Everywhere you look and listen you are confronted with love. A lot of art is inspired by love and a huge amount of records have it as their subject. But lately while scrolling through social media I’ve noticed a certain trend when it comes to the topic of love.
It seems as if in this day and age being alone is a definite no go. Everyone is so focussed on being in relationships. Everyone is familiar with the family gatherings were distant relatives are dying to know just how single you are. Your marital status is everything these days and with apps like Happn and Tinder the options seem limitless. It feels as if my generation (maybe even more the younger ones) cannot stand to be alone. I always see two categories. Please keep in mind that I’m not stating this to judge anyone, these are just my personal observations. Category 1 is the group that does not seem to be capable be alone and thus goes from relationship to relationship. I’ve never been quite able to understand how they are able to find someone new so quickly. Of course everyone deals with getting over a break-up differently but I can’t say that I’m never stunned when I see people hop from relationship to relationship.
The other category is the group of people who can’t stand to be alone which results in endless dates or one-night stands. Once again, if this is what you choose to do than you do you, it’s just that we don’t seem to be capable of being alone anymore. This group doesn’t look for a relationship however they do want company. They want no strings attached but find comfort in the company of others. Part of me gets it, after my break-ups when I look at the empty space beside me in bed I feel sad as well. I really don’t like sleeping alone and even I struggle with the concept of being alone, of enjoying being single. I personally believe that this is because of the media. Now more than ever are we constantly confronted with other people’s happiness, their relationships and our own misery.
I cannot exactly pinpoint when this trend started but as soon as the whole #goals started to become trending I started thinking ‘Here we go…’ This trend which solely focusses on pointing out what other people have and thus aspiring to have it too is so toxic. It is literally funded on the principle of comparing your life to that of others. The reason why this bothers me is because it is as if your happiness depends on being with another human. As if single people are incapable of being happy. We have moved past stages where we feel as though we are in controle of our own happiness and that our happiness does not depend on being with someone else. On the contrary, relationships seem to be used as a cure for unhappiness, loneliness and insecurity. I’m not saying that being in a relationship might not have a positive influence on these things but it should not be used as a tool in my personal opinion. As a result we joke about jealousy and cheating and have kind of normalized them. In my opinion, if you are telling your significant other that they are not allowed to socialize with others or if you prevent them from going out, it is not cute, it is not endearing, it is troubling. Social media’s approach to love romanticizes characteristics which should be seen as red herrings in any relationship. Women are portrayed as jealous girlfriends and men as incapable of being loyal. This is not what being in love or in a relationship should be about.
If you ask me, trust should be the foundation on which you build your relationship. If you don’t trust your significant other than how do you expect your relationship to work? If you are not at liberty to trust your significant other is that the kind of relationship you want to be in? It feels as if in today’s day it is more important to be in a relationship, no matter how bad, rather than being single. With Hollywood rom-coms still at large all we get told is that in the end finding love is all that matters. Or what about Disney movies? All the princesses’ stories revolve around them finding love. Disney made a great effort at empowering women with the movie Frozen (my personal favorite) but yet missed it’s mark because even though Anna sacrifices her life for Elza and thus their sisterly love breaks the spell, in the end Anna still ends up with the man. It basically says “Okay, family love is also true love, you don’t need a man but then again in the end it would be good to find a significant other.” If this is what the media constantly exposes girls to from a young age, can you blame them for being so completely focussed on being in a relationship?
I am by no means perfect. Like I mentioned before I hate sleeping by myself. I’m at times miserable because I’m by myself but I’m learning that it’s okay. That it is important to learn how to be single, really single. I think we focus too much on the image which the media serves us. Those in a relationship aren’t necessarily happier than those who aren’t. You are great, whether that is single you or you in a relationship. Please don’t let those #goals define your life. Please stop comparing your life to that of others. You are unique and a great person in your own way. Accept that being single right now is just what you need. Love may be around the corner but just maybe not the corner you expect it to be at. Just trust that you will meet a great person when the time is right and don’t let it define you.
I know that this post may not be as greatly constructed as my other posts but that is because I don’t have to concept of love figured out yet. It confuses me and makes me think a lot. But what I do know is that I would hate for relationships to define your life when there is so much more to you than the people you (used to) date. (Please realize that the pictures I’ve added examplify the things I’ve mentioned.)