Society seems to strongly dislike those who are single and not “doing” anything to change it. The pressure of seeking love and affection from a romantic partner has weighed heavily on me throughout my entire life.
The amount of times I’ve been asked about whether I’m ‘talking’ to anyone, seeing anyone, sleeping with anyone is beyond what I think should be normalized. Why on earth should I be with someone who is not up to my standards, because everyone else is doing it? Why may I ask, is it so abnormal to be alone, single and not looking for a boyfriend or girlfriend?
Only over the last year have I embraced my independence in being single. I used to loathe the fact that I have never had a boyfriend, that I was a late bloomer (which hello.. so many of us are) and bottled up so much fear around my lack of sexual experience. I continually felt a strong push from society that I should at least be putting myself out on the market. It’s expected of me to be trying and testing out potential suitors.
There is no excuse for people not to be dating these days, with the accessibility of dating apps making it stupidly easy to meet attractive people. Maybe not all are **cough** boyfriend material but at least might make a cute date or interesting one nightstand. My love-hate relationship with Tinder stems from the fact I’m consciously aware it's a personal form of self-validation. It makes me think “okay, I am attractive, I can date boys if I want to.” But on the other hand, the more swiping I do, the more lonely and zombielike I feel. Tinder feels so robotic, so mechanized. Swipe right, swipe left, swipe right, SUPER LIKE! Cheesy pick up lines or questionable gifs are always a laugh to read, but my interest tends to peter out after the usual boring small talk. I never feel completely satisfied.
What I’ve realized is I can't be bothered for the chase or the game anymore. There are too many rules that I don’t want to play by, like not appearing too keen, or messaging back too soon or staying away from activities besides ‘Netflix and chill’. The amount of time and emotional investment that goes into dating apps, ‘talking’ to someone, and continually seeking a partner is energy wasted. That time could be spent doing things I love! I’ve had way more fulfillment in exploring my own interests and hobbies, than waiting around for texts from boys who, let’s face it, probably didn’t care about me. If I had to question it then I already knew.
Being single for 21 years has been my greatest blessing, which previously I thought was my greatest curse. It has taught me how to be alone, enjoy and thrive in my own company. It’s allowed myself to discover my own passions and fully immerse myself within them. I can make major life decisions without the influence or need of approval from a partner. I could literally jump on a plane and move to New York tomorrow forever if I wanted. This isn't meant to criticize anyone who’s been in many relationships, as I’m sure you’ve experienced immense personal growth too. But I am saying that being single is one of the greatest times to get in touch with yourself and who you truly are.
A culture of seeking out love and acceptance from other people is a fundamental sign that we lack the ability to give that to ourselves. I’ve heard this a thousand times, and maybe you have too, but it radiates truth. We are all whole and complete on own, and no one can take that away. We think that other people hold the missing puzzle piece to our hearts, but actually it’s tucked away in our own pockets. Once we are able to give ourselves pure, accepting and non-judgmental love, it begins to pour in from other people because they are reflecting our own internal state. Everyone in our life mirrors some part of ourselves, whether on a conscious or subconscious level.
Try to question your own desire in seeking love from another person. Because if you dig a little deeper, you will find it's a call from the soul that you’re in need of loving yourself.
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