Indianapolis — Love is a tricky game, and no one knows this better than Nia Henderson. After her last relationship ended in heartbreak, she wasn’t sure she would ever find the one for her. “You spend all this time with the same person, you make plans together, your whole future is laid out in front of you as clear as day…
“… then suddenly, it just disappears. All that remains is the hole they left behind.” In the months following the breakup, all she could find in that hole was her faults, past mistakes and insecurities. In her weakest state, she was confronted with the towering prospect of self-work. “I gave up for a while. It was just too much to deal with.” And once the worst of it passed, that work was still there. For a moment, she almost took it on.
“I thought about volunteering, doing therapy, taking up a hobby, traveling — all the usual self-improvement stuff.” Nia thought that to be the happier, more whole person she wanted to be, she would have to step out of her comfort zone. “But about midway through my first Tony Robbins webinar, I realized: I don’t have to do any of this!”
She had an epiphany. What if she completely ignored the nagging feeling in the back of her head that maybe she should broaden her horizons, and let the lifeless indifference of the cosmos bring her soulmate to her at the just the right moment?
She shut the laptop, breathed a sigh of relief, and then opened it right back up. Before she knew it, she was back to doing what she was comfortable with — favorite pastimes like not going out with coworkers when she’s invited along, not spending time outside when the weather is nice, and not knowing anything about her neighbors, to name a few. She’s even taken up continuing to browse Tinder without a profile picture uploaded. But an ideal night? “Taking Buzzfeed quizzes with The Bachelor playing on TV in the background, for sure,” she says, while filling out a quiz that will determine which Billie Eilish song she is. “If any of that was meant to change, it would!”
It’s a good thing the fickle nothingness that surrounds us all is in charge of Nia’s love life, because she requires very specific traits in a companion. “Five-eleven, similar background as me, likes all the same indie bands I do, and TV shows, and Jimmy Fallon; tan, curly hair, dimples; athletic, but not too athletic; no alcohol, ever; hazel or blue eyes; has a really good job and friends who can be my friends. Yeah, that’s just off the top of my head. Oh, and if he doesn’t live within two miles of me, that’s gonna be a dealbreaker.”
Nia is certain he’s out there somewhere in that two-mile radius, but don’t mistake her optimism for complacency. She still has work to do, and she’s well-aware. “I still need to maintain basic personal hygiene and an average performance at work. Those are musts.” She also has to be patient for however long it decides, that cold randomness that looms around every corner, which will place the perfect realization of her ideal boyfriend in front of her at any moment. Thus, the uncertainty persists.
But Nia trusts that the brutal disorder of reality will eventually hand her a compatible partner. Maybe tomorrow, maybe later. Either way is perfectly fine with Nia, as long as it happens before she’s 30. “If it doesn’t happen before then…” She trails off as her Buzzfeed results come in. “Bad Guy. Yes.”