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Dear people: Stop asking me if I have a boyfriend

"Mama, I am a rich man"

I’ve never been the girl that constantly wants a boyfriend, yes, we all know one, no judgments at all, I’ve just never been that girl. Yes, maybe I’ve looked for company then and there but who doesn’t? Maybe I blame my deep seeded trust issues, maybe I blame the men in my life or maybe I blame the fact that ever since I could talk, I have been extremely career driven. A thin tunnel vision focusing on who and what I want to be in this life.

I have had my fair share of boyfriends, but they’ve never lasted more than 6 months and (respect to MOST of them) but I’ve had a tendency to go into the relationship knowing a breakup was in the future. I know, I know, if you think about failure, failure is going to happen.

The thoughts that pass through your mind are responsible for everything that happens in your life. Your predominant thoughts influence your behaviour and attitude and control your actions and reactions.”

Thank you, for that detailed explanation to why I am persistently single. Despite that, this theory may well be true, your mindset and attitude definitely have an impact on the way things happen in your life. It’s no voodoo or witchcraft.

The real reason I expect the worst out of a relationship is one simple word that over 30% of us have all experienced. Divorce. Probably one of the most overrated TV drama complications, but damn, it does hurt like a bitch and for a while. My parents divorced when I was 13. My mum left my dad suddenly and I didn’t see it coming. The worst thing about divorce when you’re underage is the house swapping. Week on week off. I hated it with every bone in my body. I had to bring a big bag filled with belongings to school every Friday and unpack, re-adjust, re-pack, leave parent, take my fat bag, unpack, re-adjust, repack… you get it. It’s by far the most brutal part of the divorce, I expect for child and parent.

My experience with my parents’ divorce initially gave me detrimental trust issues in my relationships (I will be forever working on this), which went hand in hand with going for guys that resembled parts of my parents’ problems, tunnelling deeper trust issues. It was during this time I became grateful for my friends and close family. They were forever there and loved me no matter what.

Do you remember that friend that you always went to after a breakup and their words resembled something similar to

“I know you loved them, but you don’t need them, boyfriends will come and go, friends and family will always be here”?

That was me. It hurt my mind, body and soul to see my girl and guy friends around me so torn up about someone they’ve known for 8 months in Grade 9. It hurt me because I knew how little of a deal it was compared to the big picture of life and they couldn’t see that. It’s like telling someone before their final exams that they don’t need to stress out so much… how is that going to help? They are in the eye of the storm and there is no sign of the other side. Luckily or unluckily, I’m a realist and I can often see the other side.

My realist personality is in no way criticising the worth of people’s relationships, I just want to make that clear. Every relationship is not doomed for failure. I admire young couples who have dreams and plans for the future, work together as equals and are each other’s best friends.

A sentence I hear nearly every week,

“as if you don’t have a boyfriend, you’re so pretty!”

First of all, can we ditch the shallow mindsets! It’s so overrated and we are capable of much deeper sentiment, come on. Second of all, I have ‘unavailable’ written all over my face. Most of the time I am purely just not interested, and the other times I’m far too focused on developing a successful, healthy and rewarding life for myself.

But when did this become something to be ashamed of? What is wrong with being single?

That’s my question to all the adults out there. Why is the thought of being happy with yourself, finding comfort with your own company, friends and family so terrifying?

To me the problem stems from the very start, as do most of society’s twisted expectations.

(for this next example I will be using the noun ‘girl’, this example does not limit to this specific gender)

From a young age a girl is asked;

“Who do you like?”

“Do you have a boyfriend yet?”

“Do any boys like you?”

“Have you kissed anyone?”

“Wow I bet all the boys want you”

Why are these the top suggested questions to ask a kid when having a conversation? This is where it all starts. Now, that child expects to have a boyfriend, compete with friends on who will have their first boyfriend, the first kiss, the first to lose their virginity. Encouraging them to expect Prince Charming’s and happy ever afters. That’s how the story goes, trust me I’ve lived it. High school was the worst, I had friends who were in a perpetual cycle of partners, never having a moment alone to realise how amazing they are and to learn to love themselves, be with themselves and know they often deserve better.

Side note: I am the biggest believer in “if you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love someone else?” Bless you RuPaul.

Starting in the adult world is already overwhelming with bills, taxes, insurances and grocery shopping. Now we have to deal with friends, family, colleagues, acquaintances, clients and even strangers sticking their ‘concerned’ noses into our business and having the audacity to assume we are sad and alone.

“Have you got a man yet?”
“Oh why not?”
“We need to find you a boyfriend?”
“Did you meet any boys while you were away?”
“I should hook you up with a friend of mine, he’s single”
“What’s your type of man?”

How do you even answer these questions? If you want a guide on how to make someone uncomfortable and uncertain about themselves, follow these steps above.

Can I also point out that in my 19 years of living, has anyone asked me if I was interested in anyone else besides boys? No. What is with that? I think my generation and younger, have made it extremely clear that attraction doesn’t have a gender and what someone ‘looks like’ doesn’t reflect who they are attracted to. It’s important we preach that, it’s a vital part of our revolution against the traditionalist, oppressive and close-minded society we’ve had enough of. We are going to spike change and it’s going to be awesome.

For those out there reading this, relating to this content and completely over the unsolicited concerns, interests and advice regarding their romantic lives. Here is my response for the next individual who is so worried about my relationship status.

It. Is. None. Of. Your. Business.

Be happy with yourself, you have all the worth you need.

I’ll leave you with this. Take it away Mama Cher.


Written by our awesome

Elise van Mierlo

IG: @elise_vanmierlo

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