Being single = Not what’s “in”

I personally believe that society has affected the face of relationships by selling the idea of mandatory love. Whether we’re watching a movie, reading a book, watching television or listening to music there is love EVERYWHERE. No matter the story there has to be a tale of love involved. For example: a good guy saves the city but falls in love. Boy meets girl who has cancer and then they fall in love. Car explodes in opening scene and that car belongs to a guy who was in love with the girl who blew it up. We see celebrities that go from relationships to relationships. All over social sites we see couples proudly displaying their love for one another on Instagram or Facebook. Love is always all around us.

Let me be clear, I don’t believe there is anything wrong with love being put on display or relationships being broadcasted. I am all about spreading love and positivity. However, this ongoing trend sends the message that being single is no longer “cool” or acceptable. Couples are praised for posting pictures of themselves on picnics and doing fun things. Everyone loves to see pictures of their newly married friends (one of my favorite things in the world!). However, you don’t see too many singles posting pictures of themselves…Being single?

We could all agree that no one wants to be the “single” friend, or the 30 year old who isn’t married. There is a lot of pressure from society to be in relationships. However, when we mix that with the type of unhealthy relationships (discussed in an alternate blog) that are being broadcasted and the idea that just being in a relationship is “good enough”, we start seeing that people are no longer searching for HEALTHY relationships. Being in a relationship is one thing: you can take the pictures for the social sites, you can tell everyone you have a significant other, you can have a date when you want to go to the movies. However, a healthy relationship should be the goal. Instead of just settling for any type of relationship for the sake of being in one, the goal should be to be in a healthy relationship where both partners are treated with respect at all times.

I have spoken to victims of dating abuse or people in unhealthy relationships who say they can’t walk away  because they don’t want to be alone. They make statements such as “if I leave the relationship how do I know I will find someone else?”, “I won’t have anyone to talk to”, or “If I leave, I won’t have anyone”. Instead of being in healthy relationships, people are sacrificing their safety, well-being and happiness just so they can BE in a relationship. This phenomenon, I believe, is contributing to the amount of people we see in abusive relationships.

One way that we can fix this is to take away the stigma of being single. It is okay to NOT be in a relationship. There shouldn’t be a standard age in which someone has to be married or in a relationship to be happy. I can understand why this would be hard for someone who has friends that are all in relationships so they want to be in one too, or someone who has been in a relationship with the same person for a long time and doesn’t want to start over. However, that becomes dangerous when we are willing to sacrifice our standards and what we put up with just so we can say that we are in a relationship.

We have all had that friend (or have been that friend) that was not in the ideal relationship. We could have been dating someone that cheated on us, didn’t give us the attention we wanted, didn’t treat us with respect, or perhaps wouldn’t even to commit to being in a relationship at all.  For personal reasons we decided to stick it out with the person, and one reason could be we did not want to end the relationship and go back to being alone. Being alone, isn’t fun or ideal but let’s make it more acceptable to be alone, than to be in an unhealthy or abusive relationship. Remember that being alone doesn’t mean you have to be lonely.

                If you’re currently in a not so ideal relationship or situation, stop and ask yourself: Why am I in this situation? Is this the type of relationship that I really want to be in or am I in it because I don’t want to be single? If you’re not completely happy with the situation that you are in don’t be afraid to get away from it, take some time to focus on you and your happiness. That is okay. Let being in a HEALTHY relationship be your goal, not just in ANY relationship.

Thanks for Reading. Join the movement to SHARE Love 🙂

Anitra