I’ve been single for two decades.
Don’t get me wrong; I’ve been in the "talking" stage with guys. And if it got really serious, it even escalated into a "thing."
But from my personal experience with relationships (or lack thereof), I can tell you after 20 years without a boyfriend, you start to reflect on possible reasons why it hasn’t happened yet.
I find that when attempts at love go astray, women tend to blame themselves.
Of course, like any woman, I’ve asked myself, “Am I not pretty enough? Am I too tall? Maybe guys don’t like that I’m funny?”
But, I really don’t think it’s my fault I’ve never been in a serious relationship.
I’m not saying I’m some God-given gift from above, but I just can’t find anything I’m doing wrong when it comes to dating.
Then, I realized I’m not single because I’m doing something wrong.
I’m single because I’m doing something right, something more women should start doing.
Whether he meant to or not, my dad taught me how to do it.
What he has subconsciously taught me to do over the last 20 years is to never settle when it comes to love.
He taught me it's important to have high standards for a potential significant other, but he didn’t necessarily teach me this by telling me outright.
As time goes on, it proves truer to me my dad is the main reason I am — and always have been — single.
Dad, I'm not saying this is a bad thing. I’m not blaming you; I’m thanking you.
If someone knows me relatively well, he or she knows my dad is my best friend.
I know a lot of women say that, and I know everyone likes to think he or she has the best dad in the world.
But sorry, peeps. My dad kicks major ass in the fathering department, and that’s a fact.
It's not that he didn’t let me date in high school.
He wasn't the one pushing the guys away. He never answered the door for my homecoming dates with a shotgun in hand.
He’s the cool dad who gave them that universal guy handshake/half-hug, and then told them to follow him on Twitter.
So how can such a dope guy be the reason my relationship status can be defined as “sleeping diagonally in my bed every night?"
Here are five reasons why:
1. I’m single because of how driven and hardworking he is.
He works six days a week, sometimes seven, and the word “weekend” has been out of his vocabulary since college.
But somehow, even though he has virtually no free time, family is his top priority.
He is almost never home by dinner time, and he could easily come home and pass out right away after an exhausting day at work.
But instead, he asks me to watch a movie with him or tries to get my whole family to play a board game.
He’s never too busy to chill with me, even though sometimes, I’m too busy to hang with him.
2. I’m single because of how close he is with his parents, even at 50 years old.
Sorry for outing you, Dad. You don’t look a day over 43.
He always calls my grandparents, even though my 88-year-old grandma Bea (bless her heart) always yells to my papa Les, “Dear, Andy’s on the phone! How do I put this on speaker?”
He’s patient with them and is always jumping at opportunities for us to spend time with them.
3. I’m single because he’s a chameleon.
If we’re together and want to act like complete buffoons, he turns into a 10-year-old.
This can be anything from talking in ridiculous voices to laughing at inappropriate jokes.
But if I go to him hysterically crying and need his advice and consolation, he talks me through it and rubs my back until I fall asleep.
4. I’m single because his daughters are his entire world.
From holding my hair when I blacked out in high school to singing Disney songs with my sister when she was little, there’s nothing he wouldn’t do to help us or make us happy.
I know all guys dream of having a son to play catch with in the yard, and my sister and I have never really fulfilled that dream for him.
But has he ever complained? Of course not.
5. Most importantly, I’m single because of the way he loves my mom.
My dad and I can be cliquey, and we might gang up on my mom and make fun of her a lot.
But my dad is my mom’s biggest fan and loves her unconditionally.
Whether it’s encouraging her to go after a job she wants or giving her validation that her new hairstyle looks good, he does it all.
They never leave each other without a kiss, and they never hang up the phone without an “I love you.”
You may have wondered how my dad being awesome has anything to do with me being single. But to me, it's really obvious why.
After growing up around a man who possesses all of these qualities, how could I ever settle for anything less?
While my dad is the exception and not the rule, I have proof a perfect guy exists.
Believe it or not, he used to be a normal frat boy at a Big Ten school when he was my age.
Was he this awesome when he was 20? It’s hard to say.
If I had to go out on a limb, I’d say someone who makes that great of a father and husband does not attain all of those qualities overnight.
Does it sometimes get discouraging never having a successful attempt at love? Of course it does.
Just because I haven’t been in a serious relationship, it doesn’t mean I’m not equipped to be in one or I don’t want one.
I just want to invest my time in someone who will one day bring me the same kind of happiness my dad brings my mom.
So, future husband, if you’re reading this and I end up choosing you, know you must be pretty f*cking awesome if you have all of these criteria.
Also, I have a feeling you and my dad are gonna be bros in no time.