Companionship at ease

“Be single,” my friend told me. “Statistically, you’ll be happier.”

I had just shared with him how I decided dating wasn’t for me. Casual dating was always an “absolutely not,” but I thought that part of growing into an adult would be wanting a long-term relationship.

For a little while that rang true. Perhaps I had taken all the effort I would have put into relationships and put it into my studies and extracurriculars. But the desire stuck around, patiently waiting its turn to hold hands and another in its arms. The hopeless romantic in the backseat of my mind had plenty of time to meet and observe the people who entered my life.

There were people in relationships, people who found themselves in situationships and a lot who hated dating apps. My backseat romantic trusted me (the driver) to follow the self-imposed speed limit as to not rush into relationships while watching her acquaintances subjected to bad dating behavior.

Disrespect, entitlement, poor communication, indecisiveness and lack of emotional intelligence — all common grievances, especially from women in the straight dating arena. There were exceptions, of course, but how could I expect my experience to deviate from the norm when dating seems to go wrong for so many?

Why would I try for a future that would make me unhappy?

A couple of cats are still in my future. So is companionship through relationships of all kinds.

But that backseat romantic still expects her happy ending — I’m on the way home on a sunny Sunday afternoon, leaning my head against the person next to me as she leans hers against mine. She’s another one of my close friends. We got coffee and cute doughnuts together. We talked about our lives — the good and the bad — then wandered around the neighbourhood before heading home. We’ll probably do the same thing next Sunday.

I am at ease. I am happy.