Stop. Just stop.

That was my reaction this morning when I put Pandora on to provide some background music while I was working.  I was inundated with ads about finding single men in my area.

Facebook does the same thing.

It’s exhausting.

Because I would like to be in a relationship, find the man of my dreams, who fits in my reality.  For a number of reasons I won’t bore you with here, online dating isn’t for me.  But it is hard to meet people. A lot of my hobbies are relatively solitary activities.  The causes I currently volunteer with don’t provide much opportunity. Work isn’t a great option.  My friends either don’t have single male friends or wouldn’t recommend the ones they do know.

However, I’m of the mind that you can’t complain about your situation if you’re unwilling to do anything to change it. I took drastic action.  I hired a matchmaker.  It’s a weird thing to do that, but in my day job, I work largely as a consultant, bringing together people and technology to meet end goals- so why not apply the theory to my own life and hire someone who has a much more vast network than I do, and allow them to help me meet people I would not otherwise encounter?

I’ve had three dates so far. I really liked the first guy and we went out twice. I thought things were fine on the second date, but now I’ve not heard from him in over a week. He’s not into me. That’s fine.  I’m not into everyone I meet, either, but I’m glad I at least met him.

The second guy was nice enough, but neither of us was interested in a second date.  Isn’t it always easier when the feelings (or lack thereof) are mutual?

The third date went well enough that we planned a second date, but then that didn’t happen- he said he would call with a plan and details for the evening… and never did.  Whatever. Next.

No one that I know has ever said dating is easy.  I’ve reached an age where I’m tired of dating, but know it’s something that needs to be done if I’m ever to meet anyone.  It doesn’t help that  I’m not very good at it. I’m not a natural flirt; it’s very hard for me to open up with people I don’t know well.  I don’t really like talking about it to my friends- somehow, here on this blog with its degree of anonymity, it’s easier to lay it all on the table. Maybe it’s the catharsis of getting it out of my head and onto paper (or screen, as is the case).

But when I see all these ads from any site – which I suppose they are picking up from a “single” status on Facebook- I don’t tend to talk about dating in my Facebook updates- it brings to the forefront that somehow being single makes me incomplete or defective, and that my focus must be on finding a mate.

Then, my friend Dove posted this on her Facebook today (disclaimer: Dove posted this from another source- I do not know the original poster/author to credit):

SIngle… is not a status. It is a word that describes a person who is strong enough to live and enjoy life without depending on others

And I like a lot of the sentiment in this, but it isn’t quite right, either.  It implies that partnership means a weakness, and I don’t believe that is a universal truth. While partnering might be a weakness for some, I believe that successful relationships are complementary to each person, not a sign of weakness, but a melding of strengths.

I do like the part of the statement, though, that says you don’t have to be coupled to live and enjoy life. Because I have a very fulfilling and happy life as I am currently. It would be nice to share it, but I don’t feel incomplete because I’m not married.  I just wish it wasn’t in my face all the time.