I heard someone tell me "congrats" earlier this week. I said thanks without even thinking about it - but what does that say about our society?
Context is everything in this scenario, of course. So allow me to set up the situation.
As anyone who knows me can tell you, I'm very private about my romantic life. This space, here in The Weeknight Maximum, should be no exception. I write about all sorts of stuff concerning the rest of my life, so my philosophy is that one area should be private and just for me :) Let's keep that in mind as I skirt details to get at my point, if you don't mind, dear reader.
It came up in conversation that I'm dating someone. No big deal, right? But the person I was talking to said "congrats" in response. Well, I got to thinking... Why would they feel I need to be congratulated about that?
This is not a commentary on that person - anyone can be guilty of thinking that to be in a relationship is the ultimate goal. But what if it's not?
Women hear it often that "you don't need a man" or "don't let a relationship define you," but these are only things that are proclaimed from the outdoor seating of the cafe when feeling down about a romantic relationship not working out. Otherwise, it's supposed to be back to the drawing board. Therefore, to be content with the single life is viewed as an anomaly.
I've spent plenty of time in my life single - and happily so. There is something wonderful about feeling I am on good terms with myself and that I am whole in and of myself. I'll illustrate this further using elementary math.
A lot of times we think of a couple as a single unit. A 1, right? But what if we changed our thoughts to automatically think of a single unit as 2; i.e., 1 + 1 = 2. Hopefully you do not lose a part of yourself by being in a relationship, no?
Consequently, let's use fractions to show why it doesn't make sense to think of a unit as 1. If you only think of a couple as 1, then the math reads 1 = 1/2 + 1/2. Realistically, though, neither part of the romantic unit is only a half. If I said you had to sacrifice half of yourself to be in a relationship you'd probably say no, wouldn't you? That sounds a little silly doesn't it? If a relationship is supposed to add something to your life then you should still be a whole, not a fraction of who you were.
Why would I want to be part of something that makes me less of myself?
It's easy to repeat old phrases. It's easy to see the world the way we are taught to see it. Sure, I won't deny that some people are much happier having another person in their life in this manner. That's their ideal and that's totally okay! But as someone who never felt I needed anyone to complete me - as someone who is 1 on her own and always strives to feel that way - I can't say I prefer being taken to being single, or vice versa.
I try to be appreciative of the positives I've got going for me whatever stage I'm in.