Over the past two days I’ve read two articles about why it’s so super rad to be single and why it’s the worst thing you can ever do in your entire life to have a boyfriend when you’re in your twenties. They were two different articles on two different websites, and I can assure you they aren’t the only articles of their kind. So after reading these articles, seeing click-thru links to other ones like it, and writing An Ode to the Future Cat Ladies of America, I realize I kind of have a lot to say on the subject.
Can we all just call a spade a spade and say that the authors of lists like these are jealous, single, bitches? I probably sound like a horrible person, but believe me, this rant is not coming from a spiteful place; remember—I’m single too, guys. We have to be true to ourselves and acknowledge that these posts, the ones that say “well since you’re single you can do this or this or this”, are written by a bunch of girls who are just insecure that they don’t have a boyfriend or a girlfriend. They aren’t “single and loving it”; they’re “single and bitter and hating themselves”.
And in their fit of jealousy, the authors of these lists completely lose their ability to make any sense. I mean really. “Read hundreds of really great novels”? Did I miss the moment where having a boyfriend/girlfriend made it so you can no longer read? Because the thing that really gets me is that most of the things that are on these lists are things you can do with or without a significant other. Because I’m pretty sure Netflix is just as entertaining with your boyfriend, and having a girlfriend doesn’t diminish the fabulousness of a new shampoo, and I’m pretty sure Chipotle tastes the same if you’re on a date or if you’re not (or maybe it does taste better on a date with the additional prospect of sex at the end).
So what do the items on these lists really say? Despite the proclamations that being single is about “understanding that you do not require [a significant other] to be complete,” these lists say that the girls who wrote them think that being in a relationship means losing your identity to your boyfriend/girlfriend; that it means not binging on the Netflix shows you want anymore, not eating the junk food you love, not going on trips or reading books or figuring out your values and standing by them steadfastly. They say that it’s a good thing these authors are single because they have no idea what being in a relationship is about. I don’t know what relationships are about either, but I know they’re not about all that crap.
Considering I’m the author of An Ode to the Future Cat Ladies, a lot of people probably think I’m a big, fat hypocrite for writing this article. They probably think it’s funny that I should write an article talking about how “awesome” single girls are only to write another about why being someone’s girlfriend isn’t as bad as the Internet cracks it up to be. But they probably missed the part where I urged single girls not to be so freaking bitter, where I said that taken girls were awesome, too, and that it just wasn’t their moment during that article for me to discuss them. But now is their moment for me to discuss them, and what I want to say is actually pretty quick. We keep saying that we need to learn to be okay alone, not to be defined by a boyfriend or a girlfriend. Do we hear this? We keep saying that we need to learn not to be defined by a boyfriend or a girlfriend, but maybe the key is not to define another person by a boyfriend or a girlfriend. Whether single or taken, we need to look at these people for what they are: whole, complete people who should not be judged for their relationship status (or lack thereof).
So let’s cut the shit, Internet. People are people are people whether they have a boyfriend or not, no if’s and’s or but’s about it. Let’s all just team up with our significant others (or, if you’re like me, our lack of significant other) and read a good book, because contrary to some articles, we all have the ability to read it despite the presence of boyfriends in our lives.