“You’re too pretty.”
“You intimidate men.”
“Your online dating profile is too long, it makes you look crazy.”
“You look down too much when you walk.”
“You don’t get out enough.”
“You have your headphones in when you’re on the subway.”
“You come across as a bitch when people first meet you.”
“New York City is a hard place to meet someone.”
“You just haven’t found the person who will accept your flaws.”
“You don’t say ‘hi’ to strangers.”
“You don’t try hard enough.”
“You have a cat. It makes it look like you’ve given up.”
“You don’t show enough cleavage.”
These are the reasons people have given me for why I am still single at 42. As each of my friends have paired off over the past decades, I’ve often wondered why it really is that I am still single. It certainly wasn’t what I’d hoped for or planned. What was I doing wrong? I have my own list of why I think I’m still single. It is:
I never meet anyone my own age.
I hate shopping so my wardrobe is still stuck in 1995.
I would rather be home watching Investigation ID than go out.
I need to lose 10 pounds.
I have a compulsion to drunk-text.
I know nothing about music.
I can’t cook. I smoke cigarettes.
I’m an over-sharer.
I talk too much and too loudly.
I always look tired because I have insomnia. Or I’m hungover.
I’m too needy.
I’m too pale.
I have a cat. It makes it look like I’ve given up.
I don’t show enough cleavage.
I recently reconnected with my high school boyfriend. I hadn’t talked to him in 14 years but I can say honestly, he’d never been far from my mind. I’d always loved him. When we got back together six months ago, I said to myself, “This is why I’ve been single for so long! High School Sweethearts Reunited! What a great story this will be! I can’t wait to update my Facebook status!” But it was not meant to be. I was crushed. I thought this was finally my Happily Ever After.
The morning after he broke up with me, I resisted the urge to do what I usually do after a particularly distressing event in my life, which is to get a bottle of champagne (or two) and watch 17 Again over and over while drunkenly posting inappropriate and alarming things on Facebook about my sorry state of mind. But now I realized it was finally time for a change. If my Happily Ever After was not coming to me, I had to go out and get it. Instead, I decided to make some coffee and start this blog.
I call this Not Quite A Cougar because I don’t see myself as a middle aged woman in a tight animal print dress trolling the bars for a young “cub.” I don’t want some hot young thing on the side. I’ve done that before and yeah, it made me feel desired and hot (I can still pull ‘em in!) for about 2 weeks but then I just end up feeling old and sad. It doesn’t make me feel particularly good about myself when I’m humming a tune from high school and the guy says, “Why are you singing the Swiffer commercial song?”
So here I am 42, never been married, never had kids. I’m an Executive Assistant at a start-up company living in the Upper East Side of Manhattan, in a studio with the stereotypical spinster pet – a cat. Other than the past 6 months with My Ex, I’ve been single for 6 years. I haven’t had a date since January 2012. As my Dad always says, “Every decision in life can be changed except having kids and suicide.” (Okay, I added the suicide part but the sentiment is still true). I have to own that my decisions thus far have led me here, so the decisions I make from here on out will hopefully lead me closer to where I want to be. So off on the dating journey I go. I am excited. I am hopeful. And I look forward to sharing my adventures with you all!