This is a question I ask myself often, especially when my family tells me "there's no way a pretty girl like you doesn't have a boyfriend." Trust me, I know. This question used to bother me so much to the point where I would avoid having small talk with my nosy aunts. Of course, they mean no harm in asking - evidently it's an inherent African aunt trait to posses.
The only way I became comfortable in being asked this question is by prioritizing my life. When I stopped putting unimportant and material things on a pedestal, my standard of living was heightened. I used to want to be in a relationship so badly, I had convinced myself I was ready and I was so wrong. It's not that I had no idea how to be someones significant other. I just often found myself dealing with relationship problems with an individualistic mindset. Whenever we had an argument, I kept my feelings to myself because Adriana doesn't do confrontation. Naively, I didn't understand how dealing with things in a relationship isn't the same as dealing with those same issues on your own.
I think this is a problem a lot of people have prior to entering relationships, romantic or platonic. The idea of having someone to share intimate and personal experiences with is exciting but we don't think about the 'what if' until we encounter a situation we don't know how to handle. I think this is what perpetuates the "side chick/boyfriend #2" culture in our age cohort. We want to act single in relationships and get surprised when things fall apart.
Something I learned the hard way, is things that come fast, end fast. Eighteen year old me was tired of being single, so I was taken off-guard and eager when my love life was "activated" for lack of words. I've mentioned in a previous post, but learning about myself has been an invaluable experience, and it's an ongoing process. It might sound pessimistic or skeptical, but in most situations I ask myself if it's too good to be true. A few weeks ago, a group of friends and I were discussing the biblical implications of submission of a woman and how we vet out 'prospects'. Along with creating a list (a literal checklist of traits someone should have to be bae), these are some of the criteria I base a potential relationship, or situation-ship.
1. was it too easy? Anything not worth working for, isn't worth dealing with. I'm not saying anyone that is relatively interested in me should throw petals at my feet, bring a dowry to my house, and chase after me. But if it was too easy or if getting to know you feels like a game, I don't want it.
2. why do you even like me? This question often comes off the wrong way, but I am entering a season in which intentionality is key! Am I adding to your life, are you to mine? The sooner I know this answer, I can rest easy and know we're not just talking to kill time.
3. are you serious about your life? At this age, it's important we start zeroing in on our goals because time is of the essence. Even with my friends, seeing them thrive is what pushes me to do better. We need to help each other help ourselves. It would be a great perk if you already have a head start on being the best for yourself before having to be the best for someone else.
This oversimplifies a lot of what I look for in a partner, but it perfectly covers why I am not in a relationship and not particularly in a rush to be in one. With prioritizing my life, I am only concerned with putting God on top of my list in every aspect - I know everything else will fall into place. Writing, praying, working out, whatever it takes for you to get out of your head of what is a priority - do it and make it a part of your routine. Hopefully, next time someone asks you why you are still single you will be able to give them an exact answer as to why (saying "men are trash" is getting old).
We can probably all attest to this, but some of the best things happen when we are not expecting them.