'We Want To Live Our Own Life!'
Glittering India|March 2018

There’s more to life than being in a relationship. Many girls have long-term plans which are bigger than having a boyfriend

Vibha Singh

Gender [a social, rather than biological construct] contradicts the contemporary idea that men and women share a human identity prior to all differences between them. It belongs to a worldview in which an irreducible experience of otherness is fundamental to being alive… There is something I can never do, something I can never know, an interdependence I can never overcome, a gulf that only metaphor can represent and only imagination can bridge….

— David Cayley, Ivan Illich In Conversation (introduction)

There is more to life than love. There’s more to life than finding your soulmate at 24, and getting married by 30. There’s more than just settling down in your early twenties and staying stagnant. There is so much more to life than that. There is more to life than the boy you pine over. Because you see, this boy that you madly love, is only a boy. He’s not a god, or an angel sent down from the heavens to save you. He’s only a boy. Today, more Americans are choosing to hold off on marriage or forgo it altogether. In 2009, the marriage rate dropped below 50% - the first time in history.

That stat is highlighted in “All the Single Ladies,” a 2016 book by writer Rebecca Traister that chronicles the history of American singlehood. The book features interviews with over 100 unmarried women from a range of socioeconomic backgrounds.

Traister’s goal: exploring how social progress connects to changing marriage patterns, and what that means for American single women today.

Women are no longer dependent on marriage (and men) for economic stability, children, or social support. They can now have all of these things without ever tying the knot. If and when women do marry, they have a higher bar for their male partners.

And women see, this relationship that you so desperately want? It’s not what life is about. Of course, it’s the fairytale we all crave. It’s the happily ever after that we got shoved down our throats the minute we turned six. But it’s not a real achievement. It’s not a real ending. We all want the relationship that makes us feel warm inside. The kind that makes our insecurities go away, and that glosses over all the splotchy darkness. Rohini Kumar, academician says, “We all want the fairytale that inevitably won’t make us happy at the end of the day. Because it’s not real life. There’s more to life than having a partner. Than having someone to talk to day in and day out. Than having someone’s hand to hold when it gets too cold, or having them kiss your anxiety away. Because that isn’t all that life has to offer you.”

Sure, it’s incredible to fall in love. It’s magical and scary and brilliant. But can’t you say the same about a family night dinner, playing charades and laughing until the sun rises the next day? And yes, it’s incredible to spend time with your significant other traveling to Europe, or Thailand, or Australia, but isn’t it just as incredible traveling solo? The sights will be just as clear. The water will be just as blue. The view will be just as mesmerizing. The smell will be just as refreshing. And the journey will be just as beautiful.

You don’t need another person to make your life perfect. You don’t need another human being to fill the missing piece in your life. You have the ability to do it on your own. You have the ability to find peace and happiness within yourself and with what you have right now.

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