What’s Love Got To Do With It

Rachel Freeman
Rachel Freeman

Lately I keep thinking about a mindset that plagues me personally and I’m sure many of you too: Why are we so uncomfortable with being alone? I’m not talking physically alone, I’m talking ohmygod-mylifesucks-ihavenolovelife-where’smypintofBen&Jerry’s alone.

We really have no choice in terms of our exposure to the things that ignite these negative (and intensely cynical, in my case) feelings within us. You can neither stop yourself from passing that disgustingly cute couple on your way to class, whose hand holding could set off your gag reflexes full force, nor can you avoid the barrage of commercials for scenic, beach resorts with honeymooning couples majestically dancing along the sand.

Now look, I’m in no rush to get married and I have no desire to majestically dance on the beach (because honestly, who does that anymore?), but I’m trying to say that we’re surrounded by these things that seem to show us that we need a boy or a girl to make us fully happy. It isn’t my goal to disprove this idea either, because, well, it’s a little bit true. Having a significant other can be incredibly nice and fulfilling, but the whole point is why must there be so much emphasis on finding and wanting that person? Why can’t we just be happy with what we have for now and just let things happen? Why do I have to see my Tumblr dashboard drowning in yearning posts for “someone to fall asleep with” or “someone to cuddle with?”

Of course we all enjoy a good cuddle (if you don’t you’re probably a questionable being), but it’s the amount of weight we put on things like cuddling and being with someone that really scares me. Why must we equate happiness with a romantic relationship? I’m guilty of this, probably more than most of you, and I’m finally realizing it’s time for a change. It’s time to look around and see every other valuable thing in our lives. It’s time to see the people around us and know that they can bring us just as much happiness (aside from the inevitable sexual frustration).

It’s not worth wallowing and missing out on so many other experiences because you feel “incomplete.” It’s not worth those mildly masochistic tendencies I know we all have (i.e. watching a romantic drama, wishing it was your life and subsequently eating an entire box of bad, drugstore chocolate). We don’t need to be unhappy because of a lack of a romantic relationship, yet we make ourselves that way. We can have everything else going for us, but if that one romantic interest is missing, it feels like nothing else matters.

It just seems like we are too often reminded of our single status and that we’ve been conditioned to hate ourselves for it. Instances when people are pleased with being Miss (or Mr.) Independent (shout out to K.Clarks, haaaayyy!) are few and far between. And in my experience, those that are content have just come out of a long term relationship. I don’t want to come off as whiny, well maybe I do, as that’s the exact point I’m trying to prove! Why can’t we throw away these negative connotations of being alone and instead just consider ourselves girls and guys on the prowl (it sounds much cooler that way) who are taking life as it comes and shift our focus from finding someone else to finding ourselves?

If we are blind to everything else wonderful and exciting in our lives because we cannot see past this bizarre, obsessive need for romantic completion, we will never truly be happy. Of course we all want someone eventually, we just need to stop letting our lives revolve around it.

*If anyone’s interested before I change my love life mindset, send a letter 2 da editor ;)*