I have been single for over three thousand days. It's been eight years, four months and I don't know how many days since I had a boyfriend. In that time, I have been on seven definitely-dates and three I-wish-these-were-dates. And for years, I have been telling friends, family and myself that I'm okay with that. Because that's what I do. I take all the uncomfortable feelings and I put them in as small a metaphorical box as I can and I pretend they're not there.
And I haven't been lying exactly. I don't know if I want a boyfriend. I don't know if I could give up my free time enough to have one. I've never been in a good relationship, never been loved in a non-platonic way. So the benefits of a romantic relationship are mysterious to me and I don't know whether they're worth the cost.
But I'm not happy with the bone-deep certainty pressed into me by my parents and aided by the weight of three thousand days alone that I am unloveable. I'm not happy with the knowledge (in my heart, it feels like I know) that if I am alone forever it will not be by choice but rather forced by circumstance. In eight years, I've met two people I'd have been interesting in dating, and three who professed to be interested in dating me. Sadly, no person was in both groups.
If I haven't met anyone in eight years, am I ever going to? This rediscovering emotions thing is a rollercoaster. I've lost the ability to put those doubts, that sadness, that despair into a little box and ignore it. It keeps coming out, ambushing me at inopportune moments. It bothers me that I can't be 'strong' anymore.
It's progress, but it kind of sucks.