Healthy people are not obsessed. By definition, an obsession is an addiction, or a state in which someone thinks about someone or something constantly or frequently especially in a way that is not normal. Another dictionary defines it as the domination of one’s thoughts or feelings by a persistent idea, image, desire.
Could it be said that there is such a thing as relationship obsession? Could it be noted that there are some women so consumed by the need to be in a relationship, that it is their dominant purpose or goal?
But what is a relationship, and does it necessarily have to involve the opposite sex? Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy my relationships, but when I am not in one, I enjoy my “time off”. I spend time cultivating friendships, charting my global travels, pursuing my hobbies, engaging women in conversation, and in general, enjoying the relationship I have with myself. Somehow, that is always my favorite part about being single.
Are men just as fixated on their relationships? Do they spend hours conversing about whether their next flirtation is going to lead to a Facebook relationship status? Of course, we are raised by different standards, and men are not raised to believe that a relationship will define them, or give meaning to their lives. Yet, it is the 21st century, and now more than ever, many educated, intelligent, independent women are still worried that they are missing out on something.
This is by no means a generalization of all women. In fact, many of us are breaking out from the herd, and wandering off into the sunset by ourselves. Contrary to what you may have heard, we are not lonely, nor despondent. We are happy, we are healthy, we are free, and we live life on our own terms. The reason we are thriving is because we have redefined the word relationship in a way that best suits us.
The world keeps changing, and we embrace that. We understand that there are countless ways to have a relationship and they are all enjoyable, and gratifying. We are not afraid to try new things, experience different types of men, redefine romance, and prioritize ourselves. There is a growing number of women who are waking up and realizing that there is no such thing as prince charming, or if there was, it is okay to divorce him, and try someone else.
We are all okay. We are not broken, and we don’t need counseling. What we need is a new perspective on what it means to be a healthy woman, and a willingness to embrace that. Today, it is more important than ever to insist on defining ourselves. Many of us are still struggling to break free from the rules imposed on us by society, expectations set forth by our parents, and judgment inflicted by the media. It is time we realized that there is nothing wrong with women who are not in relationships, there is something wrong with people who are starving for one.
No kidding, some of us are complete without boyfriend, husband, baby, or diamond ring. Those of us who have those things, are redefining what it means to be a wife or mother in a way that best suits us, and lately, focus on ourselves, our own needs, and personal goals is making some wives and mothers healthier and happier than ever.
I’d love to open my social media feed and see something positive printed about women who have better things to do than chase relationships. How excited are we when our best friend gets promoted to VP, buys her own home, gets the 100th stamp in her passport? Not so much. But when she bashes some man who neglected to text her, or expresses anger that a man won’t give her commitment, we join the pity party and start bashing too. Really? Are men who won’t commit bad men? No, like us, they have choices, and they simply haven’t chosen her.
There is also this toxic attitude that we are owed a relationship. There are still women who believe if we went on a date, we are owed a phone call. We sent out a text, so we are owed a reply. We waited 13 dates before we slept with him, so we are owed a relationship. We dated him for 11.5 months, so we are owed a proposal. Do you see why some women are still beating themselves up when the man doesn’t deliver a relationship status or perform to their expectations? Does he owe us anything? Well, if you made a deal or a contract that you will get a proposal in exchange for a year of happy dating, then maybe. But if you believe that the purpose of dating is to get to know one another, and see if there is an equal interest among both parties, then can you blame a person for choosing not to propose?
The word relationship is defined as the way in which two or more people, talk to, behave toward, and deal with each other. We all relate to each other in our own unique ways, so is there a debt to be paid to someone with whom we have spent some time? Is it a crime for a man to walk away?
No man, no baby, no ring will ever complete a woman. Like men, we must find our own purpose, we must know ourselves. There is a tremendous value in being single, and that is the opportunity to define ourselves. That doesn’t happen overnight, in fact, it mostly happens to women in their forties. Without the time to explore, taste everything, make mistakes, find our own path, pursue a career, who are we?
Today, we are the media. We spend more time on social feeds than we do reading actual news. Today we make the news by blogging, sharing posts, and commenting. Perhaps it is time for us to choose a different response to those who report that life is bleak without a relationship. Rather than join the pity party, simply show them how you are thriving on your own terms.
So, the next time you hear a friend complain about lack of relationships, point out her abundance of friends. If she is bashing men for not returning calls, gently point out he had other calls to make. When the media paints a bleak picture of women without men, write letters to the editor or post your comments online, and show them your reality.
Often, I get criticized for speaking too bluntly. And I always have to reiterate that I am not against marriage, relationships, or home. I am for women defining themselves, having numerous choices, selecting from a wide variety of best possible men, exploring the world, charting their own course, and completing themselves. It is only when we experience everything that life has to offer that we become whole.