I’m going to take a stand here and talk about something other than Donald Trump, the NFL, and freedom of speech, which I know is going to make me less popular with search engine metrics, but honestly, I don’t care. I cannot stand to continue to have the same conversation over and over again. It’s like Groundhog’s Day, but every day is the wood chipper day.
No, I want to talk about something else — something that doesn’t make the cover of Narcissism Quarterly.
Today, let’s talk about relationships.
Yes, the uniqueness of a twenty something writing about relationships is almost enough to send the world rotating backward on its axis.
But, you see, my point of view is different because I’ve never actually been in a relationship. Well, unless you count that time in pre-school when I was technically engaged to a boy named Luke. He proposed with a stick. It was adorable. Our love is eternal. #Alyukeforeva
So, barring the everlasting stick proposal, I’ve never been in a serious relationship. Maybe that makes me weird. Maybe that makes me picky. Maybe that makes me insufferable. In fairness, I don’t really know what it makes me other than single.
Relationships have never been high on my priority list. I blame my mother. She taught me to have goals and ambitions that had nothing to do with needing or wanting a man. Damn you, mother, for making me an independent woman. How dare you have a successful professional life and instill in me the desire to do the same.
So, after that incredibly sarcastic diatribe, it may shock you to learn that I am not one of those people who finds it necessary to dissect why I’ve never had a serious relationship because that leads to a lot of introspection about my flaws, which leads to a lot of pints of Ben & Jerry’s being consumed, which is bad because I think they’re having some sort of PR problem about dairy workers’ human rights and something about Milk with Dignity right now, which sounds bad so eating their ice cream would be bad…right?
But, as time goes on and I do that annoying aging thing, I’ve found my mind wandering to the notion of “relationships”. I blame Facebook on this one. It has the annoying habit of informing me of other people’s life changes like marriage and babies. I miss the year 2002, when social media was a foreign concept and the only time you knew a girl was pregnant was through the graffiti written on the bathroom stall. Ah, middle school.
I’ve watched my friends and family members have relationships ranging from successful to adorable to deplorable and everything in between. I’ve witnessed the aftermath of a breakup, adultery, and when things “just don’t work out” (usually because of reasons too vague to be believed). And what’s really frustrating is that while these people are in relationships, they’re different. Some of the differences are subtle ones: wearing more makeup because they want to look beautiful; cutting back on bad habits and addictions to make sure that they don’t drive the person away; tucking in their crazy streak, at least, temporarily. While some may see this as a natural stage for getting into a relationship, I see it as sacrificing part of yourself to appease someone else.
Maybe that’s a selfish way to look at it, and maybe, as so many of my friends will claim, it’s my lack of experience that gives me such a cynical view, but I have a hard time weighing the costs versus the benefits of being in a relationship.
So, maybe that means I’m not cut out for being in a relationship. Or, maybe it means I’m too afraid to put the effort into being in one. Or, maybe it means I have a fear of commitment, says the woman with multiple tattoos.
Regardless, something has prevented me from even bringing myself to think about the possibility of being in a relationship.
One of my biggest fears is that one day, I will wake up and realize that the person lying next to me has swallowed me whole and only the shell of my former self remains. Seriously, that’s a recurring nightmare I have. Well, that and being chased by people with knives through bayous in Mississippi, a place to which I have never been…cue Twilight Zone music.
If I were to find a person that I can grow with but still remain two separate individuals in the process, then I’ll grab a stick right now and make it legal. But, until that time comes (if it ever does), I’m content to remain as stubbornly single as I am right now because I’m not afraid of being alone. I am afraid of settling for something I don’t truly want or something that destroys my sense of self.
End of cynical relationship rant. Please feel free to continue reading articles about current events. I’m sure CNN is dissecting one of Trump’s tweets as we speak.