In Defense of Singledom

Stacey Day

 

This article, alternatively titled “In Defense of Not Ruining Spring for Everyone Else,” comes from a deep, long-held, cherished and fundamental belief of mine: People generally take themselves way too gosh darn seriously.

 

Especially in my/our specific demographic, in fact: burningly ardent and impassioned young folks who happen to be over-achievers with type-A personalities at a small and prestigious liberal arts school.

 

So let’s get less serious about this whole “relationship” thing, shall we? The odds of college sweethearts actually getting married in this crazy world are one pertinent way to discuss this, but kind of irrelevant to my point here.

 

I refuse to get bogged down in trivial statistics on this question because A) When have I ever felt it was worthwhile to defend a position that could be settled by facts? and B) I’m not here to discuss what does happen, but what I think should happen.

 

Let’s discuss the chances that you, when you are most honest with yourself, even want to spend the rest of your life with your current significant other. Do we take these odds seriously enough to throw away our — and our significant others’ — youths?

 

Do we know what we even really want or need in a relationship to be happy if we’ve only been in one relationship since we were half-formed little teenage cretins?

 

What if this is contentment and not happiness? What else is out there? How do we answer those questions without dating around? Now is the time to test the waters, to catch-and-release all those other fish in the sea, before we resort to perusing online dating websites during our idle moments in our cubicle jobs as middle-aged cogs in the machine.

 

What happened to the casual dating scene? How come it has died? Did it merely crumble beneath the pressure to not look like a morally-degenerate slut in our debauched age of fast sex and free love and, on the other side, the intense pressure for our lives to revolve around finding real romance, true love, our one-and-only-s, our soul-mates, the people who “complete us”?

 

I don’t think there is any possible way to convey the disdain in my voice even just typing this.

 

Without putting my wisdom hat on, pop culture inundates us with untenable ideas of love, relationships and normative oughts and ought-nots of such affairs.

 

Just listen to Taylor Swift’s “Love Story,” Bruno Mars’ “Grenade” or watch “A Cinderella Story” again. Hillary Duff, anyone? You know you loved it back in high school.

 

Neediness is simply a mark of a more pure love, instead of teenage co-dependence. A more intensely physical relationship is a sign of a more impassioned love, not just raging hormones. More public displays of affection just indicate a truer, unashamed love. The more serious or long-term your relationship is, the more morally upright, or the more credibility it has.

 

What I’m proposing is that by not talking ourselves into some grandiose and inflated idea of love, and clinging to whomever we can find that also shares these foolish dreams, we can strive simply to know fully our own independence.

 

Why stand for, let alone be part of, the couples who strut about making a virtue of what is often a relationship founded out of mutual neediness and dependence and parade it about in attempts to shame those of us inferior enough in every way to not be in possession of a significant other?

 

Get over it. Also, you couples — you — stop kicking me out of my favorite spots to sit down by the river and making me gag with your conscious affectations of nauseating cuteness. I can’t stand going to a favorite reading-nook and finding it usurped by these ubiquitous couples that feel like spring is occasion enough for them to shamelessly take over campus, because Hallmark tells us Spring is the time of year when a young man’s fancy turns to love.

 

If anyone wants to discuss this with me further, my long-term lover is in town and we’ll be in a self-absorbed love bubble where all of your bickering is rendered irrelevant for the foreseeable future due to the transcendent sublimity of our feelings for each other — probably in your favorite study spot.

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