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Being In A Relationship Shouldn’t Be Your Biggest Life Goal

“Oh, I just wish I wasn’t single. A relationship would make my life so much better.” I just cannot count the number of times I’ve heard someone say this. Nowadays, people seem to think that if they are unhappy, it’s because they are single. The pressure to be in a relationship is everywhere in our society : in movies of all genres, on the internet with the dozens of dating sites available, on TV ads, etc. Even friends and family can sometimes pressure you to date. But why are people so obsessed with relationships ?

Social media such as Twitter, Tumblr or Instagram reinforce the idea that being in a relationship is the best and most important thing a person can have. You see pictures of happy couples everywhere, who seem to lead a life that is almost too happy to be true. Then there’s the “relatable” Twitter accounts, who post tweets all day long about how being single sucks and about weird, unattainable “relationship goals”.
And it’s very annoying, because that kind of thing can get to your head. And before you realise it, you think your life isn’t complete, because you feel like a romantic partner is an absolute necessity – only, it isn’t.

Don’t get me wrong : being in a relationship can be very nice and cute, and having a caring partner is wonderful. But the idea that not being single is a must-have is very toxic. It reinforces the idea that in order to be complete, you need the validation from someone else – which is not true at all. You are a valid, complex being on your own. You don’t need an “other half” to make your life better. And I get that being single sometimes feels lonely, but there are many options other than dating to fix this ! Friendships, for example, are an incredible part of life, and real friends can make you feel so loved and cared for.

Furthermore, this “I can’t be single” concept reinforces the idea that a person can save you or make your life better, which is problematic. Even more dangerous, it reinforces the concept that someone can cure you from a mental illness, like depression for example. But the thing is, you can’t rely on someone to do that for you. Illnesses like depression have been so romanticized in the past that people now think a romantic partner can cure you from it. Not only is this toxic, but also completely wrong. A partner isn’t a therapist, or an antidepressant. Whilst having a caring, loving person by your side can help you feel better, it is not a solution to an illness. This is partly why romanticizing mental illnesses is so dangerous.

In conclusion, we need to stop viewing relationships as something that will instantly make our life better. In some aspects, a relationship can make you very happy, but it’s not the only thing that matters. True friendships, a loving family and a safe environment are just as valuable. Because the truth is, you can’t put a person in charge of your own life. You are the only one responsible for your own happiness. So, the solution is to learn to love ourselves more. Once we realize that we are beautiful, valid beings on our own, maybe then will we be fine with being by ourselves.

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