February seems like a dreaded month. The month of love. Dreaded, if you have no one to share it with, and the most fabulous one if you are in love. Being single is never a piece of cake, is it? Especially around Valentine's Day which seems to be growing grander, as if on steroids, with each passing year.
Somehow, with each year that goes by, the definition of being single is changing and evolving. It is no longer that sequestered thing, a fact to be hidden away, a status to shy away from, a shameful condition.
But is it as good as it looks?
We are in the 21st century, the world is constantly altering, yet people still seem to have a terrible problem with someone who is single.
If we look closely, being single in 2019 is better than doing so in say 2009, but the stigma attached to it is still a long way from being completely eliminated.
According to popular perception, being in a relationship has always been the celebrated goal of one's life.
© Fox Searchlight Pictures
In today's whirlwind world fueled by social media, the relationships that people have seem to be just for the sake of Instagram and Facebook. It doesn't matter how much love there is, the more important factor is the number of likes and comments it gets.
Apparently, in today's era, the number of likes decides your compatibility and the length of your relationship. Being in a relationship has become a fad, a status symbol, something to be flaunted or people won't believe you.
It is a world where you put up a mushy, cheesy, romantic message for your current S.O. which garners a lot of social media validation and then changes once the relationship comes to an end; either the message gets erased or the name of the person in it changes.
Has the meaning of love changed in 2019?
Look around you. People hook up and break up in an instant, their relationships change more frequently than Katy Perry's hair colour.
Relationships today seem to have lost their meaning; we flit from one to another like a bee collecting honey.
Maybe, we just don't want to be alone.
Today, two people know that there's a certain expiry date to the relationship. Everything does.
It is a deal; you get someone to hang around with for a few days and they do the same.
No matter how short or bad it might be, we are jumping from one relationship to another. Just for the sake of it.
But aren't we selling ourselves short? It feels realistic to start a romance knowing that nothing lasts forever but not giving ourselves the benefit of the doubt is what is making us unhappier.
© Focus Features
Why can't we let ourselves be? Maybe breathe a bit before launching ourselves into a new relationship just for the sake of it.
Are we really that lonely that we need constant attention from others or someone to give us a sense of approval all the time?
The constant pressure to be seen with someone, to seek love from someone is enveloping our lives; when was the last time you had a conversation with yourself?
Yes, I get it, it is one's own life, we can live it any way we want but shouldn't we stop and ponder a bit on whether that is how we are living it or is it the way someone else wants us to live it?A “Couple” Thoughts!
“How are you still single?”
Heard it somewhere, haven't you?
Being single is a choice. It is as simple as that. By your own choice.
© Universal Pictures
Chances are that if you have been single for a long time, you must have heard whispers all around you; mellow ones which hush when you appear, louder ones which are blatant and acerbic and are mostly from people you know.
Sometimes, the people closest to you can hurt you; your relatives with their constant hankering and hounding about your personal life, that best friend who unintentionally judges you, or that friend who changed once they got into a relationship.
You must have observed it in your friends. Once a person begins to lead a “couple” life, their opinion about single people completely changes.
We all know “that couple” who believes that marriage and kids put them on a pedestal; a higher one than people who are not engaged with someone.
There are all sorts of people out there.
Over the years, I have come across a lot of people and I, being the organizer that I am, have categorized the couples into three groups:
1. The Power Couple:
I have a lot of friends who are in a relationship; some slyly let that fact rub into other people's faces.
If one is happy being a couple, it's fantastic but it is hardly veracious for anyone to force one's happiness on other people who are not as fortunate as they believe they are.
These “power couples” constantly crop up in your social networking feed with their numerous (way too many posts than normal) mushy romantic photos and articulate posts or just can't seem to keep their hands off each other in someone else's presence as well.
a) Get a room;
b) tell me the name of your Internet service provider ( because posting cutesy stuff from remote areas is a feat in itself)
Love, like air, is a feeling; not seen or heard but felt with the heart.
2. The No-Nonsense Couple:
Just like everything else, people also come in good and bad. I know a lot of couples who are the best people I have ever met.
Unlike the prior set, they do not judge you for not having a significant other and are not coercing other single people to get married or rush into a relationship just for the sake of it.
The goodness of their hearts doesn't need the constant validation of other people or social media. Nor does their love.
3. The Do-Gooder Couple:
Which brings me to those couples who think it to be their personal Hercules' Labor to find someone for their single friend. They keep on telling you how fabulous and marvellous it is to be in a relationship; to be able to share your life with someone you love.
Guess what? We'll figure it out. Whether one needs to be in a relationship or not is a decision only one can make, so thank you for all the help and all your good intentions but we would love it if you channelled your goodwill somewhere where it is actually needed like saving the rain-forests or conserving water. :P This patronizing just makes you annoying.
If these couples did this out of the fondness for a single person, it wouldn't be a problem, but they do it to feel good about themselves.The Present
Dear Single People,
When was the last time you received a present from someone? Just like that, out of the blue.
Still thinking, right?
Other than your birthday, a person who is single never gets any presents or gifts.
What about the money you spend on the gifts for other people: on someone's bridal shower, bachelor party, birthday, wedding, engagement, the list goes on? What does a person who is single get from other people?
Quick math. Just do a round-up of the gifts you have bought for a friend; a friend who you won't meet often or one who won't return the gesture by being gracious enough to apologize for a mistake. Surprised?
We all spend a lot of money just to be cordial and be in tune with the societal norms.
We don't get a gift for celebrating all the right choices we have made, do we?
No one gives you a present for being a good friend or a wise advisor or not falling for the wrong person. (And you shouldn't expect it as well.)
I know, calculating the amount of money you spent on gifts is an abomination. Ah, so materialistic!
No one asks you to pay a certain amount for giving away presents but still, gifting being the social convention, we adhere to it.
And to be completely honest, who doesn't like receiving presents? But isn't it being pragmatic, to see how much you have spent on a person and will that person return the favour?
We all do this, don't we? We gift people things but hardly ever do we estimate the cost of the gift. I do not say that we need to give over-the-top gifts to everyone, but we should factor in the relationship we have with the person. It may sound wrong, but in the long run, it helps.
Why be disheartened by giving a person something of value and get nothing in return? Would you give away a part of your body to someone for free?Judge-y Judgerson!
For a society which takes years together to give out a fair verdict on cases, we don't take more than a jiffy to judge someone and the choices they make.
We all judge other people, all the time.
I do, you do, we all do. It is human nature. The people who say that they don't judge anyone are lying (because they judge you for judging someone else :P).
People will judge you no matter what you do.
Single? Judging you!
Committed? Judging you!
Married? Judging you!
Marriage or getting into a relationship doesn't mean getting tied down. It just means that you have found another person whom you have chosen, who understands you and respects you for the fact that you are your own person.
Just like being single, having kids; getting married; being in a relationship are individual choices. None of it makes you better if you choose to do one of these.
Yes, demeaning someone because of the choices they have made does make you an atrocious human being.
Being single is completely normal. It doesn't make you desperate, nor does it make you a loser. It is just you, being you.
It means you are comfortable with who you are, you do not need another person for it.
The people who judge you for taking time and trying to find someone who will understand you are the ones who are driving on the wrong side of the road.
Why should we have to explain and defend ourselves for not being a relationship?Single And Fabulous!
I believe a fortunate few are meant to be single because they are enough for themselves. Single, after all, is just a term; a word. It depends on you how to view it: crying behind closed doors because of it or indulging yourself with happiness just because you can.
It's surprising that the society makes you think that being single is an appalling thing, popular culture doesn't do justice to the thrill of getting to know yourself and working on yourself. Apparently, according to them, single people can only be two things: sad or desperate.
© Focus Features
Hardly ever are there any fictional characters which are shown to be single and content with it. Romance is mandatory. Why? Because that is what brings in the audience.
© New Line Cinema
The freedom which being single gives is hardly comparable to other experiences. You can sleep as long as you want, have as many crushes you want, eat what you want without guilt, and you are not answerable to anyone for the choices you make.
What is wrong with being single? The Sun does not need anyone else to shine.
The biggest challenges in your life are faced by one person; you. Celebrate who you are. No one will be around for you forever, except you.
© 20th Century Fox Television
We need to break the stigma of self-love. Why should someone be judged for loving themselves more than another person? Don't we have better things to look out for?
Maybe, you will find a person who completes you later in life, but for the time being, enjoy your own company, because only we can know ourselves the best.
No one is asking you to be a hermit; know yourself better before letting someone else into your life. Don't let other factors bully you into feeling guilty for being single.
© Focus Features
Everything takes time; breathe.
The best thing about being single?
No one to judge you as you proceed to eat that tub of ice-cream, chocolate sauce all slathered across your face as you watch your favorite show on Netflix. :P
Do not fall prey to the social convention or someone else's judgement. Elizabeth Bennet did not, nor did Sheldon Cooper.
And who needs another person, as long as you have got pizza. Just saying.
P.S.: Will most certainly be judged for writing this! :P