Sometimes I can’t help feeling wildly jealous of my coupled friends. It’s not that being single doesn’t have it’s benefits, it’s certainly easier to make big life decisions when there’s only one set of needs to consider, but being single is such a constant for me, it’s easy for those “benefits” to pale in comparison to the benefits one gets from being in a couple.
And this is where the insecurity swoops in. In and of myself, I’m fine. I know that singledom is my natural state, that I spend a lot of time (maybe even too much) being introspective, and there’s nothing wrong with that–I’m just a specialty flavor.
But then I look around, and I can’t help wondering, “Am I just doing it wrong?”
Ironically, despite having many heterosexual coupled friends who, by nature of the laws in this country, already have more privileges than a committed homosexual/queer couple will, the jealousy I feel towards them is minimal. It tends to be my other queer friends that turn me into a big, green monster–and not a cool one like The Hulk. Logically, I understand that my hetero friends are pulling from a different pool than I am, which is much bigger than the pool of people I have to choose from. The sense of competition is much lessened, there. But with my queer friends, it’s quickly becomes a question of, “Well, they figured it out and found someone, so why the hell can’t I seem to?” This line of thinking is both emotional in nature and inherently problematic.
So I could sit here and lecture you on how comparing relationships or relationship statuses is about as helpful as comparing trauma histories (that is, completely unhelpful and unnecessarily hurtful), but the truth is I do it knowing full well it’s stupid. Some emotional reactions just do not heed logic.
One part of the problem is that queer communities are often so small, the longer you stay in one, the more likely you are to end up dating an ex’s ex, or in the case of poly relationships, find you and a friend are dating the same person.
But much of it is generic, “What the hell is wrong with me?” queries. For example, I have a friend who came out relatively recently. She’s a fabulous girl, so I can’t say I’m really surprised that she found a seemingly perfect match within a couple of months. They’ve been together over a year now and they’re still so adorable you think you’re going to start vomiting kittens and rainbows around them. Meanwhile, I’ve been out more than six years now and of all the people I’ve dated, not a single one has fallen in love with me (I can’t say the same was true on my end). Granted, my friend is older than me and hence has more life experience, and I’m sure being a sexy, curvaceous femme doesn’t hurt. But still, there’s that nagging question.
I wish I could even say she was an outlier. But I’ve seen that happen a lot– gal comes out, finds her partner almost immediately, and commences with the domestic bliss. The u-haul jokes are sometimes terrifyingly accurate. I’ve never even lived with someone in a romantic capacity! And not for lack of want or curiosity. My father, who’s a lot like me, recently revealed to me that he had never lived with anyone, romantically, before he met my mother. This made me feel better for a moment. Then I remembered he was 36 when he met my mother, and I felt worse.
I guess I just need to be patient.