What does George Clooney have to do with your relationship status? And, how is this old fashioned thinking affecting your happiness??
By: Thea Easterby
I recently spotted this quote on the SheNOW Facebook page.
Not everyone who is single is lonely; not everyone who is taken is in love.
This quote debunks two relationship myths.
Sometimes we can be quick to assume a person lives a certain lifestyle due to their relationship status, yet when it comes down to it, no one really knows what goes on behind closed doors.
I remember growing up and observing friends of my parents. I thought they had a wonderful marriage. The husband and wife were loving and considerate to each other. They had three gorgeous children. Through my young and naïve eyes, I thought they were the perfect family.
It wasn’t till much later when I was a young adult, I found out the true story. It was horrific to say the least. During their divorce, stories of infidelity, violence and manipulation all came to the surface.
With the number of divorces and people having affairs, I think it’s safe to say that not all people in relationships (or married) are madly in love with their spouse.
It’s true that not all single people are lonely. Many are content and enjoying life. Some are single by choice.
It’s also accurate to say that there are a number of single people who are lonely. Many do want to meet someone and get married.
Society tends to vilify single women. Men seem to get off a bit easier; as it turns out, a lot easier if you are rich, handsome and in the media. No one feels sorry for George Clooney because he is not married. No one assumes George is moping around his Lake Como house listening to sad music and having a good cry. Women in the same situation however seem to be pitied. Just look at how many times the press wrote about Jennifer Aniston being a loser in love, before she met her current fiancée.
We need to shake off the winner/loser mentality when it comes to relationships. The perception that the people who get married or are in relationships are the winners and the people who don’t have partners are the losers is simply narrow minded, old fashioned thinking.
The truth is marriage and for that matter having children do not automatically equal happiness. Being single doesn’t necessarily equate to unhappiness.
As it turns out marriage and children are not for everyone.
While romantic comedies may gross millions at the box office with their sweet and predictable happy endings, they don’t necessarily reflect what is going on in the world of dating and relationships. On screen everyone finds that special person. Even one of the much loved television shows, ‘Sex and the City’ tied up the six year series by pairing everyone off. While it was lovely and sentimental, it was also unrealistic. At least Samantha’s character embraced being single in the subsequent movie.
Pairing up is a little less predictable in real life.
I can’t help but wonder. How many people are in relationships simply because they think it’s the answer to loneliness? How many stay in bad relationships because they don’t want to be single? How many settle for a person who simply wants to be married (though not necessarily to them) so that they won’t be alone?
Perhaps the ultimate form of loneliness is being married to the wrong person.
Everyone needs love and compassion, but those experiences don’t only come from being married. To some, there is more love, compassion and happiness with their family and friends.
It’s time to stop being judgmental about whether someone is or isn’t in a relationship. It’s time to stop assuming we know what another person’s life is like or what their true desires are solely based on their relationship status.
Photo Credit: James White/Corbis Outline and People.com