I never felt in a rush to be in relationship. Whenever I asked, I tended to run the other way. Sometimes I think I just enjoy dating, and I’m not in a rush to find the one. Sometimes I think it’s because I just hadn’t found a person who made me excited to be in a relationship.
However, had I unintentionally made being single such a part of myself, that I was failing to see the beauty in the otherwise?
Even when the occasion of someone who makes me excited to be in relationship presented itself, a part of me felt like I was abandoning myself. I found myself afraid to let go of the “single woman trope”, “happy in my singleness”, “can do it all by own” character. I had learned to be so comfortable with myself nonetheless, when did that turn me into being against accepting love from others?
I have always been afraid of being defined by a romantic relationship. I want to be known as me, and not be shrunk into “someone’s girlfriend/spouse.” This fear of being overshadowed by a relationship or marriage is not unfounded. There are many instances in history when this has happened and continues to happen in certain communities/instances. However I often feel alone in this fear. I don’t see many women speaking on this, and often the ideology of aspiring to relationship/marriage is often portrayed as what should be normal for a woman. Therefore, I often felt and was made feel abnormal for not always wanting that.
Also sometimes when I would start voicing these concerns I have about being in a relationship or marriage, it would often be perceived as not wanting love. I want love. I’m a romantic at heart, I love Love, love seeing it, giving it, experiencing it. Nonetheless romantic love is not the only love I prioritize. Love with my family and in friendships have taken a great importance in my life. In a way I have been blessed enough to feel satisfied in those, but however due to certain pressures, that satisfaction feels incomplete without romantic love. I want companionship but I don’t want that to be the only or most important form of love in my life.
Being single for me also became a way for to prove that love with my family and friends is equally enough. Which it is. But to who and why was trying was I trying to prove it?
I feel like I’ve taken upon myself certain burdens that no one asked me to and I’m learning to let them go. The best way to inspire people is by living my life happily as I want. Not by single-handedly trying to deconstruct social views through my life nor by neglecting different blessings that come into my life, to fit a certain narrative.
I don’t have to fit in a box. Things aren’t black and white. Being independent doesn’t equate being single. Being in a relationship doesn’t mean not having any autonomy. I for sure know that now, with my commitment fearing behind being in a healthy long-term relationship.
If you have the privilege to be able to pursue any kind of loving relationship, you should. You deserve to be loved on. That doesn’t mean you are forgetting yourself or caving to the patriarchy. Remember to set your boundaries, find people who will respect you and them, and stay true to yourself.
Video to watch: “Being Single is NOT a personality trait” 👀 Dating Successfully & Having Fun in your 20’s (minute 35 ongoing) This video empowered me to put into words these thoughts I’ve had.
To read: We Should All Be Feminists- Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie