My name is Daniela, I'm 21 years old and currently studying Sociology and Performing arts. I’m interested in Culture and Human relations.
Why being single is revolutionary
When I was a little girl, I was surrounded by a lot of princess tales and romantic movies where I saw that to be completed I had to date someone and find true love. I learned that I could have seemingly everything, but everything would not be enough if I didn't find love.
This idea was in my mind all the time while growing up, seeing girls at school with their boyfriends, people having their first significant other, their first kiss, and experiencing romantic love while I was still single. I felt left out and this drove me to think that there was something wrong with me. Most of my friends also told me that they would feel bad for not finding their soulmate and for not being in a stable long-term relationship.
“Single'' has been culturally branded as something that's bad and the worst thing that could happen to someone (especially for women). This is a cultural reproduction of ideas of women being with a man who can provide for them, men being there to protect and keep a woman the traditional family to be accomplished. All arguments that are based on how things should be and not actually what a person wants, their mental health, and success in their personal goals. We are involved in a culture that puts romantic life on a pedestal and prioritizes being married or in a relationship over actually fulfilling your individual goals.
As Florence Given says in her book, Women Don't Owe You Pretty “heteronormativity has convinced us all that being single is some kind of tragic fate, as though we have been thrust unwillingly into a state of ”waiting for the next relationship” (2020).
In reality, being single can be the one thing that changes your life completely. Realizing that being single was not a condition for me, but rather a choice I unconsciously made to not settle for less than I deserved, changed my point of view in relationships. I learned that being single is a choice and started seeing it as that, not as the tragic tale of being the single girl who is not loved.
Plus, ditching the rush of finding a boyfriend helped realize the amount of time I wasted trying to attract someone and to make someone love me. Time that I could use for my own needs and wants.
After accepting this I spent time healing, growing, learning and working on myself, working on loving myself and to understand that I don't need someone to complete me, that I am complete as I am and I should find that love that I always thought was outside, inside of me. Then, I kept the practice of reminding myself that being single meant nothing other than me showing self-respect and not settling for the first thing that appeared in my way.
Romantic love is being sold as the only way of loving, thus teaching us that we should “find our other half”, that jealousy is a way of proving love, and that true love will make it through everything. All these doctrines make us think that settling with someone who isn't adding anything to our lives, or someone who might even be bad for us is way better than being alone.
We need to learn that romantic love can be a goal in our lives, but shouldn't be our sole purpose and the only thing we look for in life. The biggest lesson I've learned by being single is that I am the love of my life.
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