Recently I have found that I have taken to reading books such as, Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus and Why men don’t listen and women can’t read maps. Maybe because as summer is coming into full swing, I realise this is the second summer in a row, that I have been single and so there must be something wrong with me.
I have thrown myself into a work state where if I’m not scribbling notes for a novel, I’m creating ideas to write another article. This is why I took a moment to take a step back. Suddenly I realised while my housemate is off out, on a number of dates trying to find ‘the one’ and my best friend is yet again calling me on a Sunday to tell me about another amazing weekend she has had with her boyfriend, I have essentially fallen into a dating slumber.
I have found myself with little energy or time to parade about finding dates and have a comfortable arrangement with my on / off boyfriend of two years. For me, this is more of a notion, which has suited me since my first term of university. Over the years, my friends and family have settled with the idea, eventually me and this man will just be together, get married and have a happy ending.
Now having read all these books on communication and how men and women differ, I questioned what I was doing in this on / off dating cycle for the first time. It made me think, what if the unlabelled relationship I had, was just me hoping one day me and this man will run off into the sunset. Because surely after endless Rom Coms, bad previous dating experiences and lessons taken from agony aunt and relationship pages of glossy magazines, I should be programmed to want to get hitched and start making babies.
So I went and had a hearty chat with the person that knows the most when it comes to matters of the heart… my grandmother.
Don’t get me wrong, I believe that these books and articles I have been reading are based on expert opinion following extensive research and I believe that they help a large number of people. However in my case reading these books and articles, brought me to the realisation that as soon as I started to notice boys in the playground and write I heart so and so on my hand, I have been forced to believe that to feel validated, I needed some form of relationship.
But after watching my housemate return from yet another pointless and rubbish date (with a boy who looks and acts like he is from prehistoric times), I notice that my single life isn’t actually half bad and my on / off relationship may not be exactly what I have grown up to believe will be my perfect film like romance, but it does actually suit me just fine. Because after all I’m only in my early twenties and not on any level ready to say ‘I do‘.
I began to realise that even though there is no Facebook status linking our profiles, no long speech to the old lady at the bus stop about how happy as a couple we are and no solid structure indicating a sturdy relationship, we have something most people seem to have forgotten you need. We have our own lives, our own ambitions and our own friends. To top all of that we both also have a best friend who we know we can call at 3am because we can’t sleep or had one too many at the local down the road.
When we live in an age where work demands are increasing, travelling the world is an option many of us want to explore by 40 and the fact that women can be independent enough to be happy without being married by 30, this mutual agreement works fine.
So before you start to question why you are being ‘left on the shelf‘, question what you have left to achieve before you are ready to embark on a journey where your choices affect someone else’s life as well as your own. Maybe having a ‘relationship status’ is just what you don’t need right now. Besides it is coming to summer and taking a holiday can be just the medicine. You may even start to believe you are still enjoying the single life because you refuse to settle, or go on another pointless date with a prehistoric escapee.
FemaleFirst Emma Chaplin