5 Reasons Why You Should Stop Asking Them If They’ve Met Anybody Yet.
By Shea McArdle
“Hi Shea. You alright? Have you met anybody yet?”.
Since when did small talk involve being interrogated about a new relationship that does not exist or more importantly, you do not want? Maybe since forever however, I’ve only been exposed to this insensitive nonsense for the past two years. Sadly, it seems that establishing a new romantic partner is universally assumed as something a person is seeking. Of course, this may be true for some. Those who actively choose to go on dates, those who make use of dating apps and those who openly speak about the fact that they are looking for love. However, for some individuals this is not the case and I will tell you why.
Their previous relationship could have involved trauma or toxicity which has left them with things to work through before they are ready to go into a new relationship. This could involve experiences of abuse, infidelity, financial issues and infertility- to name just a few.
When they consider the amount of time they spent with their previous partner in relation to their current lifespan, they may realise they have spent little (if any) time alone. This may cause them to question their sense of self; have they evolved into the person they are today organically or were they consumed by traits of codependency for years?
Because they’re fine as they are
It’s true. Some people are completely happy being single. In fact, they may be happier single than in a relationship because they feel completely free to create life on their terms. Similarly, they may have lots of other relationships within their life which provide them with a sense of fulfilment: their children, their friends, their parents, their pets. The lack of romantic relationship does not create a void for them.
Because they don’t want to
Getting into a relationship should be a choice and quite frankly I have absolutely nothing more to say here.
Because, like a friend from university once whatsapped me: “Shea, I thought of you today. Somebody asked me if I’d met my dream match yet. I said yes, me!”. I think this is quite possibly the best message I’ve ever received.
Maybe we should be mindful of what small talk looks like in future conversations. Maybe we should consider our choice of language, remove assumptions and ask more open questions such as “what’s new with you?”- questions which are not limited to a person’s love life. Or maybe we should completely erase the term ‘love life’ and instead simply focus on life itself. Above all, let’s accept that there are no right or wrong ways to live life, no societal norms which are conducive to everyone’s lives and ultimately, that a happy life can look different for everyone.
Author of Single, Alone, Alive.
Shea McArdle is a teacher, self-published author and aspiring writer. Her book Single, Alone, Alive. is the result of journaling which she used as a tool to reflect, gain awareness and therefore, heal. Shea retells her personal journey of recovery following a breakup which she feels redefined her whole outlook on life. Today, she is committed to prioritising her mental health through self-care and mindfulness. She loves to travel, read and walk her chihuahuas.