As a perpetually single lady in her mid-twenties, I find social gatherings like weddings, work functions, and/or family birthdays challenging. And by challenging, I mean that it’s challenging trying not to punch every single person who asks me if I’m with someone yet really hard in the face. Because apparently violence is not socially acceptable.
What gets to me is that there is always a sympathetic ‘aww’ to follow my firm ‘nope’ when answering that sodding question. Like it’s a bad thing that I’m not seeing someone. It makes me feel like my life should be defined by a man. Why is that a thing? I get that meeting someone you actually get along with and procreating is what life is all about for some people – and probably me, when the time comes – but at the moment, it’s not that high on my list of priorities, actually.
It makes me feel like my life should be defined by a man. Why is that a thing?
I’m not a bitter singleton. I get on with my friends who have partners just as well as I did when they were single, and I’m genuinely happy for them. I’m not the stereotyped caricature of a man-hating feminist; I’m not against the very thought of having a man in my life; and I do go on dates.
But I’m single for many reasons – too many, really, to go into now; but one of those is that I’m actually quite happy on my own, thank you very much.
we need to let go of this negative knee jerk reaction attached to being single
This tiresome question, it seems to me, is prevalent at weddings. Yeah, I get it, it’s a day of love and a celebration of coupledom and all that jazz but here’s the thing, people. I can relate to being in love and revel in the joy of matrimony EVEN IF I’M NOT WITH SOMEONE. A wedding doesn’t make me wish I had a boyfriend, or make me frantically sign up to (ahem, re-download) all those recommended dating apps on my phone, or even cry hysterically in the bathroom over that shit-head I dumped five years ago, with some toilet paper stuck in my ponytail like a veil. The reaction from people to my status, however, does make me feel shitty. It makes me want to paint my face, make a bone spear out of a previous boyfriend’s appendage,and descend into a man-free pit for the rest of my life, war crying all the way, just to prove a point.
Here’s the thing – and pay attention, because I’ll only say this once – your relationship status is in no way any measure of you as a person or, for that matter, anyone’s business.
I understand that it’s a very generic question for people to ask, especially far flung relatives with nothing better to say, and 90% of the time it’s not in a malicious way. But there are other topics of conversation that have nothing to do with my love life – or ‘lack thereof’.
“I’ve been doing really well at work, I have a very interesting job, my brother is doing well thanks, so are my friends, yes I have actually moved out of my parents house finally, I’m enjoying living in London a lot. In fact, I’ve made it my mission to to drink the bar dry of every cocktail establishment in the central vicinity of the city – would you like some recommendations?”
That, my fair ladies and gentlemen, is a good hour’s worth of decent discussion not related to a potential ring on a choice finger that isn’t my preferred middle one.
your relationship status is in no way any measure of you as a person or, for that matter, anyone’s business.
The point I’m trying to make is that we need to let go of this negative knee jerk reaction attached to being single. Especially when asking someone about their situation. They might be happy as I am, or sad, or angry, or just plain indifferent, but it’s up to them to decide the parameters of disclosing those feelings to you. AND FOR THE LOVE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT (vodka) don’t make them feel like their feelings are wrong or bad. They’re not. Being single isn’t bad or depressing or wrong. Neither is being so in love it makes people want to throw a Nicholas Sparks book at your head. In fact both can make you feel strong, and liberated and free.
So next time you feel the need to ask if someone is seeing anyone – Don’t. Stop. Think. And get a glass of wine instead. We’ll all benefit from less negativity and more wine.
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