There has been so much emphasis on being in a relationship since middle school that I don’t think many of us were taught the importance of having a healthy relationship with one’s self.
I think that we’re socialized to depend on the approval of others and we never learn that self-approval is far more meaningful and so much harder to obtain.
For me personally, there has always been a lot of pressure to lock myself down and start on child production. There were several times during youth group in middle school where they would separate the boys and girls and they would talk to us about what to look for in a husband. We were 13 years old.
So with that kind of background, it took a really long time for me to overcome that way of thinking and be happy with my life as it is, regardless of whether I am with someone else or not. Self-ownership is somewhat contradictory to most of what I hear on the radio. Like, Ed Sheeran wrote straight up that love is the only thing that makes us feel alive. I can think of a lot of things that make me feel alive: a good ol’ puke and rally, clutching my jeans as I run away from a regrettable one night stand, peeing outside, lifting something really heavy, viewing priceless and famous art, walking on an empty street at daybreak. Lots of things.
I’ve talked before about my commitment to myself and that I try to do things alone as often as possible. I tried talking about this with a coworker and they said something like “Yeah, when I see people doing things alone, I just feel bad for them.” and I was like “You would rather sit at home alone than be alone in public? Which is more pathetic?” and then I asked him why it was so important to be with someone else and he said that people who do things alone are weird.
I don’t know, maybe I’m just trying to justify my single lifestyle, but I don’t think it should be considered weird or different that people do things alone. I actually think it’s really important for people in relationships to do things alone as often as they can. Maintaining an identity as an individual is very important to me, it makes me sad when you see too distinct individuals slowly morph into one boring identity.