There are some perks to being a single lady—beyond the fact that Beyoncé wrote a song about it.
Since turning 30, I've received some pretty interesting responses when I tell people that yes, I'm still single, and no, I don't want to have kids. Ever.
Where I live in Des Moines, Iowa, it's second nature to settle down right after college. In fact, some of my friends are already on marriage number two while others have baby number four on the way.
Don't get me wrong, I'm happy with whatever makes them happy. But their lives don't make me want to change my tune, nor do the constant questions about my relationship status from friends and family around the holidays. (It's one of the reasons why I can relate to this hilarious Buzzfeed video on so many levels.)
That's why I've stockpiled some polite but direct responses to deal with the probing questions that have become even more common since I hit my thirties. What's mine is yours if you find yourself in the same shoes.
They ask: "Have you tried Tinder/Bumble/Match?"
I say: "I'm on my computer and phone enough for work. I'd rather pass on using either, more than I need to, in my free time. It's a brilliant way to meet new people, though!"
I have nothing against online dating—besides the fact that it's online. Dating apps and sites have skyrocketed in popularity faster than rosé—and for good reason. They're über-convenient, especially if you're like the average American who uses tech tools a whopping 11 hours a day. (Related: Your Phone Could Be Hurting Your Relationship)
But personally, one of the last things I want to do after work and wrapping up my web-based side hustles (getting my daily tally to that 11-hour level) is spend more time hunched over a screen.
So while I'd like to congratulate everyone who's found love using these platforms, I'm going to swipe left to how much time and effort it takes to get "SportsFan216" to open up about his hobbies. While it may take a bit longer to meet people IRL than virtually, that personal connection is an instant mood-booster—and a fantastic head start on sussing out chemistry.
They ask: "But aren't you lonely?"
I say: "I treasure my 'me' time!"
For the first time since moving to Des Moines from New York, I can say that I'm the furthest thing from lonely. Before, I was always on an epic quest to fit the "popular" mold, even if that meant chasing after people who treated me like an assistant. Now, I've finally found my crew. An empowering, adventurous, and supportive one at that.
That's probably one of the strongest reasons why I have such high standards regarding who I date and want to settle down with. He needs to be just as good, if not better than my friends if he wants to share my time. Not to mention that I want us both to be able to add more to each other's lives than we take.
Until that comes along (and I'm not holding my breath) a night alone of catching up on Project Runway and laundry over a glass of wine sounds like a total treat to me.
They say: "Just be patient. You'll find your match."
I say: "I'd love to find the J to my PB, but if I don't, peanut butter is pretty damn amazing on its own."
These days, being single is less of a detriment and more of an accepted decision. Of course, this varies wildly based on geographic location (the coasts generally being more accepting)—but the fact that Single Americans Week exists tells a strong story. (Here are seven health benefits of being single, if you need more convincing.)
If I'm being honest, one of the reasons I think it's taken me awhile to find a lifelong partner is that I was too busy criticizing what was wrong with me to give anyone else a fair shake. After decades of self-doubt, I'm giving this PB (aka me) five stars, and I'm pretty sure a sweet jelly will come along to balance out my nuttiness nicely. I won't melt if it doesn't, though.
They say: "You'd be such a good mom, though!"
I say: "Aunting is a fantastic fit for me."
I love kids. I find them hilarious, adorable, energetic, and so much fun. I enjoy volunteering for mentoring organizations and treasure every moment I spend with my 2-year-old niece. But I also love handing crying kids back to their parents. I adore sleeping in a bit on the weekends. I itch to travel to all edges of the globe. Kids don't exactly fit well with any of those goals, and as selfish as it sounds, I really enjoy the freedom of a child-free lifestyle.
So hit me up if you ever need a babysitter. I'll happily chase after your little one while you enjoy a night out with your husband—if I'm not on my own TV date with Tim Gunn, that is.