

“Well you know, going on dates.”

She paused. A car rolled down the street next to us while the cloudy skies above trapped the thick southern humidity beneath a grey canopy. 

“I’m just not looking for anything serious right now,” she finally said, looking away. 

My heart dropped, sadness, then outrage until I remembered that I’d used the exact same phrase not more than four weeks ago to weasel out of a similar situation. As I gloomily slid into my car for the three-minute ride home, I swear I could hear the Universe gleefully whispering in my ear, taunting me, “You didn’t think you’d get off that easy, you little shit?”

Karma, like dating, is a bitch.

So it goes. I’m coming up on the five-year mark of my being single. Five years. Granted, not all that long considering I’ve been single for the vast majority of my twenty-seven year old life. But much like man once he has tasted flight, once you’ve been good and dosed by love, you walk with your eyes turned downwards, at Bumble on your phone, longing to return. 

Or at least some of the time you do. It comes in phases. I’ll be over it next week, or I won’t. Maybe I’ll download Tinder again, or wake up in a familiar bed that I’ve already sworn off at least seven or eight times before.

There are a few factors that have worked to keep me single all this time. Unrealistic expectations. Lack of game. Cigarettes. Money. Apathy. 

Social media. Writing. Tens of thousands of words and not once have I ever changed anyone’s mind. Guess I’ll never learn. 

Someone asked me a few weeks back what I found most attractive in a woman. I told him the usual. If she’s smart, funny, and weighs less than me, then I can usually be persuaded. But nothing is quite as attractive as someone with absolutely zero interest in you.

Twenty-something and single, what a time to be alive. Age and weirdness are positively correlated. Casual sex and broken hearts. One friend says her favorite thing is not calling guys back the morning after. Another friend considers an attorney on retainer for the next crazy to roll out of the woods with fake charges. 

“Sick bikini pic,” I tell one friend who has posted a sexy selfie to her Snapchat story.

“Thanks,” she says. “I’m hoping my new guy sees it.”

“He not paying you enough attention?”

“No, he is. I just want to see how he reacts.”

Twenty-something and single. Seems like there aren’t many of us left. Another friend tells me about the Brazilian she’s getting before jetting off across the country to fuck with an ex-lover. One of the guys in the Discord channel slinks out of the game to have sex with some poor Tinder girl he’s been thrashing for the past hour.

I like to talk about other girls while in bed with my FWB, who may or may not be in love with me. And here I thought I could get away with it too. The longer we’re single, the more warped it gets. Trapped at the intersection of romance and nihilism. Romeo, oh Romeo, fuck me and then please go. 

Twenty-something and single. Modern sadness in the age of old school apathy.

Whatever. I’ll get over her. I always do. 

I liked this one though.