Real stories about dating and relationships in New York City. Truth is more interesting than fiction.

"Single" Can Mean a Lot of Things

So yeah, I’m and I date a lot.  Big whoop.

Girls like me are a dime a dozen.  Guys, too.

What I find more fascinating are people who don’t date. And I don’t mean fascinating in a judgmental way.  I mean honest to goodness – fascinating.

The non-daters I’m thinking of seem to fall into two major categories:  those who used to date (or used to be married/in a serious relationship) but for whatever reason have no desire to be in the dating pool.  I think most people would look at these folks and say, “they’ve given up”.  But I think it’s far more complicated than that.  I know that a few of the women who read my blog are in this segment of the non-dating camp.  And from what I can tell they haven’t so much given up as opted-out because they didn’t find what they were looking for.  But I don’t want to put words in anyone else’s mouth.

Just this week I read a couple of things that introduced me to a whole other category of non-dater.  I’m not even sure what to label this group, or how I feel about them.  I know they make me feel kind of sad, and I realize that’s kind of judgy, but the truth is that they seem so uttery unhappy and depressive that that seems fair.

First off we have the men and women (the ones featured in the story are all guys) in Japan who are having “relationships” with pillowcasesI’m not even going to get into the fact that the anime “women” featured on the pillowcases are frequently prepubescent girls.

So far as I can tell these guys have decided that they have no opportunity for a real romantic relationship, EVER, and so they are turning to an enhanced fantasy life?  It’s weird, sure, but really is it any weirder than the guys who spend all their spare cash on , strip clubs and prostitutes because they don’t know how to interact with women (I don’t do psychoanalysis, go elsewhere for your whys).

Speaking of which, did a whole column this week on straight guys who’ve never dated or had relationships.  I happened to read both of these articles within an hour of each other and I couldn’t help but think how similar the men all seemed to me.

I’m not sure I have much of a point here, other than that single can clearly mean lots of different things.  Speaking of which, I’d like for one of my friends (detailed instructions will be sent by email later today) to kill me if I’m ever seen dining with a pillow case.


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6 to “"Single" Can Mean a Lot of Things”


  1. Hammer86 says:

    I don’t really see the difference between giving up and “opting out because they didn’t find what they were looking for.” Opting out because you didn’t find what you were looking for is settling with someone below your standards. They gave up.

    It’s so incredible to me how many parallels there are between entrepreneurship/business/sales and dating. I think I’m going to write a post about it sometime soon.

  2. iamalejandra says:

    Talk about 2-D love, I just fell in love HARD with this sentence (from the NYTimes article): “romance is so tainted with social constructs that it can be bought by only good looks and money”. LOL

  3. Simone Grant says:

    -Hammer
    Giving up implies that a defeat has occured. That a person has admitted their defeat. Whereas I know a lot of single people who are perfectly happy being single and so choose to not date (opting out). There’s no defeat in that. Just deciding that the mainstream expectations don’t work for them.
    -iamalajandra
    It’s a great sentence. And I almost buy it. I’m so not a romantic, at all, but I don’t believe that all real relationships have become polluted by our materialistic, shallow culture. I do worry, though.

  4. Singletude: A Positive Blog for Singles says:

    Guilty as charged! I’m one of those non-daters. :) I wouldn’t say that I didn’t find what I was looking for as much as that I realized I didn’t WANT what I’d been looking for, and I haven’t found myself wanting anything else, either. Not sure if I can post a link in this comment form, but anyone who’s interested in reading about why I choose to be single can find my explanation, “Why I Am Single By Choice,”, archived under June 2009 at my blog, Singletude. There are some additional reasons that I didn’t address in my blog, but those are the basics. I don’t know that my own decision is representative of other women who choose singleness, but I hope sharing my reasons will help to dispel some of the misconceptions people have about singles or encourage others who prefer to be single to feel comfortable with their choice in a society that often tells them they’re not okay.

    As for that article…wow! There are no words. And I thought I was weird for keeping a stuffed animal on my bed at night! :) It makes me feel sad, too, but not because these guys are single. Rather it’s sad that anyone would crave human interaction but not be able to have it.

  5. Simone Grant says:

    -Singletude
    Yeah, those guys make me sad, too. Single can be great. But…

  6. Single says:

    Oh yeah..single is a wide open word.Thanks for the good article.