SingleI’ve recently accepted the job opportunity of a lifetime. This fall I’ll be moving to South Korea to work as an English teacher at a language camp. This is the perfect job for me since I love to travel and experience new cultures. After what seems like years of odd jobs, shady side hustles, and all around struggling to make ends meet, things are coming together rather nicely on the career front. In addition to finally having a “grown up” job, I’m doing more writing than ever and I can honestly say that I’m the happiest I’ve been in a very long time. Even with all of these great career developments I still can’t help but feel like something is missing from my life. In the words of LL Cool J: I need love.

The last time I was in a relationship was almost two years ago. For the first year I reveled in my new-found freedom, kissing boys and doing my own thing was fun. But like with anything, hooking up, serial dating, or ending up in pseudo-relationships, or as I like to call them, “situations” got old after a while. When my ex and I parted ways I made a vow to myself to remain single indefinitely, following the advice of my father, I focused more on advancing my career rather than getting notches on my lipstick case. Continuing to work in food service part-time while applying for writing or journalism positions that I never seemed to get called in for, was soul crushing. The final straw for me came after being turned down for an office assistant position at the cupcake shop I worked for. I began looking into teaching abroad and started applying for positions shortly there after. Even though I was applying to jobs abroad, deep down I held out hope that I’d fall in love with a guy who would change my mind about moving, romantic comedy style. In the end I didn’t magically meet the perfect guy, instead I found the perfect job, which I am grateful for.

Dating in New York City is hard. Everyone is on their grind and no one seems to be looking for anything other than instant gratification. I thought about staying in the city in hopes of meeting someone but I’d have to be a fool to actually do that. My degrees might not keep me warm at night, but they sure do pay the bills. This isn’t the 1950′s and I can’t rely on the prospect of possibly meeting some dude who might like me enough to act right, and be interested in bankrolling my life for the long haul. As women we are often taught that we are nothing without a man in our lives. I don’t feel that way for sure, but I am lonely and it would be nice to have a partner in crime or someone to share my experiences with outside of family and friends.

There is a lot to love about the life I lead. I love to travel and have lived in places like San Francisco, New York, and Amsterdam. I can pretty much do whatever I want without having to worry about how my actions affect someone else. I have friends all over the world which provides a lot in the way of fun and platonic love. But as I get older and more of my friends start coupling off, I’ve begun to get a tad jealous. It seems like every time I log onto Facebook my feed is blown up with newly engaged status updates, baby bump pictures, and wedding day photos. I don’t know if I even want anything as serious as marriage and a baby right now or ever, I suppose it’s just what those life experiences symbolize to me, that has me second guessing the choices I am making. If I want to continue to travel, have a career, and retain my freedom, does that mean I am destined to be alone forever? I don’t want to have to give up so much of myself or sacrifice the things that I want to do in order to have someone in my life. Having a boyfriend right now isn’t practical for my life, but I still want one, and I can’t understand why I can’t have my cake and eat it too? After all, what is the point of having cake if you can’t eat it? As content as I am with my life and recognize how blessed I am to do the things I do, and experience the things I have, I wonder if the grass really is greener on the other side?

  • CC

    I think you should take it one day at a time…congrats on your new job and focus your energy there for now… If you’re looking for love, don’t worry, it will come when the time is right for you! (And sometimes when you least expect it.)

  • Shanti

    I totally get this article but I don’t understand why being in a relationship isn’t practical for your life. You can travel, work on your career, be free, and have a relationship. Relationships take time to grow so it isn’t like the day you jump into a relationship you will be married with children. Find someone who shares your passion or at the very least respects it and you can have your cake and eat it too. That being said, sometimes what we want changes when we find someone we want to share our lives yet. Traveling the world starts to not look as great as staying at home and relaxing on the couch with your very best friend.

  • Smilez_920

    “If I want to continue to travel, have a career, and retain my freedom, does that mean I am destined to be alone forever? I don’t want to have to give up so much of myself or sacrifice the things that I want to do in order to have someone in my life.”

    The author makes being a relationship sound like a slow death. When you’re in a serious relationship you have take your significant other into consideration. It doesn’t mean you lose your “freedom” it just means that now your have someone to consider.

    I think we all won’t someone to cuddle up with at night, talk to and have a connection with. It sound’s like you just want the cute/romantic things that happen in a relationship and aren’t quite ready for the work and life style change that a relationship may require.

    You should continue to focus on yourself (career) and date. While you’re dating get to know men who may live a similar lifestyle or are willing to work with you. There are lots of couples who travel together, both have successful careers and retain their own individual freedom, while still respecting their partner and relationship.

    Other than that take your time, stay hopefully and open to love and someone will find you.

  • Cutiepie2

    wow…sounds like my life. I’m fairly successful, but don’t have a parnter to share it with right now. I firmly believe that good things comes to those who wait. In the mean time enjoy this exciting part of your life! You have the opportunity of a lifetime and if a good man comes along great, if not keep living. Happiness is not depenndent on external things or people, it depends on our inner self.

  • HTown

    “I don’t feel that way for sure, but I am lonely and it would be nice to have a partner in crime or someone to share my experiences with outside of family and friends.”

    That’s not hard to find. I wonder how much effort is being made into meeting someone. Oftentimes women complain about not meeting anyone worth being with when they aren’t doing much to make things happen for themselves. Do you go out? Do you look approachable when you go out? Do you approach men or strike up conversations with them? How do you dress? Do you value the art of seduction? I’m a firm believer in being proactive about your situation. If I want something, I go get it. I don’t wait for it to come to me. I wish more women used this MO instead of always talking about how tired they are of being single. If you are tired of being single, do something differently.

  • CC

    I agree!

  • Miakoda

    Good things come to those who have luck, not those who wait.

  • IslandgirlDesi

    100% co-sign

  • http://gravatar.com/malavikat malaviKat

    First, I suspect (and I could be totally wrong) that part of the reason you feel “ashamed” to be single is because in the back of your mind you buy into the societal ideal of being married with kids. However, while this isn’t the path for everyone, it becomes increasingly difficult to consider alternative, yet equally fulfilling, lifestyles when you are bombarded by images on Facebook and the like on a daily basis.

    I have known for my entire life that I don’t want kids, yet sitting down and perusing my Facebook newsfeed for even five minutes makes me feel alienated. Not because I have changed my mind but because, aside from making a few polite comments about kids/engagements/weddings, unless people are engaged in other kinds of conversation, I have little to contribute or relate to. So, with that said, I’ve found staying off of Facebook for periods to be immensely therapeutic. It gives me time to focus on things that I know make me happy without expending energy comparing my life against other people’s milestones.

    Second, as others have pointed out, there’s no reason to think that life is an either/or game. Having a (good) partner doesn’t mean giving up the things you love. A great match will have similar interests but will pursue his (or her) own things as well, giving you time to share in experiences as well as do things on your own. Find a partner who compliments you and you won’t find relationships cloying.

    Congratulations on the job! There’s something immensely satisfying about having made it after all the hard work. :)

  • Cocochanel31

    This is a feeling all of us singles have at some point. Nothing you can do but keep on living my dear! For all you know you could meet someone abroad, there is no telling where you will be when you meet someone! Keep the faith and hang in there!

  • http://twitter.com/aerofloatbo aerofloat (@aerofloatbo)

    Honey, the best decision you’ve made is to travel to South Korea. I guarantee that you’ll meet someone over there (probably not an American) and be in love and possibly married within two years. Something incredible always happens when you take a chance in life. You are stifled here, the man you wish you could find isn’t here, so thank God you’ve cast your net wide. You’ll meet him for sure, believe me. good luck to you!

  • Phillygurl

    Be content in your singleness because single and married life has its challenges…neither is a cake walk…both has its rewards. Live your life to the fullest in both, because just like there are moments now when you wish you were married, there will be moments when you are married you will wish you were single.

  • Pepper

    Dating may be hard (to find) in New York; but based on what I’ve heard from friends, and relatives all over the country…..the game is rough every where. I know people from California to Florida, and in between (Chicago, Kansas City, Houston….just to name a few) who say the dating game is slim to none. These are college educated young women with MBAs, and PHds. Don’t feel ashamed to be single, and also don’t feel ashamed because you want your cake, and to be able to eat it too. It’s unfortunate that a lot of men don’t want to date, or get married these days. It’s also unfortunate that they don’t realize that financially (2) people can do better than (1) . Not to mention the fact that it’s so much fun to have someone to go out to dinner, the movies, the park, or to a Flea Market with. Hopefully men will wake up soon, and realize what they are missing.

  • http://gravatar.com/nolakiss16 binks

    Agreed!!! I wish the author the best on her new venture but remember that things and people in life don’t work on your time table. One of the hardest “big girl” lessons I learned was ‘life isn’t a fairy tale’ that things happened in their own order in their own time so don’t take it as a slight or feel that something is wrong with you because you aren’t engaged, married, or have kids because in retrospect if you did all those things then chances are you would feel like your professional life is lacking and not feel happy on that front.

  • Pepper

    I AGREE!

  • Pepper

    HTown: Another thing we can do is introduce, or tell someone about another person. For example if I come across a guy that I’m not interested in, and he appears to have it together I ask him if he’s dating anyone, or if he’s married. And if he isn’t I let him know that I have a great friend, or relative he may be interested in getting to know. This has worked out twice……so you never know.

  • http://gravatar.com/malavikat malaviKat

    “Big girl” lessons… I like that. :)

  • HTown

    True! That’s a good way of looking at it also.

  • May

    I co-sign this.

  • http://gravatar.com/chanela17 chanela17

    This is definitely my life right here (except for traveling and finding the perfect job… i’m not there yet) but everything else, YES! i feel like i should just be single for the rest of my life! another accurate thing is the facebook feed. HOLY! i feel so small when i see everybody around me having kids and getting engaged and married. i have absolutely nobody and they actually have somebody that cares about them.

    my biggest problem is that i HATE being alone. i have so much love to give and noone(worth my time) to give it to. ugh
    :sigh:

  • DeeDee

    I am totally in the same boat! FB can make a girl depressed! I have decided I am about to do what I saw in a movie, throw myself an “I’m single and living life” party and EVERYONE better bring me a gift. I have dolled out for baby showers, kids birthdays, bacholorette parties, bridal showers, weddings. I am due to wrack up! LOL

    I am 34 and a Christian who lives in Boston. It is sooooooo hard to find guys who are willing to a) not play games, and b) follow my Christian values i.e no cookies from the cookie jar until married! I hate to say this next comment cause I always try to build up my fellow ladies, but I have to say it. I think one of the reasons it is so hard out there for a lot of us is because there is always some “other woman” out there who will put up with anything to have someone. Men think, why should I have to work at something that is worth it when I can go to the next that is easy. It is so sad. I have friends who say my expectations are too high. My answer is I am not asking a man to do anything that I am not willing to do in a relationship for him.

    With that said, do I hate being alone, yes. Do I regret not giving in just to have someone, NOPE! Because of my singleness I am working a job I enjoy with room to move up. I can travel anywhere. I have so many friends I love and hang with. Yes I would like to enjoy all this with someone, but I am so glad that I can also enjoy them and live life without. Not just waiting and feeling bad for myself on the sidelines, watching life pass me by.

    Enjoy life ladies! We are all beautiful women of God and are treasures to be cherished in our own rights! Blessings!

  • https://www.facebook.com/alexandra.macarthur Alexandra MacArthur

    I think that all the exploring, not to mention the publishing you’re doing, would be a lot harder if you were in a relationship. Yes, having a partner is great – you can go to the movies with him, drink fine wines – but you are far less likely to feel the need to explore the world and tell your story when you always have this awesome person to hang out with. I have always been unnerved by the decrease in risks that I take when I’m in relationships. I miss out on meeting new people, and maybe a situation that is just so-so won’t bother me enough to change it, but if I was single, it would.

    So there are pros and cons to both, I think.

    In any case, I loved reading this, Niesha! I feel the same way many times. Perhaps we are making choices about how we want to live without realizing it? And maybe some actions we take in our day-to-day lives cancel out certain possibilities – at least for the time being.

    No matter the case, it seems to be that you are in exactly the place you need to be right now.

    - Alex

  • Sunday

    This. Post.

    Except, I wouldn’t quite say I’m ashamed, but more so very, very behind. I very recently had to force myself to go ahead and visit all of the places I’ve always wanted to (Germany and Indonesia to name the first two on my list) experience them with a significant other, but I haven’t been in a relationship in several years. This is not because I didn’t want to be in one…but I’m not about to write a book here on Clutch. :)

    I guess when I *do* meet someone, I can visit these places with them again and at least know where I’m going the second time around, lol.

    The dating/relationship marketplace is difficult denna mug…

  • Stephanie

    Nooooo!!!! You have my dream job :)

  • http://www.lorrikey.com lk

    Love your life even with the lonely spells. Sometimes we forget what’s great and focus on what we don’t have instead taking away from our great moments. Traveling and the opportunity for new experiences can get complicated when there’s a relationship.

  • Ash

    Best wishes. In the past, I’ve been known to yearn for things I don’t have. When I’m in a relationship…I miss being single. When I’m single….I want a relationship. We have to learn to enjoy the moment and appreciate life (as it is). The reality is that there’s a man out there for you. I mean…Honey Boo Boo’s mom has a man! lol So enjoy all the positive things that are happening now.

    Some of my best experiences I have was when I traveling solo. Just keep busy and enjoy the moment.

  • Tiffany

    I’m currently in the exact situation. Super fulfilled professionally but in the midst of a “I’m so lonely” period. About 6 months prior, I had a boyfriend but I was unemployed and miserable. So miserable that I lost 15 pounds and my hair fell out resulting in an involuntarily 2nd big chop. But now I’m in my ideal position without a significant other. I may be lonely but I’m far from where I was as someone’s unemployed girlfriend. I figure if a relationship is in my imminent future, it will come. If not, that’s fine too.

  • http://ohheyiceland.wordpress.com/ Hannah

    I walked home from my first week of graduate classes in Iceland (just moved from the US) wondering exactly what you have so eloquently expressed. My last relationship was also two years ago, and the fact that another woman is struggling with the same thing conundrum is so encouraging. Thanks!

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