‘Cause I’m a free bitch, baby!

I feel like I’m laying on the ground with my arms wrapped around your legs, but you just keep going about your business without so much as looking down. This is all figurative, of course… and desperate, by the sounds of it, but I swear I’m not. Why can’t I quit you? I’d rather love anybody else but you. I had better refresh on my Kent Nerburn, because I’m not paying too much attention to the philosophies I’m supposed to be well versed in.

Well I started taking dance lessons. This will be very short-lived, as it’s not only expensive, but an hour away. They tell me I have good form and that I follow well. Who knew? I have a crush on my teacher though, so that’s a good motivation to go back. I can’t help it – he’s got that sauve Spanish flare (I will later regret having typed that). He asked me last night if I liked his hair and I said, “Yes, it looks very good. It’s very Smith Jared.” He didn’t know what I was talking about until I reminded him of Sex and the City, and then he was happy to be compared to “the hot guy.” (And no he’s not gay) But his hair is a shorter version of Smith’s. He has blonde hair. I think the last guy I had a crush on who had blonde hair was in the seventh grade. And he’s younger than me. I’m guessing early 20s, in which case I already feel like a cougar. Shit, I feel like a cougar going to the bar anymore and I’m only 25. I’m clearly accepting the whole aging thing gracefully.

I just segued from one man with another. I’m suddenly reminded of that episode of Gilmore Girls where Emily accuses Lorelai of “flipping from man to man” and she got all offended. I guess I have a bad habit of constantly liking someone new, but I don’t see the harm in that. I’m single. I’ve been single for… well, six months. But I kind of forget about that relationship because for me, it wasn’t serious and I didn’t feel any chemistry. In the grand scheme, I’ve been single for over four years. I think liking new people all the time is better than being focused solely on one, with whom nothing is developing.

I’ve said this many times and I’ll continue writing about it until I get sick of it, but being single is what I prefer. I like my lifestyle the way it is. I have so much more fun on my own. I don’t like to date because I feel like there’s no point unless you’re really into the person, and you know it’s somebody you want to get to know. My idea of a developing relationship is with someone you already know and grow close to, naturally, and with whom the biological ritual occurs… you know, the signals, the hidden messages and the body language, and all of that. That’s precisely why I don’t do the blind dates, or the online matchmaking websites. Ick, that makes my skin crawl! It’s so forced and awkward, and you don’t even know if you like them when you meet them. You have to get to know them while you’re “dating”, which I find odd. I’d rather get to know someone on a normal basis, because then I know enough about them to know if I’d want to date them. Some might say that’s exactly what casual dating is all about, but I disagree. If you’re dating someone who you met online or who started as a blind date, there’s an automatic expectation of a relationship. Both parties understand why they started talking in the first place – to potentially find a mate. When you just happen to develop feelings for someone who you already know, there is no expectation and there never was, because your relationship is just platonic. Besides, I find the first crush stages and the nervous asking out to be so endearing. You don’t get that with blind dating. (and I’m socially awkward to begin with. Blind dating is so uncomfortable and unnatural.)

I’m not trying to explain it to death to justify it, but I truly feel blessed every day when I wake up that I enjoy my life as much as I do, just the way it is. But that does bring me to a topic concerning the way men perceive me as a result.

I openly share with people that I like my single life, often citing that I don’t believe in marriage (I don’t) and that I don’t plan to participate in it or have kids, and men quite frequently interpret that as, “Hi I’m Chantelle, I prefer my strings unattached.” They think it’s great, assuming they can jump right in and get down since I don’t expect a relationship from them, or anyone. I always just think of it as me embracing my solidarity and expressing how much I enjoy my own company. Apparently that’s not what they’re getting from it. So I guess I have to rephrase it.

I like my single life because in the last 4-5 years that I’ve been without a boyfriend, I experienced what it’s like to be single after having a relationship. I didn’t really date or have boyfriends in high school, until I started dating my ex when I was 17, so single life didn’t mean the same to me then as it does now. Back then, I wanted a boyfriend because I hadn’t had one before. I felt like a late bloomer, and I don’t mean sex – I mean love, a relationship and everything that comes with those two things. So I didn’t take being single as a good thing then, but I also didn’t understand the complications of relationships that would actually make you feel free once you were out of one. Now I understand that stuff, which contributes to my enjoyment of single life. So when I say that I prefer being single, it’s not because I’m ruling out a relationship or that I’m against them, and it certainly doesn’t mean that I’m cruising for friends with benefits. It’s just that, not being in one means I don’t fight, cry or hurt in the same and constant ways I did then. I don’t invest all my focus and energy on one person other than myself, and I don’t have to make sacrifices or be obligated to anyone. I feel healthier and just better about myself, overall. Maybe I prefer being single because experiencing it as a mature adult strengthened me and smartened me up, and really developed a great appreciation for myself, by myself. I also came out of my shell. I spent far too much time in it before.

So when you ask me if I have a boyfriend and I say no, and you ask me why and I respond, “It’s not really a priority for me… I like being single”, don’t take that as an invitation to my bedroom. That’s incredibly frustrating and insulting, not to mention degrading. I’m very much a one-man kind of girl, but until I find him I won’t imprudently throw my body around to whoever wants it. Give me a break. There is such a thing as independent women who are single simply for the sake of being single. And I’m one of them.

Now I’ve made some poor judgments in my past. Sure, that’s what being young is all about. But even so, we’ve all done that, and it’s not an excuse to think my standards are low. Besides, how do you know that my last rendezvous wasn’t me on yet another failed mission of the heart? It doesn’t have to mean I was just some harlot. You have no right to assume anything. This comes full circle in explaining why singledom is a choice, and not necessarily an unfortunate state of being. It can be a curse sometimes, like when creeps try to take advantage of you, or when people you wouldn’t look twice at try to hit on you, but mostly it’s one of my many blessings that I’m grateful for. At least I’m not one of the millions of women stressing about getting older without a partner. That’s what my friends and family are for!

On a completely unrelated note, I just realized I seriously need a thesaurus. It’s the one book that I really want and have wanted for years, and that I pick up off the shelf every single time I’m at the book store, but put back down. I don’t know why? It’s not like they’re expensive. I found them for about 30% off the other week and I still put it back. There’s something about buying a book of just synonyms that bothers me. Birthday gift idea, anyone? A huge, bound, hard-cover copy of the thesaurus. God I’m a loser…

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