Single, male-identifying humans of the world, we need to talk.
I want to date one of you. I really do. I have been pretty much perpetually single for my entire life, but it has not been for lack of effort. I have actually taken many supremely stupid actions to try to become your girlfriend, like pretending to love the band Animal Collective in high school and dating one of you while you were in an open relationship with the secret dream of seducing you into monogamy.
But my misadventures in the realm of dating are not always the product of my own self-sabotage. In fact, I have found that as I age (which I do like a fine wine who was forced to develop a sense of humor because it was ugly in high school), I put myself in these kinds of situations less and less. In recent years — you might want to sit down before continuing to read this — you have been the saboteur (excluding you, overly confident straight man who is sure you are the exception).
If any of the below apply to you, I don’t want to be your girlfriend. Can you blame me?
You have obscenely specific standards.
I like to imagine that one day I will date someone who shares my obsession with Phil Collins, eagerly offers to watch my cats when I go out of town, and harbors a hatred of adults who pride themselves on their love of Disney movies (sorry, too polarizing?). But I know this is unrealistic and thus restrain myself from outlining these exact requirements to men I date. You unfortunately lack such self-awareness and emblazon your bio with, “Looking for someone who is intelligent, successful, well-traveled, outdoorsy, cultured, loves ‘Game of Thrones,’ blood type AB+, born on a leap year, and is down to get tacos.” Nobody can live up to these standards. And you are not unique for liking tacos, dude. Everyone likes tacos. Literally. Everyone.
You think you know what’s best for me.
So we might not have all of the same interests right out of the gate, but you’re eager for me to try something you’re really into. I have and I hated it? Don’t worry! Never mind my traumatizing improv experience at art camp in eighth grade — we should definitely sign up for a class. Your continued insistence and claim that I’m not very good at “yes, and”-ing is not helpful.
You have a “crazy” ex-girlfriend.
I have met, dare I say, thousands of women, the vast majority of whom I would deem to be perfectly reasonable human beings. So I find it odd how you seem to have dated so many women who were absolutely unreasonable, vindictive, and generally, in your words, “insane.” This disparity seems, to put it lightly, highly suspect. Beyond your assessment of your exes likely being entirely incorrect, in what world would hearing you talk about a woman this way make me want to date you? The idea of one day being the antagonist of such a story is wildly unappealing. I am already “that girl who shat herself during a cheerleading scavenger hunt.” My anecdotal reputation cannot withstand being sullied any further.
You ask me zero questions about myself.
Your ex isn’t insane, but you know what is? How long you have spent talking about yourself. Do you even notice that I have finished my entire beer while you have barely had a sip of yours? By the way, that’s because busying myself with lifting a glass from the table to my mouth and back again is more interesting than listening to you blather about how the semester you studied abroad in Amsterdam was “dope, no pun intended.” Eye-roll emoji. At this point, I don’t even want to tell you anything about myself, but I would like to tell you that weed is legal in the state you both live in, which makes your joke that much more lame.
You don’t get why I don’t want to sleep with you.
I might not even be on a date with you. You’re possibly a platonic friend or a former romantic interest from years ago, but you simply cannot fathom why I do not want to sleep with you. You’re on the verge of requesting a detailed list of reasons I’m not down, complete with full APA style citations. At the very least, you ask I tell you what you are doing wrong so you can “learn and grow” and be more successful with women in the future. Alas, your personal growth is not really my responsibility.
You are a proud owner of the “the sheet.”
You know exactly what I am talking about. Things seem to be going surprisingly well until we get to your apartment and I am instantly beset with horror as I realize that you have a single black sheet mounted over your window using thumb tacks. It appears you could not be bothered to go out and buy a RÄCKA and outfit it with some HÄSSLEKLOCKA, because this sheet contraption is cost-effective, efficient, and “practically the same thing.” You assure me of this as you invite me to join you on your mattress, which is sitting directly on your bedroom floor. This is my cue to hop in an Uber back to my place, crawl between my own sheets (which are on my bed where they belong) and rest easy knowing that perhaps staying single is the best choice after all.