Single Does Not Mean Available

By Courtney Brame April 05, 2019

…And available doesn’t necessarily mean single.


This is a friendly reminder that someone saying they are “single” does not mean they are AVAILABLE. The checked box on dating profiles is a very vague statement. What does single even mean without any additional context? Are they newly single, have they been single for a while, are they keeping your options open, are they waiting on someone?


These are the kinds of questions that should be asked and answered when a person identifies themselves as being single. Do they come with friends that are always around? What about roommates? We look at single on a binary scale of in a relationship or not in a relationship. Ask the person to identify and define what a relationship is before making your own judgement call. After all, we know it’s possible to be in a relationship when the person you think you’re in one with has no idea (covert contracts).


I want to challenge people who are dating to stop caring about the word “single” and shift over to a more fitting term, available. Single’s meaning, according to Google, is someone who is unmarried or not involved in a stable sexual relationship. The definition I was looking for would capture the fact that the person is free to do something.


Being available is more realistic for the times we live in. In 2019 we have potential partners who are available who are traditionally ‘single’ and we have potential partners who are in a stable sexual relationship who are also available. Communicating availability creates space to delve into what that looks like. You can communicate that you’re available for exactly what you’re looking for. If you don’t know, that’s okay. We want to be mindful by setting the standard that someone can be available, despite their relationships with sexual partners. Dating is evolving and there’s no more scripts to follow.


Maybe the man picks up the woman at 8pm for dinner and a movie, meets the parents, opens the car door, picks the music she likes, pays for dinner and the movie, goes for a walk, make out, and then have her home by 12am like a real gentleman should.


Or maybe, we meet up with friends and connect with someone who may be new to the group. We laugh, eat food, have drinks, dance, make out, uber to the next place, wind up back at the friend’s house, stay the night and when everyone is sleep (or awake, no judgment) we may hookup, pass out and hook up in the morning and all go to brunch in last night’s clothes, MAYBE exchanging phone numbers.


Maybe after all of this goes down I decide to scour their seemingly impossible to find social media page only to find out that person is clearly not single – and hasn’t been as far back as Instagram will let me scroll – but for that moment we shared, they were in fact available. Stalker much?


My point is this, don’t mistake single for being available, and don’t assume available has to mean single. I’d been very close-minded in dating in the past, and after entering this sex positive space, communication about availability gives far more information that allows for consent to better informed, rather than simply running assumptions about what a single person is.


Ask yourself, “Am I available?”


Courtney W. Brame is the Founder of Something Positive for Positive People, a hub of sex-positive resources.