I'm Single, And I'd Like That To Change
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I'm Single, And I'd Like That To Change

Why society needs to calm down about dating

I'm Single, And I'd Like That To Change

I've been single for a few months now, and I am totally okay with that. In the mountain of crap that has been these past few months, I've at least gotten to know myself a little better. I like to think of it as getting reacquainted with an old, forgotten friend. In August, I'll be hitting six months on my own. Six months ago, this was a place I never really thought I would make it to. The breakup was bad. And it took picking up the pieces from one bad relationship to make me realize that I need to stop letting guys define me. Everyday I try so hard to make myself better than the person I used to be. I'm not completely there yet, but I've made progress. And now, I'm starting to think that I really want to give this whole relationship thing another shot.

Now I'm going to be honest, I was pretty skeptical of even writing this article to begin with. People will get a few paragraphs into this and probably think I'm this sad sack who bases her entire sense of self-worth off of the amount of love she gets from another human being. And it's those reactions that really brought me to write this. The principles of modern feminism tell women to focus on their own emotional health before others - that she "don't need no man." When you stop and think about it, that's really an awesome idea. But the moment she says she might want a relationship, she's needy and too emotional. She can't win. I'm proud to call myself a feminist, but here's the catch. Feminism is about living your life with the freedom to do as you please. Unfortunately it also means that other people have the freedom to judge you for it. I'm a proud feminist who actually wants a relationship and - to some - that makes me a hypocrite.

A relationship is a big commitment, but I think society has this habit of making it sound a lot harder than it has to be. A boyfriend should be a best friend that you just so happen to make out with, To choose to pursue a relationship isn't a choice to end your entire life and sense of freedom as you know it. If I choose to stay single, I'm an angry feminist. But if I choose to date, I'm leaving my family forever to become the "property" of another man, not much different from what it was in Ancient Greece. A woman's choice to be in a relationship should not be judged from a feminist perspective or an insatiable need to pair off with somebody. It's a personal choice relative to the happiness of the individual. And I really don't see the crime in wanting someone to cuddle with.

I had a pretty bad breakup, and you'd think that would turn me off from dating completely. I used to think that way. But that bad breakup seriously made me realize how easy a relationship should be, and everything that I missed. If you meet the right person, even the tough parts of a relationship will be just a little bit easier. Because you're with a person who cares more about seeing you smile than whether or not they win the argument. And they're able to put their pride aside and admit when they're the ones who screwed up. That's what's really the most important, and a half-decent person will know that.

When I say that I'm open to looking for a boyfriend right now, it's really not that big of a deal. I'm not looking for some warped reassurance of my own self-worth or proof that I'm somewhat aesthetically pleasing to men. I'm looking for that really awesome feeling that you get when you make a new friend. All those warm fuzzies that come after a first kiss and a winning round in Mario Kart. I want a new kind of best friend because - I mean - I would date the crap out of my actual best friend if I swung that way. This is a person that will fit into my life and just make living easy. A best friend that I can totally murder in a Nerf gun battle and then cuddle with afterwards.

It's okay to want a relationship, seriously. You're not needy. You're not desperate. You're choosing to make yourself happy. And if that happiness is found in the heart of another person, then that's just how it is and other people have no right to judge you for it. If you want a relationship, that's good. If you choose to stay single and work on yourself, then that's good too. If people feel the need to stick their noses into your life and stomp all over what makes you happy, that's their problem. It took me a little bit too long to realize that and, now, I really don't care what people think. Dating is just one of those things that society just needs to take a step back and calm down about. Now, if a guy happens to come along, I'm open to whatever might happen with him. I've had a tough time, and I think it's fair that I award myself with that tiny bit of optimism.

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Peter Truong

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