Guest Post: Being single in Toronto.
It’s with humility that I know today’s topic all too well. My dear friend Emilia is not alone in her journey; before I was single in Calgary I was single in Toronto. The stories, the glances, the possibilities. All the same no matter the city.
Though the spiral of dating can have such a dizzying effect, it allows you to learn yourself, and what you’ll put up with.
When I was asked to write a column on Being Single in Toronto, I immediately jumped at the chance, after all, I’m Emilia-perpetually-single-Farrace and always have a story or two to share. Then, as I sat down to compose this beautiful article; writing notes, compiling old date stories and generally laughing at my life; I found myself stumped. How do you be single in Toronto? For me, it’s not like it’s been a concentrated choice, it just sort of happened, without planning. For a girl who used to plan everything from sleep schedules to possible bathroom breaks, that’s a big deal.
When I moved back to Toronto from Calgary almost three years ago, I was also moving out of a really unhealthy long term-possible-marriage-talk relationship. One that forced me to re-evaluate my standards, take a look at myself from inside out and really dig deep at the core of what held me back (and hostage) for so long. In the end, two months of being single turned into six, six months turned into a year and all of a sudden it has been three years of my single status.
I remember telling myself when I was freshly angry that I wasn’t doing it again – I wasn’t going to ever be in a relationship. Not because I swore off men or hated the world, but I felt that the pain I had to endure to get over the heartbreak was too much, so instead of swearing them off entirely, I swore the next boyfriend I had would be the man I married. No more wasting time, I thought. One might think that would mean I went on some cosmic search and settled for the next guy who showed interest. I mean, I’m not going to lie, I see it happen everyday among people I know and acquaintances. But instead, I dated. Correction, instead, I date.
I date people from work; people I’ve been set up with; people I’ve met randomly at bars, social events, work events, yoga classes, weddings, grocery stores – and yes, even online. After I got over that initial heartbreak, I remembered I live in a city with a population of over 2.5 million, or five if you include the Greater Toronto Area and the possibilities seem endless.
The fact that there are cute, single, successful guys on every corner (and there are, trust me) kind of makes the dating process a little more confusing. The good on paper guy suddenly seems too good to be true, and then, more often than not – usually is. The completely hot, muscular, relaxed hipster turns out to be more interested in his latest hobby than remembering you had an indoor rock climbing date scheduled for Thursday afternoon. And the sexy, exotic, landed immigrant from Ireland turns out to be a little more into the drink than you’d originally anticipated.
There’s always a story. For me, there’s always a laugh. It’s about having fun and figuring out who I am in the process. It may sound weird to be figuring out who I am while on dates with all these different guys – but at the same time, I’m getting to really experience the city I live in, because unfortunately, throughout the hustle and bustle of it all, sometimes we forget we live in a pretty awesome place. It helps when someone new can show you a part of it you thought you knew but, in fact, had no idea. Seeing something, some place, from a different perspective, a differing opinion can really help develop who you are.
It also helps, that the more guys you date, the more you can spot the douchebags from a mile away – and never get angry at a douchebag experience. They often provide the best insight on yourself – and the best story to a friend. When you can take a step back and reflect, you can actually pinpoint when you see yourself growing as person and I think that’s the best part.
I get criticized sometimes on being too picky, but I’m a big believer in butterflies and just think I haven’t met the person best suited as of yet. But I’m not worried. Life is still being lived, and experiences are still being had and I’m still figuring out me – and this city.
The guys will come and go, always. This is the time in my life for that to happen. So I’ve got to just sit back, relax and enjoy it until I meet the one that doesn’t go away – and the one I don’t want to. If you live your life to the fullest, somehow, everything just seems to fall into place. And whether or not you’re single, doesn’t really matter.