Each day, when I log into Facebook, browse my Twitter feed, waste time on Buzzfeed or get lost in the blogosphere, I’m overwhelmed by the number of relationship themed posts that are out there. Twenty reasons to stay single in your twenties; five reasons why your relationship is the reason your summer sucks; 10 mediocre things that are better than your relationship; 25 reasons why you should be in a relationship; 7 tips to help you find a husband/wife…catch my drift? We are a relationship obsessed generation and we need to be stopped.
I’m not posting to secure my place as a relationship advocate or relationship hater. The only thing I advocate is that you do what is truly best for yourself. Not what you think is best for yourself, or what myriad online or Cosmo/GQ quizzes have told you is best for yourself, but what really actually is best for you. And no, I don’t think everyone has quite figured that out, yet, either – whether they’re in a relationship or not.
Simply put, all of these posts are giving mixed signals to twenty-somethings (and anyone at any age for that matter – I’m simply speaking in terms of my own age group) when, quite frankly, we have a lot of other things to be worrying about. We’re still transitioning and trying to determine our careers, which is another job in itself. We’re desperately trying to keep in touch with, reconnect with – or possibly even lose – past friends gracefully, all while striving to make new ones. The last thing we need to do is read an article about how being in a relationship is holding us back from finding ourselves or how being in a relationship will make us happier and thus more successful. I’ve seen some pretty unhappy people in relationships…haven’t you? I’ve also seen some pretty bitter single people…haven’t you?
If I’ve learned anything from consuming these articles and the plentiful comments that follow (because I’ll admit it, reading them is a guilty pleasure), it’s that everyone is different and everyone has an opinion of what is right for themselves. Those who are single band together and relationship-shame in the comment section of any pro-relationship article, shouting about how they’re independent and don’t need a significant other (sidenote: since when did being in a relationship mean someone wasn’t independent). And, on the other side of the ring, those who are in a relationship are guilty of the same crime – they will band together and shout their pro-relationship-my-S.O.-isn’t-holding-me-back-he/she-makes-me-a-better-person propaganda in the comment section of any “be single or get out” post.
Reading these posts make me feel like a walking, talking PSA announcement, my brain filling with thoughts of:
1.) Can’t we all just get along?
2.) Why can’t we realize that what may be best for you may not be what’s best for the person sitting next to you? Also: what’s best for the person sitting next to you may not be best for you.
3.) Why is everyone obsessed with relationships, either a strong hatred for or very much so into them?
4.) How is this twenty-one-year old a relationship expert? Oh no wait, twenty-year-old.
5.) How did our parents survive the dating world without all of these really well researched articles plastered all over the Internet?
6.) No, really. Where did people spread their relationship fury before the invention of the Internet?
7.) I know there were and still are books, but the real juice is in the comments. How did my parents get through a work day without getting fired up by a relationship-biased blog post?
Some of life’s many questions that will never be answered. So, what am I trying to say? Remember that each and every one of these relationship posts are put together based off of the author’s personal experiences, which are likely quite different from your own. My advice to you – Just be you, and just…be, in a relationship or not.