No matter how I romanticize single or partnered life, whatever happens for me is going to have to be okay — because this is the only life I’ve got. I’ve been single ever since. In that amount of time, four of my cousins have gotten engaged, two of them have gotten married, and one of them has had a baby. I, on the other hand, moved into my own apartment, got my dream job, and carried on a six-month affair i’m going to be single forever a guy whom I’d never call my boyfriend, but who would order Ubers to my place on the Upper East Side of Manhattan at 11 p.
I’d make the late-night trek to his apartment in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn. But he wasn’t the only guy I’ve dated during this time. I’ve been on multiple apps and websites, and I go on plenty of dates. But I have yet to find what most people classify as love. This is a fact that has always been terrifying for me.
I grew up in a house with two parents who are still crazy about each other. I was fed a steady diet of Disney movies and YA novels, and being a member of a very traditional Italian-American family meant there was a lot of emphasis on family — the one you were in and the one you’d eventually start on your own. All I’ve ever wanted was to fall in love. I measured my relationship progress against other women’s — a habit that I’ve, regrettably, never seemed to kick.
Even now, whenever a friend or family member finds themselves in a new relationship, I wonder why it hasn’t worked out for me yet. Lately, I’ve been trying to weigh the prospect of a life without love. If I’m being honest with myself, the idea of never finding that one person to settle down with is scary to me — like, Freddy Krueger scary. It will happen when you stop looking! Nobody really winds up alone! This is frustrating for many reasons, the least of which is that I am not someone who will ever stop thinking about it. I will freely admit the fact that I am more than a little bit of a control freak when it comes to my life.
I wanted to be a writer, so I made myself a writer — with all the long nights and ass-busting that come along with it. I wanted to live in a studio by myself, so I make it happen — even if it means skipping out on brunch or a party so I can actually pay my rent. This is one aspect of my life that I can’t control, no matter how much I try to. But this is one aspect of my life that I can’t control, no matter how much I try to.
And that inability to fix the one thing in my life that I want to fix makes me so anxious — anxious enough that I put myself in therapy to try to work through my need for control. If I work hard at something, I’ll get something in return. We’re a group of individuals who believe that we deserve a prize for putting in work — I mean, we got participation trophies in sports. But the truth of the matter is that not everyone gets a shiny new car at the end of the day. We can work our asses off for something our entire lives and still have nothing to show for it.
For me, that might be the love life I always imagined for myself. And that doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll never be in a relationship again. I could meet someone, fall madly in love, put years into a relationship, and it might not work out. That happens every single day.