If you’re looking for me to start throwing out cliche phrases like, “it’ll happen when you least expect it” or “relationships aren’t as great as you think” or even “the only person you need is yourself,” you’ve come to the wrong place.
I’m not going to pretend there are enough trivial words to fulfill a desire for romantic love. Honestly, there is no substitute for human desire. Everywhere you look there are constant reminders that this world simply isn’t built for single people. Your TikTok “For You” page is probably flooded with cute couples sharing unsolicited information about themselves, faux tarot readings telling you that “the one” will be entering your life soon, sad girl poems about loneliness, and so on.
For most TV shows and movies, fictional or reality (I’m looking at you, “Love is Blind”), the major plot points involve finding and/or being in love — as if to say life’s end goal is always romantic love.
Something even as mundane as the economy isn’t built for single people. Did you know that married couples who jointly file their taxes can reap more tax breaks than single people?
If you’re looking to have a biological child of your own, unfortunately, since we haven’t evolved to the level of self-replication, it takes two to tango, and us ladies have a time limit. Even the Kit Kat bar at your local convenience store comes in twos, apparently with the expectation that it will be shared.
Essentially, the world, in some form or another, is constantly screaming at you to find someone, anyone, like a blaring car alarm in the middle of your living room. You can’t escape it.
Every time a friend of mine drinks a little too much, she always ends up trying to set me up with someone random. No matter how hard we try, 80 percent of the time my friends and I fail to pass the Bechdel test. My parents expect that, at some point, I will be married and have kids.
It’s exhausting and, frankly, a little presumptuous of the world. Because maybe I’m perfectly happy with me, myself, and I. Maybe I don’t want someone; but, then again, maybe I will. Again, there is no substitute for human desire.
With all that being said, here’s some, hopefully, helpful advice from someone who, despite having been kissed, has never had a romantic partner:
We’re human, we’re always going to feel like we’re missing out on something. That’s what lies at the core of us anyway, what drives us forward; the want, the need, the desire for love. I guarantee that even if you meet the love of your life tomorrow, you will wake up the day after and find yourself wanting something else; a dream career, more friends, or a better relationship with your parents.
Yearning and desire are some of the strongest emotions humans will ever feel. You will always want something else. However, just because you feel like something’s missing doesn’t mean you’re not living a fulfilling life. There is no right way to live, only the way you choose.
While desiring romantic love is perfectly human, life is made of much more. You need to focus on what you do have and what you can control.
That doesn’t mean I’m expecting you to actively deprive yourself of love either. Don’t be embarrassed. We all need people. We all need to be loved. We all need to be taken care of. The fact that you’re not somehow completely self-sufficient and self-reliant is not a bad thing.
Also, no one’s telling you to sit around and wait. Go on dating apps. Get out there in the world. Talk to people. It’s not always just going to fall into your lap. Sometimes, you have to create your own fairytale love story.
Even if you don’t find it right away, love exists everywhere if you bother to look: in your friend’s laughter, in a meal your mother made for you, in that book you read the other night, in the first sip of coffee you had this morning. Love can come from a billion different sources.
Finally, there are some of us who may find romantic love sooner than others, and some of us who may not find it at all. That is okay.
There is no right way to live. No existence is worth more than another. There is no one definition of happiness. All you can do is try and surround yourself with people who love you in as many forms as possible.