“Togetherness has a price: the loss of individuality.” Edvard Munch
I’ve been in a relationship continuously since I was 17. Not with the same person, of course. In the course of 9 years, I had maybe 7 boyfriends. I was jumping from one relationship to another, was never single for more than a month or two. Relationships were so easy then. Since my average relationship lasted for about 6 months, I can say I was constantly switching habits, people around me, hobbies, languages, lifestyles…
Up until last year. After 9 years I practically forgot how it feels like to be single. To be myself, just like I am. To do as I please, not having to take anyone else into account.
Now, the tables turned. After one and a half years of being single, I can barely remember how it felt like being in a relationship. I guess a lot of things changed since my dating era. The world has changed. I changed. Relationships are not as easy now as they used to be.
People often say that a perk of a single life is that you can find yourself. You can discover your true self. I don’t know now whether I wasn’t entirely myself during my years of being in a relationship. But I get now what people mean when they say that.
Right now, I feel entirely myself. I feel like I don’t have to be a better version of myself just to please someone else. I know what I want and what I don’t. To a fault, so it seems.
You know how people are. You’re a human, too. We always want the thing we don’t have. And when we finally get the thing we wanted, we long for something different. There are days when I feel extremely lonely. Days when I long for a relationship. But you can’t hurry love, right?
Sometimes, it seems to me that people around me are more concerned about me finding a boyfriend than I am. My friends tell me: Go on a date or something. Find someone on Tinder. So I tried but there’s always a problem. We never really clicked with the guy. Either from my side or his. When the latter happens, my friends come up with the most elaborate theories why the guy didn’t like me. “Try less lipstick, lose the baggy clothes, don’t wear black all the time – wear something more cheerful, cut down the amount of wine, fags etc., put on something sexy, skip the turtlenecks, don’t let him know you’re interested, be reserved, don’t laugh that much… And like I said in my previous blog post: Don’t show emotions!” Tired? I am.
All in all: Be what guys want you to be.
I can’t remember whether I used to change for guys back in my “relationship era”. But I guess I must have, otherwise they wouldn’t pursue me the way they did then. And since all the 7 boyfriends I had were different, I guess I must have adjusted to suit whatever personality they had and lifestyles they led. I lost my individuality. Or maybe up until then, I never had a personality of my own.
This reminds me of one of my favourite quotes:
“They made us believe that each of us is the half of an orange, and that life only makes sense when you find that other half. They did not tell us that we were born as whole, and that no one in our lives deserves to carry on his back such responsibility of completing what is missing in us: we grow through life by ourselves. If we have good company it’s just more pleasant.” John Lennon
I was the half of an orange. At times, I felt like a freshly squeezed half of an orange, turned into an orange squash.
And now that I’m the whole thing, someone’s trying to cut me in half again. I won’t let it happen. This one and a half years taught me that I’d rather walk through my whole life on my own than to let somebody restrict my hardly attained self.
Take me in my black and grey unsexy clothes, with my good and bad moods, my emotions spilling over the banks, grunting laughter, clumsy behaviour. Or not.
This is the package, love it or hate it. I might love or hate yours just the same.