If I had an album, the first track would be titled "This Is Why I'm Single," ideally rapped to the tune of Mims' 2007 hit, "This Is Why I'm Hot."
The reference to my singledom is a very common phrase in my lexicon.
I said it last weekend after I made margaritas, got lime all over my hands, sat in the sun, and wound up with a weird reaction all over my hands.
I said it after I tried to hop on a unicorn pool float with freshly blow dried hair (and that margarita I worked so hard), only to flop directly into the pool.
It's a bizarre form of self-flagellation via phrase; I use it as a way to beat myself up for anything and everything. It's pretty dumb. I once dated a guy who put his jeans in the freezer to clean them, yet, I still liked him.
So what are the real reasons you're single? It's definitely not because you lost your drink a pool, or because you should probably find out about your allergies. Instead, it's because of the way you speak to yourself. It's overused, but true - you have to love yourself before anyone can love you.
Here are five things you probably say every day that are the actual reasons you're single:
1. Dating Takes So Much Time And Effort
It is much more satisfying to spend a night grabbing dinner with a friend than to spend it talking about summer camp with a stranger whose hair is greasier than his Bumblepictures suggested.
Yes, messaging can be a little annoying to keep up with. Responding to texts and actually picking a night that works for you both can border on exhausting - the amount of times I've texted for weeks with a guy, but never went out, is embarrassing - but going on dates is literally the only way to stop being single.
"But I'm so tired after work," you tell yourself. Well, then you don't get to complain about being alone.
I remember wanting to cancel on a particular date a few years ago, and he ended up turning into my favorite person I've dated in a long time... and maybe ever.
You have to put yourself out there.
2. I Need To Lose 10 Pounds
Body issues are not the sort of thing that disappear with a magical wave of the willpower wand.
I used to convince myself that the smaller I got, the more likely I would be to have a boyfriend. But then I looked around: Being in a relationship is not only for super skinny people. Your weight will not factor into you finding love.
It's not about being tiny, but instead, about being nice to your body and consequently, yourself.
Telling yourself you need to change your body is the equivalent to you telling yourself that you are not enough. This affects how you feel about yourself, which ultimately affects how you portray yourself to the outside world, and potential mates.
Notice when you get down on yourself, and do something that makes you feel good, whether that's buying a new bikini, doing yoga, eating ice cream, or just lying in bed, and catching up on some sleep.
It's about the baby steps.
3. I'm Just Going To Be Alone Forever, It's Fine
I'm very guilty of joking about how single I am.
I write about it. I've made comedy videos about it. I made up a song about it.
When I do these things, I'm pre-empting the reactions I expect from others (including, but not limited to, pity faces), and go on the defensive. Let's face it: Being single is not celebrated the way engagements and babies are.
Rather than telling everyone you will always be alone, start accepting that while you might have a lot to work on, you also just haven't met the right person.
I love to blame myself for failed relationships, only to realize later that the guy was sort of a d*ck, and we weren't meant for each other anyways.
Change the story that you tell yourself. Just because you've been single a lot in the past does not mean there is something broken in you.
Don't put that energy out into the universe.
4. I Miss [Insert Ex's Name Here]
You might not want to admit to yourself that one year after it's over, and he's already someone new, you still miss your ex.
Even if you aren't saying it out loud, every time you check his Instagram or play that Frank Ocean song that reminds you of him, you're telling yourself "I will never have that again."
Of course exes will pop into your mind, but dwelling on that person is also a great excuse not to find someone new. Texting an ex, and waiting for a response that may never come, gives you a kind of thrill you're missing as a single person.
It's fine if you need to be alone for a while to rebuild yourself. After a while, you may miss the excitement that comes from waiting for a text back that you'll be inspired to put yourself back out there with someone brand new.
5. It's OK, I Don't Even Want A Relationship
It's really important to ask yourself if you are looking for a relationship, or if you are truly happy being single. Are you currently content being an independent lady?
The caveat is that if you are truly happy being single, you can't beat yourself up in public anymore.
But if you are looking for someone, don't pretend that you aren't. I've totally said "I don't even know what I'm looking for" to friends, to myself, and even to my therapist when deep down, I knew I wanted a relationship. It's scary to admit, especially when you've been hurt before.
Vulnerability is so hard, but it's also the key to any relationship, with yourself or future bae.
The simple fact of being honest with yourself about what you want is a form of self love. You are taking care of yourself, and acknowledging your wants and needs.
The next time I'm tempted to acknowledge my single status after a completely random mistake I make (that has nothing to do with my dating life), I'm just going to revert my made-up song lyrics to the OG words of Mims instead: "This Is Why I'm Hot."