As a single, independent 20-something, I find that I would like love. I want to know what it is like to have someone to call or snuggle with at the end of my day and give them the meticulous details of a day spent at work. I want to have someone to hold hands with, eat burritos with, tell my deepest secrets too at the middle of the night. Just like any other girl who grew up watching Disney movies, I want to find that “happily ever after.” I’m a romantic, so sue me.
But surely, being a romantic does not mean that I am incapable of being on my own and succeeding as an independent person. Yes, I want love, however just because I want it does not mean I need it. I don’t need a man, I would like one. If one doesn’t come along, I’m perfectly capable of handling myself - curling up alone on my couch with my fictional boyfriends Jesse Pinkman and Josh Lyman (I watch a lot of Netflix), eating a burrito solo, and doing laundry for one not two. Having a relationship would add to my life, surely, but without it I’m not a dying flower on the precipice of winter. I’m a strong young woman who knows what she wants and has a plan to get it.
There’s the misconception that needing and wanting mean the same thing. They don’t. You can want something without it being a necessity in your life. I used to think I needed a relationship, but now as I start making my way in the world (with everything I’ve got - shoutout to Cheers) I realize that it’s a journey fit for one. You can always make room for two, and it would probably be very exciting, but you don’t need another person to help build you up, help you move forward, and help you succeed. You have it within you to go it alone. It most likely won’t be a solo journey for forever but the sooner we realize that we, by ourselves, are enough, the sooner we can stop thinking that by wanting a relationship we are incapable of being independent and strong people on our own.
I want a relationship. I don’t need one. I want to be able to have a relationship and still be considered an independent, capable person without society saying something else. Wanting a relationship doesn’t make you weak, it makes you tough because you’re opening yourself up to another, making yourself vulnerable, breaking down your walls and that - while another story in and of itself - is something pretty remarkable.
You can have your cake and eat it too, despite what anyone else says.