Since she emerged as the ultra smart, ultra accomplished and ultra beautiful girlfriend of George Clooney, Amal Alamuddin has drawn the admiration and envy of many around the world. She possesses the kind of allure of otherworldly women– something remarkable and untouchable. I would place her in a category with the late Carolyn Bessette or maybe the late Princess Diana: a feminine delicateness paired with a strength that when you realize it’s there, surprises you but also enhances the total beauty of the package.
When I first heard the gossip of George Clooney dating and then deciding to marry Amal, one of the first things that I locked onto was a single attribute: her age. When she met (not too sure about when she married) George Clooney, she was 36 which is just a bit older than I am today. And it made me wonder: how could such a beautiful and accomplished woman still be single at 36? How could a woman like Amal still be on the market?
Since moving to SF, well and really off-and-on since returning to the Bay Area after graduate school, I have been kind of, sort of dating. I’ve had a live online profile for the past couple of years and here and there I’ll take a look at popular dating apps or feel the impulse to do more on dating sites than just leave my profile running. More recently, I’ve realized that I have little excuse not to date and in theory, should be aggressively doing so (I’m getting older as we breathe and speak). My friends exhort that I should be more proactive. And I know things aren’t just magically going to work themselves out.
But as other single people will admit: dating is terrible. Unless you have the benefit of a significant other from school or some other personal connection, it’s really a painful and awful experience and one that sinks you deeper into the doldrums of your singleness.
More recently, I have realized that I am the point where I’m less desirable to guys, not because of where I am in my life or how I look (because I look remarkably good, I think, for my age). But merely and simply because of my age. My age and what it implies about what I expect when dating a guy. My age and what it implies about the pace that I expect to date and marry. My age and what it implies about who I am.
It’s frustrating because I can see some of my friends telling me that I waited too long. Which I think is a bit unfair considering I had graduate school and other disruptions adding bumps to my life road. But regardless– there’s a growing twinge in me that maybe I focused on the wrong things and maybe I wasted time. And then there’s that most painful twinge that maybe it just won’t happen– not in time for children and not in time that the happy relationship will have been a majority of how I spend my life.
I have a good handfull of single friends: all of us reasonably attractive, accomplished, smart, in good jobs. And as each of us voices struggles over the inability to find a sound and solid mate, I can’t help but think: what the fuck? How can all of us live in cities, have social lives, be out in the world doing our life things– how can it not happen? The economics of supply and demand work in our favor: just look at any online dating site or app. There are a TON of single people– the inventory is high, the demand is high. How can this NOT happen– not just for us but for the whole lot of single people contained within these digital confines?
And then I think about beautiful Amal. Still single at 34… 35… 36… I wonder: did Amal ever sit at home wondering if it (love, a sound relationship, finding *the one*) would happen? Did Amal’s friends and family ever tsktsk and wonder/worry, “Why is Amal still single? Such a lovely, smart and talented girl– why is she still alone?” Did Amal ever go through bouts of self-analysis, where she wondered whether her years of academics and then challenges of being a top human rights barrister distracted her from the time and energy she should have been pouring into finding a man? Did Amal ever create an online profile? Did Amal ever go to a bar with friends in the hopes that maybe she would bump into an equally accomplished single man who is mature and financially and professionally settled?
Of course not– Amal is much too wonderful for all that.
I am, admittedly, no Amal. I’m not exquisitely beautiful like Amal, nor am I dressed head to toe in designer fashions. I am not a top barrister known throughout the world for my intelligence and eloquence. No no– I don’t have any self delusions that I am even a small fraction of all that which is Amal Alamuddin Clooney.
But hey– I’m no pile of doody either.
So I guess that’s it for tonight’s post. I’m feeling frustrated though admittedly I haven’t been through the wringer enough to feel the full terrible force that is dating. But it sucks when the experience is paired with the fear of what might never be. Does it push you ahead? Does it make you stand still in a sad, painful panic?
What would Amal do? Just move forward with her glamorous and important life and expect that it will all work out?