A few weeks ago I was asked to speak about sex, dating, and relationships to a group of young professional women at a local lounge. I noticed a very interesting and puzzling thing as the night progressed and the drinks kept flowing. I received a few compliments from the ladies about how good looking and nice I was, followed up with statements wondering why the hell I was single.
Now I don't bring this up to brag that women think I'm very attractive. In fact, to the contrary, I think I have a face that would scare small children, but that's beside the point. What I can't understand is that people assume if you're "normal" in every other way, but still single, then there must be something wrong with you.
They wouldn't ask that question if they weren't expecting an answer such as, "He has committment issues," or "He just got out of a bad relationship," or "He's a player," or "He's gay" -- all false by the way, although one woman at the event did ask me if I was gay.
While there is no palpable reason why I'm single, the sad truth is that the general population believes that if you're in your late 20s or early 30s and still single, there must be something wrong with you -- that you're flawed in some way. They think you're a player just out for sex, that you can't commit, or have some character flaw that prevents any member of the opposite sex from wanting anything to do with you. Hogwash!
I'm not all that surprised really. After all, women are very analytical. They ask "why" to trivial things way more than they need to. Women hear, "I'm single" and immediately think, "Hm, he might be suspect." Men hear, "I'm single" and immediately think, "Cool, I can have sex with her without a jealous boyfriend coming after me." Overthinking is OK in some situations, ladies, such as deciding if White Castle at 3 a.m. is a good idea or not, but the "I'm single" situation isn't one of them. Sometimes it is what it is.
Whatever happened to being selective before you jump into a relationship? Or maybe you're so busy that you can't provide the time a good relationship requires? Maybe you simply haven't met the right girl. George Clooney's been single forever; you don't hear anyone saying he's broken do ya? Yet another similarity between me and George.
So ladies, when a seemingly decent dude tells you he's single, don't be so quick to be suspicious like you're getting an awesome price on a car and asking, "Hmm what's the catch?" Sometimes there isn't one. How about this: if you're curious why we're single, just ask. I know forthright communication between men and women is a radical idea, but it's been known to happen. Learn more about this suburban Chicago fireman/writer at www.jonibrahim.com and make sure to check more of his musings on life in the single lane at "The Fireman & the Shrink" podcast.