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It's a curious thing, really.

I just got out from an exhausting relationship and people are already asking me when I will find my next boyfriend. In my opinion, there is this liberating thing about being single, about having to carry your own burden not another person's burden and being in a relationship isn't exactly a fun thing, when you have to compromise continuously for another person's needs.

There's also this funny issue about a best friend of mine saying that she is sad about being single, some gossiping about old, unmarried woman and about one upping one's ex simply for status (ex. I moved on faster than you, I got a new partner already etc.).

It really makes me question why people associate being in a relationship with a sort of self-worth, it's almost a raging social norm or belief in Asian countries that if you are not married by the age of 30s, you are considered doomed or unwanted material, despite being economically or objectively successful in social life. While the thing is, this pressure of having to marry quickly would only lead to insincere relationships born out of convenience, or early divorces in couple driven by such conventions.

What do you think fueled this belief about people having to have a special someone to essentially be happy and accomplished in life? I do agree that having someone to share one's life and aspirations is a splendid thing, and copulation and reproduction are encouraged by both biology and religion, but when such compulsion is born out of peer pressure and not love, do you think it is something that is worthy of being proud about?
 

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peer pressure and not love, do you think it is something that is worthy of being proud about?
Most people are not honest to anyone and to themselves, most people are not happy with themselves (you will see what I mean). I understand what you say. I've been in the same situation and while I was "happy" on the relationship, WITH that person or others, never felt my life lacked sense being single or being without them, so when the relationship became "bad" (or not just bad, it could be good but without future) it hurt wanting to get out yes, but after doing it felt good. Part of this is because I actually like being single, and part of me because it is the right thing to do and had wise people teaching me this (my grandparents). The motivations or why you leave are another story (too long to explain I guess, you, me, etc) but sometimes it is the right thing to do and most people don't have the courage to do it. Many people are told to lower their heads (well it's not exactly a pride thing) but many learn to kill their own personality (if they ever got one) and stay.

I've got many people trying to compete with me as in "I have a GF" well good for you, or "I'm getting married" well good for you!, "see we are still married" good for you!!! I mean, I could have feelings because you have an icecream and I don't, but I don't feel the same about a relationship: God knows about their relationship, just can't get a feeling of wanting something can't see. Most of the times is not good, and anyway even if it looks good is not an icecream I can have and eat, it is more like a shoe that looks good on you but your feet are different than mine, I can only appreciate it, look at it but makes no sense to want what "you" have. Most people don't get it, and honestly whenever they talk to me like that... I just don't want what they want (most times it sucks).

What I mean? I'm a guy, 39, straight, I've had fights "manly" things you could say, and yes I talk about my problems, I seek help whenever that's needed, I don't think manly means shut up and keep eating shit, fuck no.


  • Over the years been able to solve problems and walk while many friends say they don't have those problems, or that those are not problems at all. Many men saying "the manly thing is to stay" WTF
  • THEN, over the years I got the same friends almost crying because they couldn't see the tip of the iceberg (why I left) and now they say their life sucks, no manly thing at all on staying.

That's what I mean on the beginning on people not being honest. Only then I get some info why they did what they did, turns out many did have issues and didn't want to talk about it, many had issues but "the sex was too good" and decided to stay, and I got people telling me straight they have no clue why they decided to stay. I've said this before and I will keep saying it: more than having lots of friends (valuable yes) I've been able to keep contact for years with the same people, so I've seen how their advice turns out on themselves, most times... it really sucks, and it takes years for them to realize it and then say it.
 

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I think it's just because people see it as the norm to be in a relationship. I've been single my entire life and even I feel like something is terribly wrong with me for not trying more than I am even though I'm very comfortable with my situation.

Like you said there's a certain comfort in not having to carry someone else's burden and relationships seem to be a lot of work. Especially if you're not with the right person. I'm not saying you should spend the rest of your life alone but taking a break off dating and enjoying your life by working on yourself for a change as opposed to working for a relationship to work is sure to do you some good in the long run.

But again... I've been single my entire life so what do I know.
 

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I just got out from an exhausting relationship and people are already asking me when I will find my next boyfriend. In my opinion, there is this liberating thing about being single, about having to carry your own burden not another person's burden and being in a relationship isn't exactly a fun thing, when you have to compromise continuously for another person's needs.
This explains your opinion.

Now ask someone in his or her mid 20's who has (unwillingly) never been in a relationship, and you get something different. Ask someone who is in a well functioning marriage for 10 years, and you get something different.

I happen to belong to the former category, which, in my peculiar case at least, means I probably over romanticize relationships (which means pretty much the exact opposite of what you described). But that is only because we stand at opposing ends: I 'suffer' (phewh strong word) from decades of romantic solitude, so my view would be the voice of longing; wherears you are full of this stuff after a long and mediocre experience. You see, ask a dehydrated man what water tastes like and he will say 'heavenly'.

Now, despite all that, I find the question "When will you find your next" a disgusting one. But it all depends on what people look for in other people and relationships. Different people want different things. Someone looking for deep and meaningful connections based on integrity and authenticity much more profound that phyical superficialities (definitely me) does not look at romantic relationships as one entity in a chain of many more, essentially identical, editions.

So everyone has (1) his or her own profile (expriences, or lack of), and (2) his or her own reasons and motives (some are independent than others, some literally need an extra piece to make their lives worthwhile, some seek physical gratification, some look for status, ...), this will always be a mix of a lot of factors - many of which dynamic.
 

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Relationships can be hard work and not everyone wants to work double shift between their jobs and then a relationship, especially young people who are still exploring possibilities and figuring out not just who but what they want in life. Nobody earns a medal for being in a relationship.
 

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What do you think fueled this belief about people having to have a special someone to essentially be happy and accomplished in life? I do agree that having someone to share one's life and aspirations is a splendid thing, and copulation and reproduction are encouraged by both biology and religion, but when such compulsion is born out of peer pressure and not love, do you think it is something that is worthy of being proud about?
I can compare being in a relationship to being fashionable: If you're not the latter, you are considered outmoded, unattractive, unaware or unable of doing what the society expects of you- even unsucssessful: why should you dress like a loser while you have a decent job? So it can change the others' viewpoint of you to a considerable extent.
The same goes when you don't have a partner to escort you everywhere and publish your couple photos on social media. That's why people fear ending low-quality relationships before finding someone else to stick to them.
By the way, I also just ended a draining relationship and am going through a hard mental-emotinal recovery phase. I totally understand what you say by carrying another persons' burden.
 

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Relationships have always been a status symbol. After all, you gotta have it all. That as well as some people thinking there's something wrong with you if no-one wants to be around you.
It's easy for Person A to tell Person B to get into a relationship because judging another doesn't take that much effort and Person A isn't the one that has to put in the hard work that comes with a relationship. It's Person B that has to put in the hard yards.
 

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Well, the thing is most of societal norms such as fashion, attractiveness and monogamous marriages are governed by culture and beliefs. Some countries might find it bad for one to be a virgin, while the other glorifies the notion. But, most cultures encourage relationship, which might be related to our basest instincts, which is survival.

Which begs the question, do people really treasure those values or simply treasure it because others do? I guess I'm rambling, but the monopolization of a value over another simply because the majority chooses so is kind of fucked off in a lot of sense, but it does give the idea of standardization which gives order in another sense. (democracy). It's funny to see how people engage in sheep-think, or pretend to buy the idea when it doesn't really do them much good.

As an ambitious extrovert and an independent thinker, it puts me in a standstill because at some degree external validation is valuable to me so such notions do affect me while the individualist in me thinks its hypocritical, senseless and stupid.

Sigh, classic 3w4 dilemma, I suppose.
 

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Being in a relationship is viewed as a metric for fitting into society. People will likely think that if you are single something's wrong with you, or at least that you are differing from the norm and it makes sense because we are social beings, though it's rather extreme that they push you to find a new one immediately. Not having any friends is similar to that as well.
 

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I can't believe the way this topic has panned out. Are relationhips seriously about image, society, outsiders? Or are the comments so exogenous merely because they zero in on the original subject of 'pride' (title)?

Because, overall, I would say a relationship concerns for at least 90% the two people involved, and how they influence each other as a unit. The concept of a relationship, to me, is so abstract that even many, many factors that directly concern the connection are almost trivial (think of age, distance (must of course change over time, but the fact that it is a possibility makes it not that much of an issue, and cerainly not a determining factor), level of education, racial background, religion, ...), let alone factors outside of the connection (think of other people's opinion). I tend to believe a real, strong connection between two people (abstract), surpasses the sum of these traditional points of concern.
 

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I have never really felt the pressure of being single. My single friends feel it a lot, apparently, but I always sort of figured they were projecting their own insecurities. It certainly seems that way from my perspective anyway, since they are threatened by the mere existence of happy couples. Smells like jealousy to me.

Being newly single is bittersweet. It is liberating and sad at the same time, because you are leaving behind something once beloved and opening yourself up to a world of new possibilities. It's like you are rewriting your life, scrapping the first or the second or the third draft and starting fresh. Not from scratch, of course, because nobody's identity is solely constituted by their romantic relationships. But it's something like that. It is terrifying and exhilarating to dare believe that your life could be something different than what you thought it would be.
 
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