(ready to mingle?)
There’s a lot of pressure sometimes, being single. There’s always this running undercurrent of doubt – will anyone ever find me desirable? – compounded by the fact that I don’t think I’ve ever exactly been ‘popular’, so to speak. At best, I could probably claim to lurk on the fringes of that crowd – you know the one, throwing the mass parties that you wish you were invited to.
I guess I always thought university would solve that. There’s a running joke about the advertisements – laughing on a patch of green grass with a group of multicultural friends, etc. etc. – but I guess in spite of my cynical nature, some of that idealism has transferred to me, after all. Somewhere deep inside my subconscious, I must’ve clung to the belief that university would be where I’d quickly make many friends, and amongst them the someone that could be more.
The first part of that, at least, is true. I do have a group of absolutely amazing friends – brilliant, loving, and so, so wonderful – truly, I could not ask for more.
By stark, stark contrast (one might even call it juxtaposition*), my love life seems to have been D.O.A.**
We all have our insecurities, and, well, this happens to be one of mine – the need for reassurance, and affirmation of self-worth, from others. There’s this natural innate desire to please, to make myself be liked, that I can’t help – but I am glad at least that I can identify this issue, and work on overcoming my problems with self-esteem.
The reason for this post is a conversation I had with a friend just yesterday. She had recently ended her relationship with her boyfriend of this past year, and said she was resolved to stay single for at least a year hence. (I have my doubts 😛 ) But she granted me a fresh perspective.
Throughout this year I have fought the urge to respond to the slightest interest from guys. I have reminded myself, time and again, that a relationship needs to be built on foundation – that as important as attraction is, there must be something of substance for support. I caution myself not to repeat history and make the same mistake of jumping into a relationship for the sake of being in one – of succumbing to peer pressure when everyone else was also coupling up. And yet this has been a fight, and not an easy one.
My friend put a completely new spin on things.
The reason behind her vow of singledom? She’d spent most of first year uni in a relationship – and now felt she had never really gotten time for herself.
This simple statement blew me away, though I didn’t say as much immediately in my state of revelation. There has been so, so much to be grateful for – the aforementioned friends (if you’re reading this, I love you guys and you rock!), my stalwart friends from highschool (again, you know who you are!) and most importantly – the opportunity to discover myself, in my first year of university, without anything to tie me down. (In the interest of being PC, I will add the disclaimer that I’m not saying a relationship in first year uni is shackling – I’m sure plenty of wonderful people out there have found love, or something like it, the same way.)
At any rate, I think I’m finally understanding that there are things that could be worse than the single state. Who knows what the future holds? Perhaps I’ll be granted a S.O. soon, perhaps not. In the meantime, I’m ready to bear the questions of relatives, parents’ colleagues and family friends, with a smile.
*the inner English nerd makes an appearance!
**yes I stole that from Friends (a show I haven’t ever actually watched, incidentally)