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The Post-Grad Love Triangle: Me, Myself, and Him

By Jeanne Zonneveld 

A few weeks ago, I found myself enjoying an extended happy hour with some girls I went to college with, though we weren’t particularly close. Discussing our post-grad lives, I found myself cringing when the inevitable discussion of past flames and current love lives came up. While the former of the two brought back some memories, and mostly laughter, it was the latter subject that gave me pause to think as of late. 

There is nothing that irks me as much as being asked, “how are you single?” by a friend who means it. At the time, I jokingly composed a list of obscure habits that would freak any guy (or person) out, but as I sat and listened to the laments of other singletons, I realized what was bugging me. If someone really wanted to discuss my single status, they should really be asking, “why are you single?” instead. The answer to which, my friends, is much simpler than you think. 

The reason most 20-something year olds are single after college is because of the relationship that they are already in – with themselves. 

Now, before you roll your eyes, or think, ‘is she calling me a narcissist?” I want you to know that I don’t think you are. However, I don’t think you’re dating for the guy sitting anxiously across the table from you, either. No, college graduates are still doing what was so easy to do in college, because everyone was on the same level there; we were “just doing us,” as I’ve heard many, many girls say on nights out. 

This obviously does not apply to everyone, even I have friends who have stayed together with people that they met back before college, but those couples understand something that our generation really doesn’t care to admit to when it comes to dating. We’re in the relationship for how it can benefit us, and not for how it can better us. 

There’s nothing technically wrong in wanting to receive in a relationship, we’re just not ready for the part where we actually give, yet. But there’s no reason to lament, because, as I said earlier, we’re technically not alone. We have ourselves to fall back on – and clearly there’s nothing wrong with this, from the escalating number of people who are opting to stay strong and single in their 20s. 

When we think about our post-grad love triangle, there will always be the integral member of ourselves present in complicating matters with a guy, and vice versa. But that extra member should never be ignored, because when it comes down to it, no one knows you better than yourself. The good, the bad, the pretty, and the ugly, keeping true to you is the only way to sort out the qualities you will come to appreciate, and eventually want to share with someone else. Until then, don’t waste your nights pining over some guy who doesn’t exist, and turn to yourself for a good time. Because when you go out, and show the world that you’ve got a healthy relationship within yourself working out, the right guy will take notice, and want to share that kind of relationship with you too. 

But, what about him? There is a truth that needs to be addressed about that point of the triangle, and it has everything to do with that college lifestyle mentioned earlier. When I said, we’re on the same level, I really meant to say – you’re just doing you in the hopes that you’ll get to do him. That physical need to connect is the only area where turning to yourself for happiness falls short, and no one can hold it against you. We live in a “hookup” society, where sex is as casual as a first date. When all is said, and the deed is done, ask yourself if you’re actually interested in that guy for his personality, his thoughts, or his lifestyle. Because, more often than not, a walk of shame really becomes a liberation strut, as you leave a potentially messy situation scot-free. You’ve both made your bed, messed around in it, and can get on with your lives; really, what’s so wrong with that? 

If all else fails and this article didn’t send the message home, think of it this way: 

Stay mingling, my singltons.

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