One of the most frequent questions I get at family gatherings concerns my relationship status or, more specifically, my lack thereof. Just this weekend, we had a family party at my parent’s house and I invited some of my friends to join in the fun, two of whom were guys. Every time I mentioned that they were coming, I got the apparently inevitable question: “Is he your boyfriend?” And this isn’t restricted to just women; my cousin just turned 30 and at a recent funeral he came up to me and said, “If one more person asks why I’m not married yet, I’m going to go crazy.” I mean, it’s horrible that my friend got a significant other and told me that the best part (besides how he is a great person) was that the questions, and pity, regarding her single state had finally stopped.
You would think that I would have accepted that this is the way society works, but I haven’t. In fact, I get increasingly irritated every time this happens. I hide behind the excuse that I want to focus on my studies or I’m just waiting for someone intelligent, but that really isn’t the case. I’m not choosing to be single, it is just the way things are working right now. And I’m okay with that. When I meet the right guy, I’ll get into a relationship and things will work out as they will, but because I am 20 and have absolutely no experience in relationships, I have to deal with the consequences.
What consequences, you ask? Sadly, there are a couple. Most of it has to do with pity. I tell them that I don’t have a boyfriend and I get the look, like a twisted version of puppy eyes resulting from my lack of romance. The look is quickly followed by condolences, where I get the repeated lines that everyone says as if they lack any originality in conversation or they lack the ability to think outside of the constraints of the dating conditions society sets upon us. “It’s okay, it’s better to focus on college anyway… You don’t want a boyfriend, boys suck… When the right guy comes along, things will work out… I don’t understand how that’s possible, you have such a great personality. Well, don’t worry about it, I’m sure the right guys just hasn’t come along yet.” Thanks for making me feel okay with my single status… because, clearly, I wasn’t before. Remember how we got on this topic? Oh, yeah… you asked me if I had a boyfriend yet because being a college student necessarily equals having relationships.
As a result of my continuously repetitious answers, assumptions about my sexual orientation have sprung up over the years, both in my family and in my age group. I would like to point out that a lack of relationship does NOT equate liking people of the same sex. It just bothers me that this is the natural course of thinking about anyone who is single for a long period of time. Who are you to lump a perceived thought upon me about who I may and may not like? If I like boys, then fine. I like them, I’ll date them, whatever. If I like girls, then the same will happen. Why does being single mean that something must be different about me? Why is any explanation needed at all? Is it so odd that I am taking some time to live alone and discover who I am? Why do I need a boyfriend in order to be happy with my life and my accomplishments?
But the absolute worst part of being single all these years? I came to believe them. Society brainwashed me well enough that I believed that something was wrong with me because no guy had asked me out. It has taken my years to recover from my sense of inadequacy, and this is not okay. There is no reason that anyone should fell like a lesser human being because they cannot find a significant other. I don’t care if you are ugly or pretty, an introvert or an extrovert… if you are single, that is okay. As long as you are happy with who you are and the direction your life is headed, then it will work out one way or another.
I implore you to keep this in mind next time you ask anyone about their love life and they reply with “I’m single.” Try to break the cycle. Instead of asking about their love life, ask what they have accomplished, what they are proud of, what landmarks they have crossed in their life lately. There is more to life than simply a person’s love life. Let’s break this chain.
Well… that’s my rant on my irritation with society. Sorry, I know it doesn’t follow with my usual trend, but I just couldn’t hold it in anymore. I’ll be back to my usual schedule of posting in around two weeks, so thanks for continuing to follow me!