Grace, 28, Single, California

Curious about others experiences in dating and relationships, I posted some questions out on Facebook in early September 2017 to collect stories from a wide range of hearts and experiences in love. This is one of many:

+ If you're coupled, how did you meet? - Single

+ If dating, where do you meet people? - Dating apps i.e. Hinge - I would probably stick with Hinge at this point. I’ve been on Tinder and Coffee Meets Bagel before. Tinder was juvenile and CMB was too Asian lol. And a little too straight-edge.

+ What are your fears & concerns about dating and relationshipping? - That I have to give up some of my freedom. I’ve been told it’s because I haven’t met the right person, which I agree with. But I think that this fear is proving to be empty because I realize there are people out there that are as open-minded as I am, if not more.

+ Are you happy in your current status? Why or why not? - YES, I LOVE singlehood. Before, it was by default. Now, it’s by choice. I know I can go meet a guy on a dating app, go on a couple dates, get serious if I so choose, not out of arrogance, but I just think it’s possible. But I choose not to. I feel that I have things I really want to work on for myself, establish myself, focus on me. And later on, a relationship will happen in its time. So I’m perfectly happy being where I’m at. Plus, the guys I’ve been attracted to and vice versa have been much much older than me (20+ years) and I just don’t think neither the guy nor I can handle that at this time haha. At that age he wants to settle down while I’m over here not knowing what the next year will hold or where it will take me.

+ Do you view marriage as a destination or a journey? - Definitely journey. Marriage is an option, therefore, not a destination. If I choose to be part of one, it will be because it goes with my flow and I go with his. If it doesn’t happen, that’s fine. Or if it happens way later, totally cool. And actually, I’m not too keen no marriage to begin with. Marriage is a manmade construct. There’s no real reason, except for taxes, to get hitched, in my opinion. What the hell does it all mean? Nothing truly spiritually or emotionally meaningful. It’s all for a social purpose. If you love the person and vice versa, then that’s it. Perhaps I’m too naive though lol.

+ If married, how much work does it take to maintain and happy and loving relationship with your spouse? - Not too much. It will definitely require communication and hard conversations here and there. But then, I have this thing where, if things get too hard with the person, I’m pretty down to separate. Nothing is worth my happiness and freedom. I think a truly fruitful and divinely appointed (haha so woo-woo, I know) relationship is one where both partners understand their needs and preferences in relation to the others’. And that we’re all one, and therefore not fighting for what’s “mine”. If we can live in that space, then it really shouldn’t take work beyond the process of getting to know each other, which happens over time.

+ If coupled, do you follow traditional gender norms or share responsibilities in a different manner? - I’m single right now, but I’ve followed norms and done things non-traditionally. I have a natural tendency to want to take care of people (SOMETIMES) but I have no problem with being taken care of haha for example, I don’t cook, or I don’t have an inclination to learn. The last couple guys I dated all cooked for me. I LOVED it. The very last guy I dated, I would take my work laptop out and work at his desk while he cooks and cleans haha. Then when he’s ready, he calls me over and I dig in lol. That was the best, I tell you.

+ If coupled, how long have you known each other, been a couple and married (if applicable)? - N/A but I will say all the guys I’ve dated, I’ve met on dating apps, so I never knew them really well. Which is probably a reason why we didn’t work hahaha.

+ If single, do you go out on dates often? Why or why not, and do you want to have a different answer? - Right now, no dates. I have things I’m focusing on that really matter to me.

+ If single, what do you experience in society? Are you purposefully and happily single, or do you feel pressured to seek a partner? - Purposefully and happily single. I used to sort of feel pressured. But I’ve since learned that none of that shit matters.

+ Do you have couples you know, either personally or from afar, that are your #relationshipgoals- They’re all celebrities, all stuff I see on videos and shiz. I don’t really want to emulate anyone’s relationships I know lol. That says a lot I guess.

+ Do you believe marriage is still necessary and viable or is it an antiquated institution? - Marriage was never necessary. It’s a human construct. I cannot imagine vowing to stay with one person my entire life. At least not right now, maybe my tune will change later lol who knows. But the more I understand myself, I just don’t understand why we have to stick with one person or promise to stick with one person. I think I see marriage as a burden, something that people feel they have to do. But I understand that many people want to vow their lives to each other.

+ Does religion, family or culture play a role in your dating approach? - Yes, they represent horrible dating standards. No, I don’t want to date a perfect guy with a stable job, a nice car, and a good family. There are no rules except mine.

+ What do you want from being coupled that you do not feel when single? - I haven’t been in a serious relationship for a couple years now and I’ve dated a few guys since my ex (we ended September 2015 so exactly 2 years). Nothing makes me miss anything about being with a guy, not even the sex. Even the sex is fun and cool at first, but it gets old. Again, maybe I haven’t met the right guy. Tbh, I’m perfectly fine in that aspect being single. I love my time, my space, my person, my freedom. And I feel loved wherever I go. On the flip side, I know there are more than a few things I’d miss about being single, if I was coupled haha. Like going to the beach alone or hitting up a bar to drink solo without explaining myself.