Why Are We So Desperately Single?

I found myself on the subway yet again and, in the midst of fantasizing when I’ll be rich enough to have a driver, to deciding if I should go to the gym that night, a beautiful man entered the train. More importantly, he was glancing towards my direction. Unfortunately, this wasn’t a bar, and we couldn’t just casually approach each other, could we? We didn’t. After a few stops and imagining the slick lines I would have prepared if he spoke to me, he got off at the Times Square stop. Mine wasn’t till 49th St.

In a moment of desperation and delusion (double D’s aren’t always a good thing), I followed.
Think of a real life version of It Follows, except I’m visible to everyone else and he can’t simply have sex with someone to get rid of me. I’m more persistent.  If  Emperor Penguins travel up to 70miles during the cold, harsh Antarctic winter just to get laid, could this be any worse? And If you’ve yet to have the privilege of trying to chase down someone throughout the Times Square subway station, it’s flooded with people, there’s countless turning-points, entrances and exits, and it’s like dipping yourself in boiling water during the summer. *Life-Size M&Ms begin singing I Will Do Anything for Love*
Somewhere in between almost tripping and falling into the train tracks, to accidentally shoving a little girl, I had to ask myself: What the hell am I doing? Why are we so desperate? Before you brush me off for using the pronoun “we,” think about your own dating and sex life. Sure, you might have never played the role of a multi-personality, paranormal stalker, but how much does being single consume your own happiness, or better said, lack off? After hours spent roaming bars, dating apps, and our past mistakes and failures that led us to being single, what exactly are we hoping to find?
The answer is simple, because it’s not a what, it’s a who. But how can we expect to find them if we don’t know who they are- if we don’t know who we are?
We treat being single like a puzzle, so desperately in search for the missing piece, that we often end up trying to jam pieces that are obviously a misfit. We end up passing up on the pieces that could have been new friends, new memories and new opportunities, because we are so focused on completing the romantic portion.
I’m not denying that when others ask if I’m seeing someone, it would be nice to have other answers besides my therapist or Mom for lunch, but in so fastidiously trying  to see someone, I’ve been missing New York City. I’ve been missing the satisfaction and fulfillment from everyday single life.
Because while sex, cuddles, relationships, date nights, anniversaries and that so called happily-ever-after are nice, there’s so much more. Truth is, there’s no happily-ever-after unless that’s your pseudonym for death. Life is long. All those things will eventually be there, but the experiences and friendships you miss while frantically looking for them might not.
As I asked myself, what am I doing? The answer was clear: I’m chasing a hot man through the subway station, with no clear idea of what to do once I reach him. And this on its own is a perk of being single. The adventure, the chase, the freedom to continually fall in love with a stranger everyday.
Though I ended up not having the courage to stop the mystery man, it was comforting knowing that I could if I wanted to. That liberty (unless in a polyamorous relationship) won’t always be there. So, why are so desperate to end it?
About author


Colombian-born columnist, Jamie Valentino is the Editor-at-Large at POP Style TV. His columns and interviews have been published in Google Arts & Culture, W42ST Magazine, LUXE Magazine, VULKAN, The Queer Review, ArtSugar & more. In his free time, he dabbles with fiction and short stories, which have been published in Across the Margin and Statement of Record. Instagram: @Jamie_Valentino
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