The New Relationship Status: Single but Dating

Noemi J. Mullins

When someone asked me if I were in a relationship, and I replied, “I am single,” I got those looks as if there was something wrong with me. The eyes that followed would let me know what they were thinking. What’s wrong, she’s too needy or desperate, she parties too much, she scares men away, she’s doing something wrong? It was like there was something wrong because I was single. Ironically, I was not single and was, in fact, having a great time. I was seeing people, dating them, and hooking up, but I wasn’t involved in the stereotypical relationship. My only option was to tell people I was single. While some people want to use the word “single,” I wanted something that represented what women actually do in the dating scene. It was a great way to express that we aren’t committed to anyone but have a lot of time dating and meeting multiple people. This is something the society struggles with. You never hear anyone say that women can see more than one person, have a date without it leading to anything serious, and hook up with multiple men in a single week.

Multiple partners can be seen at the same time.

This new label encourages women, who have been taught by society to conform for years, to do the opposite. Good girls marry, have children, and date a guy. Slutty girls take their time, date lots of men, and sleep around. Others then blame them for being single.

The “Should-do” curse

As a former family mediation and divorce specialist, I saw people who didn’t have enough time to figure out what they wanted and instead just followed what I call the curse of “should do,” living their lives thinking that what they did was expected. The “should do” curse is based on old, outdated ideas that society has, for some reason, kept alive. This includes the shame women feel for not conforming to what they perceive as the norm. We can look at divorce rates to see that we need to change our ways when it comes to dating, relationships, and marriage.

Single and dating

Single, but dating was not only a new relationship status but also a way to discover love within or with someone else. After my first book tour, I unexpectedly found love. I attribute this to the years I spent dating, seeing many people, and messing around. I was able to test things and learn what I wanted. You can’t know what you like and dislike unless you try it.

I realized that my words had a real impact on my life after putting them down. It is for this reason that the phrase single but dating should be used. It is not just a new, honest relationship status. Women can also use it to experiment and explore what they really want.

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