It’s a scary thought, the idea of being “forever alone”—and it’s one that’s constantly being perpetuated in teenage and young adult circles on the Internet. If you scroll through the “forever alone” tag on Tumblr, you’ll find hundreds of teenagers post about how sad they are that they don’t have a boyfriend or girlfriend.
Meanwhile, on Facebook, nearly 16 million people have liked some variation of a “forever alone” page (this is only counting the number of likes for the first six pages of results). What’s more, there are entire Subreddits, memes, and entire websites full of comics dedicated to the idea of “forever alone.”
So…what exactly is the idea of “forever alone?” Well, it’s the concept that stems from one person’s belief that he/she will never attract romantic or sexual attention from another person due to his/her appearance, lack of social grace, shyness, or any other supposedly undesirable quality. This insecurity is something that everyone feels, especially during the young adult years, but it is definitely no reason to believe that you will be alone for the rest of your life.
If you find yourself thinking, “why does this matter,” I’m here to argue that the forever alone culture has become pervasive—and can be extremely harmful to the teenagers who subscribe to it. The way I see it, there are two main problems with the concept of forever alone:
- The generation of young adults who are publically lamenting that they will never ever be in a relationship for as long as they shall live are generally people between the ages of 13 and about 21. If you think about it, the amount of time that dating has even been a concern for people in that age-range is so short that it’s ridiculous for these teenagers to think that it will never happen simply because it hasn’t happened yet. As young adults, we have so many other things to worry and be excited about during this time of our lives that it doesn’t make sense to stress out about dating. If you never had a boyfriend or girlfriend in high school and haven’t found someone in college yet, don’t worry! This is no indication that you will never meet someone who wants to date you.
- The concept of “forever alone” completely overlooks important relationships with your friends and family as it overvalues romantic and sexual relationships. Even if you’re not dating someone, you are not alone!
- Now, I’m not trying to say that the relationship you have with a boyfriend or girlfriend isn’t important—it’s very important indeed. But at the same time, it’s not fair to say that it’s any more valuable than the relationship you have with your best friends. They’re both meaningful, just in different ways, kind of like pizza and ice cream: they enhance your life in distinct ways, so it’s difficult to say which is more important. Am I right?
Delicious foods aside, it’s important to remember that a romantic relationship will not magically cure loneliness. Simply because you’re dating someone, that does not mean everything in your life will be perfect. The opposite is also true; if you aren’t dating anyone, that does not mean you are alone in the world and that your life will be awful. Finding the right person is heavily reliant on circumstance, so stay optimistic! You never know whom you might meet tomorrow.
Those who take the concept of “forever alone” seriously are buying into the idea that a romantic relationship is the most important type of relationship and that you need to be part of one in order to not be alone in the world. As a society, we romanticize romance, so to speak, and while yes, it is wonderful to have a boyfriend or girlfriend, we can’t forget how special our friends and family are. Those relationships are just as important as romantic ones.
[Photo Sources: Facebook, Chicago Dating Services]