The first thing I say when I am on a date is: “I don’t like people easily”. And I do this to give the person a fair warning. That way, he is able to manage his expectations and not get disappointed when it starts to look like I am dragging my feet.
I guess I am what the world would now refer to as “Demisexual” – a person who does not experience sexual attraction, unless there is an emotional connection. Until we have a sort of rapport, I legit do not feel any attraction. Even if your eyes shine as bright as gold, you are 6.3 feet tall and have the sexiest abs ever seen…it will have no effect, really.
And I was trying to explain all of this to a rather dramatic guy that I went on a date with, a few days ago when he cut in and asked a completely unrelated question: “Are you single?”
Something about the way he asked the question (or maybe it was the cold air bubbling in the car), got me blanked out for a second. I usually was the one who asked those questions: Are you single? Are you dating? Does anyone identify as your girlfriend or wife? Does anyone hold the key to your life? This was new. So, I replied and said: “Why would I be out on a date with you, if I wasn’t single?”
Immediately the question came out, I regretted it. I sounded defensive and I wondered why. I was single and I was sure of it. As though privy to my thoughts, he laughed and said. “Ok. If you say so.”
“What do you mean “if you say so”? I am single. I am not the type to go on date with multiple people” I retorted, almost too quickly.
“Ah. Ok ma. Oshe!”. He responded with a deep laugh.
Clearly he was being cynical. Normally I would leave people to their cynicism, but something about it all, just really irritated and annoyed me. But to avoid any sort of argument, I let it go and smiled at him. I asked him: “Are you single?” He looked at me for what seemed longer than a second and asked in response: “Is anyone truly ever single?”
“What do you mean?” I asked. He went on to explain that every human at every point in time have people in their lives, people their hearts are tethered to, so no one is really single; and any adult ripe for dating is continually seeing someone, whether actively or passively. According to him, it could be a relationship with a man that still isn’t your boyfriend, despite months of talking and hanging out; your friend whose girlfriend/boyfriend has become your “bestie” too and is always there; or the one from work who drives you home from work every day and you have to synchronize your schedule, so that you are able to a lot of things together. Even though nothing is clear or defined with these people, they are not truly single. We only say we are single because the ones who we are tethered to at the time are not our best options.
As he was talking, I got a video call request on my phone. We both saw the call come in and the picture was clearly that of a dude. I cut the call. And he smiled and asked why I didn’t pick, and I said to him : “It would be rude”. He said: “No, it wouldn’t. I am driving, you can take the call. I will wait”. I really didn’t want to pick the call as the dude calling would probably pass as the “ghost” boyfriends he was referring to, and I didn’t want to validate his weird assertions in any way. But then, I also wanted to stand my ground, so I picked the call. It was weird AF having the conversation right in front of him. Paying attention to what the person on the phone asked and my responses, we might as well be partners in some alternative universe.
“and you say” you are completely single? No?” he said immediately after I dropped the call, adding an irritating giggle. I responded with “he is a friend. I am single. Believe it or not”.
“of course you are “ He sorted and for some reason we couldn’t agree on anything else until we go to my house and he dropped me off.
For some reason his cynicism had rubbed me the wrong way. While what he was saying was clear hogwash, as the general consensus is: you are single, until you’re married, I couldn’t help but glimpse a measure of truth in his point. I have heard people make such comments as: a man is never single, you always have to take him from someone, and I always turn up my nose at it…but now I am wondering, is there a chance that he is right and not only men, but everyone you meet is already tethered to someone else somehow and you have to take them?
Let me know your thoughts.
Written by: Nkem Ndem
About Nkem Ndem
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