Recently, my dad made a comment about the lack of men I’ve brought around to meet the family. And the last few times I spoke to my grandma, she’d always ask the infamous question, “Do you have a boyfriend yet?” Conversations like these always make me reevaluate my love life and wonder if there is something wrong.
Why don’t I have a man? Should I be pursuing a relationship just as eagerly as I’m pursing my degree? Am I going through a quarter-life crisis that’s obvious to everyone in the entire world except for me?
As a 21-year-old woman, I feel as though I’m on the right track towards living a fabulous life and experiencing my “happily ever after.” I’m fairly independent, hardworking, fun loving, and serious about whatever I find most important at the moment. Right now, there is nothing more important to me than graduating from college and starting my career. However, societal norms say that it’s imperative for me to factor a boyfriend into the midst of everything else.
From childhood, women are expected to wait patiently for their Knight in Shining Armor and wish upon the stars for him every night until he magically appears. But what about the women who choose not to wait so patiently? Those are the ones who decide to fully find themselves before they find somebody else. Yet being single has such a stigma behind it. Many college-educated and professional women feel pressure from their friends and family to enter a relationship even if it’s not top priority on their to-do lists. I believe that the more you become a better you, the better chance you have of attracting the person you are meant to be with.
Amethyst Davis, a single 25-year-old teacher from the Caribbean island of Anguilla says, “Pressure whether it’s from others or the infamous internal clock, are both just social strategies created to discourage and deter women from their ambitions.”
She goes on to say, “I am more focused on my happiness, my independence, my learning, and my self-completion than finding love.”
Younger singles that still haven’t settled into their careers feel more pressure from their parents than anyone else. “My mom thinks that one day I’m going to finish school, be successful in my career, but wake up without a man,” says Edeline Dormevil, a 22-year-old college senior from Miami.
Feeling pressure from your friends and family to find that special someone can sometimes be discouraging. Above all, the most important thing is making sure that you are happy with yourself first. The rest will follow. It’s okay to move at a pace that is most comfortable for you.
Tonya Nelson is an ambitious hopeless romantic. As a graduating senior at Howard University, Tonya uses her experiences to share her ideas about love and romance from a collegiate perspective. Her plans are to become a multimedia mogul. Until then, she’s working on her college degree while indulging in casual dating along the way.
Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons.