I blame Hollywood. Our society has completely engulfed itself around the idea that romantic love and intimacy is the ultimate form of happiness, and I blame Hollywood. Oh and old people, I blame old people too. Former generations may be a more eloquent way of putting it. But if you met me in real life my elocution is more like electrocution. I digress…
I feel that a fairly common experience is to be gathered around a table surrounded by nuclear and extended family for a holiday when Grandma Bessie asks you if you have a girlfriend, or are “seeing” anyone at the moment. After a quick flashback of giving a guy head on the beach last week, you respond with “oh no, no girlfriends for me, I’m focusing on my studies right now Grandma Bessie.” Okay, maybe the second half may just be me, but I know many of you know what I’m talking about. Someone in your family asking about your love life always seems to be a topic of concern for them.
Yes, I will admit it; relationships and romantic intimacy can also cultivate happiness. BUT, when good old Grandma Bessie asks you about your love life, she is subconsciously paralleling your answer to your level of happiness. Because to her, and to so many people of past generations you are not a complete individual until you are in a relationship. And because of those generations of yesteryear, there is a trickle down effect that causes the younger generation to put the same pressure on themselves to find partners, love and “happiness”. There is so much pressure in our society to seek out partnership and romance, but don’t you dare pity me because I’m single. Why in the fucking hell is being single seen as a bad thing? I’m always “encouraged” by people when I tell them my “status” by hearing them say, “oh that’s alright, you will meet someone.” I was air quoting my way through that entire sentence.
I quote a lot of drag queens because I have an insane amount of respect for what they do. They are the misfit monarchy, the queens of the weirdo’s, and they wear that sash with honor. Ru Paul is the mother misfit and she can be heard often saying “if you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?” This is so unbelievably true. In the past, I have used my significant others as crutches to help me hobble my way through my insecurities. It ultimately led to the demise of each of those relationships because I never felt happy with myself and put some really wonderful guys through some fucked up hell. So if you’re reading this, I’m sorry. I truly am, I was not healthy enough to love you the way that you deserved.
I have been single for the past few who cares (keep up Mary, I’m not defined by romance), and more fulfilled than I have ever felt in my entire life. This is because I am allowing myself to feel that fulfillment from my friends and an over-abundance of self-love. In my humble opinion, friendship should be your benchmark for love. Friends deal with all of your shit without the benefits of romance. I have been traveling for the past 4 months in very close quarters with my best friend Anya. A lot of the time we even share a bed. We bicker about this and that, get frustrated here and there, she even wakes up next to me to experience my B.O. and morning breath in all its glory, yet we have unyielding love and admiration for one another. Our society is love obsessed. Love is great; I’m not against love in any way shape or form, unless it’s illegal. I just think that you shouldn’t be defined by your relationship.
Hollywood has a job to do, and that is to sell stories, fictional stories. Even the true tales are closer to tall tales because they’ve been stretched to the point where the truth is almost impossible to differentiate from fiction. And I’m sorry but if you are basing your happiness on finding a romance like the Edward Cullen / Bella Swan dichotomy then you have a lot of heartbreak coming your way. Mostly because boys who sparkle as much as Edward Cullen have a tendency around twilight to show off their full moon so they can collect e-tips (swiping a debit card in his ass) from a guy they call Spanking Don. HOLY SHIT, count it bitch, all four Stephanie Meyer atrocities in sequence made into one gay innuendo pun. You’re welcome.
If you need more evidence to see how relationship-oriented our society is, take a look online and see how many dating sites/applications there are. People are terrified to be alone. I used to be on all those sites: Grindr, Scruff, Growlr, Tinder, Bumble, Christian Mingle, Farmers Only…oh give me a rake, I know used to be a hoe. Regardless, I deleted all of them and said that if I was going to have a romantic encounter it was going to be organic (and we’re back to the farmers). I did this because with every new city we arrived in I found myself thinking, “Maybe this is the city where I fall in love!” And I realized just how stupid and stagnating of a mindset that is. I am traveling around the world and I was STILL defining myself and my experience by the men I was meeting? Fuck all of that. I’m not immune to feelings of loneliness and craving emotional intimacy. All I’m saying is that should not be the goal. The goal should be you.
I’ve always been a thinker. I spent my entire childhood, adolescence, and adulthood with my head in the clouds, and I don’t plan on coming down. Companionship is something that almost all of us crave right? I won’t deny that. But, we are so much more than just out bodies. I think about this quote (which you can watch in the link below) from acclaimed astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson on a nearly daily basis. It has helped me to overcome my sense of loneliness in the world around me because the universe in of itself is nothing but connection. In the end, do what is best for your heart and your spirit.
Much love & many adventures,