since entering my twenties, 'being alone' seems to have become something of a hot topic. maybe it's just that i'm super tuned into it all since becoming single myself, or perhaps it's just true that a lot of people around my age seem to be terrified of the prospect of being alone, so it's naturally something that gets thrown around in conversations that i'm involved in. for me it's a conversation where i always end up throwing a bunch of positives at my seemingly far too negative friends, simply because this whole "i'm alone at twenty, i'm going to die alone" mentality really bums me out, and for a while i wasn't too sure about why exactly it bummed me out, and then today, it all fell into place as i read this quote on tumblr:
which was, not surprisingly, reblogged by a girl in her early twenties. sigh. ok, so i think the first thing that grates on me in this quote is the extremely potent "me, me, me" attitude. i mean, is the poster quite ready for the relationship they claim to so desperately want when they apparently can't even look at a relationship as two people working together, rather than for one another? don't get me wrong, like in any friendship, a relationship can thrive when two people fiercely support one another, but i think there always has to be an element of compromise; it's just unfair to expect a partner to always have to do things your way, and it probably won't end well for the both of you as a pair. after all, a relationship is about mutual happiness, right? sure, have preferences, or standards, whatever the hell you want to call them, but expecting so much of someone you've even yet to meet? seems a bit silly to me. i fear i've perhaps gone a little off topic, but i just feel that being in a relationship requires an element of selflessness, and this "me, me, me" attitude that a few people seem hold throughout their miserable pursuit of love seems to highlight to me that perhaps they're just not ready for it yet.
ok, so back on topic. i think what clicked into place for me while reading this quote is the fact that people seem to put an expiration date on finding love, and it seems that if you haven't figured it out in your early twenties, people start to panic for themselves, but also for others. a friend of mine is currently having relationship problems, and while speaking to her she confessed to a) being scared of being alone, and b) never finding anybody else to be with, which just makes me so, so sad. on top of this, her mother also expressed her worry to me regarding it because she "thought this was it" and that "she'd settled down" with her boyfriend.
ok, so, firstly my friend's scared to be alone, which i find the most saddening part of all, because it really makes no sense to me. don't get me wrong, i understand why relationships are desirable – stability, comfort and an overriding knowledge that you are loved can definitely contribute to one's happiness – but i think people's desires for relationships can often lead to them losing their sense of self when becoming so obsessed with the idea of being a part of a couple, and in turn perhaps lead to their unhappiness when they fail to find this relationship that they desire so much. since becoming single i've realised these facts all the more, and i've really taken the time to begin loving and understanding myself, cementing my own foundation of happiness, and do you know what? it's all worked. i'm really quite content being on my own at the minute, so much so that the idea of being with someone right now freaks me out a little bit – i mean, there's so much right now that i want to do, and how can i possibly get on with it all if i've got another, real life person's emotions to take into consideration? well, i probably could do it, but it'd be a lot bloody harder for me and i might miss out on opportunities i might not want to, which honestly, i don't want to have to do. i don't want to compromise my life right now because i'm shaping myself as a person and a future for myself as the person i want to be. i know it's selfish of me, but if you can't be selfish while you're still young, when can you be? with age seems to come more responsibility with things such as relationships and family interfering, so why not make the most of being selfish while it's, effectively, not harming anybody else? it just seems so silly to me that people are scared of having so much freedom and so much space to be so unapologetically themselves.
secondly, the fear of never finding anybody else just really strikes me as people being overly melodramatic, especially when they're only in their early twenties. in most cases, these people have already had a handful of relationships in their mere 20 years on the earth, so for them to honestly believe that in their remaining 60 or whatever years they may never find another person who's romantically interested in them is just down right bonkers. maybe it's because in the last 8 years i've watched my parents divorce and both find love again in such a short space of time, but i really, truly believe that all of us can find someone who really, genuinely loves us, whether it takes us 2 months, 2 years or 20 years. i just think it's really unlikely that in time you won't find another human being that you connect with on such a level. perhaps i'm overly optimistic, but i'd like to think that however many years down the line, when i'm ready for another relationship, i'll be able to find one, and i think my time alone where i've been forced to love myself has helped me to truly believe that i'm worthy of love again, and that in itself probably makes it more attainable; i honestly never used to understand the phrase "you can't love anybody else until you love yourself," but now i think i finally do. for now though, i don't let the idea of finding somebody else plague me because being on my own is okay. i'm not in a rush to find love.
lastly, i also think it's pretty sad how we allow other people's expectations and opinions to affect our relationships and views on them. my own parents often pass comments about me still not having found somebody else (i've only been single for 9 months for christs' sake,) but because i'm truly happy being on my own, their comments don't bother me. i know other people who don't feel the same way, however, and openly speak to me about how it upsets them that they've their own romantic expectations to deal with as well as their parents expectations about their romantic relationships. i just think the whole thing really, really sucks, and it's something that seems to be embedded deeply into our society from what i've observed. i find it rather ironic actually that others feel the need to be so involved with people's relationships, when a lot of the time, it's their involvement that can often turn things sour due to their opinions and expectations that really aren't theirs to possess in regards to someone else's relationship. then again, could this unnecessary involvement in other people's lives reflect an unhappiness with their own lives, romantic or not? is the issue just that people nowadays seem to just be so bloody miserable, and is that misery a result of the social expectations relating to romance and how so many people seem to fall short of them in their early twenties when it's perfectly fine for it to be that way? these are the questions this quote got me asking myself, and at the end of it i'm all the more happy that my own single status doesn't fill me with such awful, negative emotions.
this has been a little bit longer than i initially thought it might have been, but it's been something i've really quite enjoyed just typing out and attempting to understanding a little bit better myself. so, what do you think? is being alone really that bad, or can you also see the positives of being a free spirit?