Ask Me About My Life, Not My Relationship Status
In a world filled with social media’s obsession with #RelationshipGoals, #CoupleGoals, and being boo’d up, it’s easy for many to come away with a skewed perception of what it actually means to be single. Truthfully, just because someone is in a relationship doesn’t mean that they aren’t lonely, and by contrast, a single person is just that, single. Not some pathetic person who sits alone every night longing to be the other half of a committed pair.
This idea that single people should be pitied, prayed for and paired up is as old as they come, and yet the tired narrative still somehow manages to thrive. More likely than not, if you’re the single one among your friends, your co-workers, and especially in your family, you’re inundated with questions, concerns and possible solutions to your single status. Being single automatically leads outsiders to assume you live some lonely, unfulfilling life and therefore there’s nothing to talk about outside of the fact that you are alone.
There are a lot of people in relationships and marriages that are absolutely miserable, yet because they are a part of a twosome their lives are seen as more enviable and positive than those of us who are single. As a single person, specifically a woman, you’ve likely heard the statistics, read the articles, and summed up the court of public opinion on how single women are viewed. But there is so much more to who you are than your relationship status.
Being single is so much more than being without someone, it means that you get to live your life on your terms — choiceful solitude, as Tracee Ellis Ross called it. Whether that involves making mistakes, reaching goals or tackling obstacles, taking the time to get your life in order before you commit to someone else is one of the bravest things you can do. It also increases your chances of having a lasting, happy union when the time comes. Travel the world, cut off all your hair, get in touch with your sexuality, find out your love language, these are just a few things that you can do as a single woman to live life on your own terms and conditions. And those are the things we should be talking about just as much as who’s dating who and getting married when.
The purpose of me saying this is not to down relationships or spread negativity to those who have found their soulmate. Instead, it’s meant to hold a mirror up to those who insist that you’re lacking simply because you’re single. We all want true love and happiness, but understand that just because someone hasn’t found it yet doesn’t mean that they need your pity. This mindset is especially prevalent the older you get, which makes the whole issue even more frustrating. Unless you live with a couple and have the opportunity to experience their relationship ups and downs firsthand, you have no idea if the individuals are happy or not. The same logic applies to singles. A lack of a relationship does not automatically mean a lack of happiness.
If you’re guilty of perpetrating the “poor you” single narrative, stop it. Instead, the next time you see your single friend, family member or co-worker, ask them about their lives and not their relationship status because doing so inadvertently sends the message that women are only as interesting as the relationships they’re in. It’s 2018, women can do, be, say, think and feel whatever/however they like…and that includes embracing the single life for all it’s worth while waving at loneliness in the rearview.