When you’re single in college, it can be tough to see all the happy couples around you. Scrolling down Instagram becomes painful when you see all the cute photos your friends are posting with their significant others. But I also know a lot of girls will deny that they want companionship, because they are “a strong, independent woman who don’t need a man.”
And that’s fine. I’m not writing this to say that you NEED to have a boyfriend (or girlfriend), or that you should revolve your life around trying to find someone to love, because that is not the case. No, you should always focus on yourself first. What I am saying is that you can be a strong woman and still want to be loved.
Being strong comes from within. It comes from knowing that you have value as a person. It means knowing you have talents and you matter. Those are all important, and those are how you become a strong individual. But you can be all those things and still feel lonely. Loneliness is not exclusive to “weak-minded individuals,” and having someone by your side does not detract from your strength. Let’s take the Disney princesses, for example.
The Disney princesses have been praised in recent years for not including love interests for characters like Elsa, Merida and Moana. The movies instead focus on overcoming your obstacles and living your life the way you want, and showing girls that they don’t need a man to save them. This is a great message for young girls and even teenagers.
However, take Anna. She had a love interest, and the movie made you think their true love’s kiss would unfreeze her heart and ultimately save the day. Instead, Anna sacrificed herself for Elsa, saving herself and her sister. Anna found love and was still able to be a warrior. While I believe the above princesses teach valuable lessons, I think it’s also important to tell girls that even if they have a significant other, that isn’t what defines them. You can have a significant other and still be a strong woman.
Again, this is not to say that you NEED someone to make you happy, and this is not to say that having an SO will complete your life. It is, simply to say, that being strong does not mean you can’t want to love and be loved by someone in return.