For years I leapt from doomed relationship, to relationship because I thought that being alone on Valentine’s day, was the ultimate indicator of your ‘inevitable spinsterhood’. I was conditioned from a young age into believing that to be single was against social norms, whereas relationships were indicative of your desirability, a theory that I now debunk. It was an unsettling time growing up and as I wrote in ‘ ‘Why I Am Staying Single This Valentines Day’, I would enter a series of relationships, only to get my heart trampled on, all because I wanted to be seen as attractive, wanted and above all loved. Largely in relation to the bullying and abuse that I faced as a young child and teen, I would let myself be mistreated by guys, usually older who would take advantage of my vulnerability and use me in more ways than one. Some were manipulative and others were aggressive but I stayed with them for the sake of appearing to be ‘wanted’ because this was something that I had struggled with from a young age.
The funny thing was that in the majority of these ‘relationships ‘, it never felt like we were actually dating, because I was often their ‘little secret’, someone who people only wanted to date in private and not in public. Other times I would be the one who would keep the relationship on the down low, because I had learned from previous experience that ‘public relationships’ would quite often crash and burn. Working in the industry that I do, ensuring that my privacy was well maintained, was of the upmost importance, and would mean that I could go about my love life as I pleased, without the damning judgement offered by others. Of course I now know that being in a relationship for a sake of being in a relationship was detrimental to my wellbeing but at the time I was naive and wanted to feel loved.
When I came to university it seemed that everything had changed and as I grew in confidence I realized that I didn’t need a guy to make me happy. I had my critics of course, who would constantly question why I was ok to be single and when ‘I would get a boyfriend’ as though the clock had struck midnight and my time had run out. But why is it that we are so obsessed with women being single and call them nasty names such as a ‘spinster’ and ‘loser’ as though we ‘can’t get boyfriends’? After all when men are single, we call them ‘bachelors’ and praise their resistance to settle down, as though being in a relationship or married is a cult. It is this very same double standard that caused a detestable Twitter account called ‘Guy Codes’ to be set up, mocking single women in their twenties who dared to indulge in the same ‘laddish’ behavior as men, such as going on the pull, getting drunk or hooking up with random strangers. This type of archaic mentality around the concept of women who rebelled against societal norms, who would embrace her femininity and lead her life as she f***ing well pleased, was entrenched in morally sexist undertones to say the least.
Reading a Huffington Post article on How Social Media Has Fueled Double Standards For Women, made me question how social media accounts objectify and glorify naked women, yet and she quotes ‘if boys knew the women’ they would be quick to ‘label’ them as ‘sluts’. So does it make me and countless other women ‘sluts’ if we choose to be single and sleep around? Because quite frankly if I want to have a one night stand then why the hell not, I am not harming anyone and having fun while you are still single should not be ‘gender biased’. It’s a women’s right to choose whether she wants to date or not, wants to be in a relationship or casually date or is happy being single and focusing on herself. After all a women’s self worth is not defined by the company she keeps. Which is why, this Valentine’s Day I no longer feel the need to ‘seek out’ relationships who are not worth my time, nor do I feel the need to be with someone, so that I can appease the people around me who ‘feel that I simply must be in a relationship to be happy. After all it is ok to be single if this is what makes you happy.
We spend so much of our lives making judgements and one of the biggest pre-conceived stereotypes are that women who are single, (especially on Valentines day) are either depressed, alone or there is ‘something wrong with them’. Quite frankly it’s the biggest load of bull I have ever heard but sadly I used to be one of those close minded individuals, who thought that someone who said they were ‘happy to stay single’ were only saying that because of their inability to ‘pull’ or be in relationships. Thank God I grew up since then but I digress, did it ever occur to these people that women can choose to stay single and there does not have to be a sexually or socially motivated reason behind it? For me I believe that Valentines day is a haven for consumerists and does not demonstrate a person’s love for their partner yet I have also been partial to celebrating Valentines day with past partners. My point being is that even if I was in a relationship why would I need Valentines day to spend time with my partner, when you should be doing that all the time anyway? What I do like however, now that I am single is to spend the day with friends-known as Galentines- but not because it is a ‘special day’ but simply just because. In other words it’s ok to stay single on Valentines day and not need to offer a reason as to why you have made this choice.
For some choosing to stay single can be due to past relationships, while for others there is no reason other than not seeing a need to celebrate love on just one day per year. Whatever your choice, just know that it is ok and there is no judgement here. Now here is where I drop the big V Bomb and state that me and my best friend Anna Maria from On The Edge Blog are actually attending a speed dating event this week (because why the hell not) and me writing this post might seem a little premature. After all I might find someone and not be ‘single anymore’ but regardless my opinion would not change. Even if I was in a relationship again I still believe that it is ok to be single and to just enjoy the time you have away from partners and drama. It has been so long since I have been in a relationship but instead of letting it bother me like I used to I honestly don’t mind anymore. I don’t feel the need to ‘search for my soulmate’ nor do I believe that being single is a bad thing. In fact I love being single and the freedom of being your own person is obviously fantastic. Yes I admit, I miss the cuddles and the intimacy but if 2017 is another year when love does not come a’knocking then I am not going to cry myself to sleep over it.
This year it’s all about loving me.
In a way me writing this post about why it’s ok to stay single on Valentines Day is not just aimed at women, because I have male, trans or gender fluid friends who are single too and are scared to be alone. So for those singletons out there, and you know who you are, just because you might have never had a partner before or feel pressured into entering a relationship by your parents, don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself and tell them that it is ok to be single. Because honestly the next god damn time someone asks us when we are going to find a partner I will quite calmly look at them, smile and whisper something in their ear. And do you know what that will be?
Why Do You Believe That It Is Ok To Stay Single On Valentines Day?
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