As women, we’re taught that having a man in our life means we’ve made it.
We’re the envy of our single friends. We feel a flush of fulfilment when people tell us how jealous they are, when we brag about our holiday’s or our trips to Winter Wonderland. And we feed off the likes on our Instagram posts captioned, happiest with you, or day out with this one, with a love heart of course.
We feel like no matter how shit things can be sometimes, or how many times they make us cry, that it’s all worth it. Because, thank God, at least we have someone and we’re not alone.
I say all this not out of spite or to ridicule anyone. I say it because I’ve been doing it since I was sixteen.
Every time I would get into a shitty relationship, I felt like it was still okay because at least I wasn’t the single friend. I had a boyfriend which meant I must be doing something right. Never mind that I was doing great at school, juggling a part time job, keeping fit at the gym and taking care of myself and others.
The thing that made me feel content and proud was that I had a boyfriend. It didn’t matter how miserable I was most of the time. I was just so happy to not be single.
Why are women taught that having a man in our life is an achievement?
The societal pressures put on women to find a partner, get married, and have children, have conditioned women to believe that finding a man is the biggest achievement possible for us. And it forces women to settle. I’ve been settling my whole life because I’ve been so scared of being alone. And I feel like a lot of women can relate.
I’m learning to love myself enough to know I deserve the best. And until I find the person who is going to treat me the way I deserve, I’m happy to be alone. I’m having to teach myself to be okay with being on my own. Because I wasn’t taught to. I was taught to feel less than. To not feel pretty enough or smart enough, until a man decided I was.
It’s a tough process, but I’m learning to be okay on my own. Because being on your own doesn’t have to be scary. There’s a beautiful freedom in knowing that you don’t have to rely on another person to feel content.
If anything I’ve said applies to you, then I implore you to embrace being along, and find yourself. It might be scary at first, but I promise you will be okay. And it will be worth it.