The pressure to be in a relationship
For the majority of my 20s, I have been dating. I have never really held down a relationship though. Is it my fault? I don’t know. But I do know that I love being single. Lately, though, I have been feeling the pressure to be in a relationship.
To be honest, this is a pressure I’ve been feeling since about 2015. I go out with a guy for a while, and then I decide that he isn’t right for me. There is usually a multitude of reasons – for example, he is rude, he doesn’t show respect, he expects things from me by the 2nd date. When people ask me: “why did you break up?”, I would explain, and then people would start making excuses for the guy. Like it was my fault for being too picky.
People are more concerned about me not being in a relationship than I am!
I’ve been pressured to be in a relationship since I was 18 (not by my parents, but by other people I know). There’s almost a ‘what’s wrong with you?’ stigma attached to you if you aren’t in a relationship. I’ve certainly felt that over the years.
As young girls, we are told stories of being rescued by Prince Charming – handsome, tall, and strong. Because women are too weak to rescue themselves, of course. But when you do meet your Prince Charming, he might not be that tall, dark, handsome bloke. And that is where some confusion kicks in. How do you know if the guy you’re going out with is your Prince Charming? I mean, the guy I’m dating at the moment is not tall and is marginally handsome (makes me feel like a bish for saying that)…so I guess that means he’s not Prince Charming. FYI: dating does not mean I’m in a relationship – I am just casually seeing someone.
I feel like there is such a huge expectation for men. There is huge pressure to be tall, handsome, strong, and to ‘man up’. The phrase ‘man up’ really annoys me, because it tells men that if they show emotion, they are not man enough. Or that if they do anything that is ‘not manly’, there is something wrong.
These poor men are expected to be just like the fairy tales portray men – rescuing damsels in distress and showing strength. They must not shake in the face of adversity. You know, to be honest, I like a man who can show his emotions. I like a man who can show his emotions, I think that that is a strength in itself.
Despite the fact that women’s rights have got further ahead, there are still so many misconceptions and beliefs that we need to conquer. The idea that you are stronger if you are in a partnership, is one of those. Also, the one where you need a man to protect you.
I still get the dreaded question at every Christmas, Birthday or Easter
“do you have a boyfriend yet?”
“all the good men have gone, you’ve left it too late. Just go out with someone. You could grow to love them”.
It irritates me because that’s saying that I just need to go out with the next one who comes along. I have a lot more self-respect than that!
I’ve also been mortified when someone fairly close to me told me I need to hurry up before my eggs dry up.
I think it is really important to be with someone you get on well with, someone who has similar morals and also someone who treats you with the respect you deserve. There have been men I’ve dated who have not treated me well, and expect me to drop my pants by the second date. There have been men who have touched me in an inappropriate manner and then would get upset when I said ‘no’, or ‘stop it’.
I would love to be in a relationship. I would love to share my life with someone – I think it is so special when you can find someone who you can do that with! There are so many things in my life, that I feel would be made better by being in a relationship.
Being single has been a life choice for me, and it is something I have really enjoyed. I have travelled the world and moved overseas by myself, and I feel that knowing that you can do things on your own is so important.
What are your thoughts? Did you, or do you still, feel pressure to be in a relationship?
Outfit of this post (sorry guys, I couldn’t help adding these photos in!):
Dress: True vintage – 1940s.
Shoes: Steve Madden.
Dog: My own.