I’ve been single for six years now, which means every holiday I get the same question: Have you found any cute boys at school yet? If you’re anything like me, you’re fine being single at any other time during the year. But holidays are when you just wish you could find someone so your family could get off your back.
Don’t get me wrong, I am sure there are some people out there who are totally okay with getting asked that question by their aunt who they only ever talk to that one day a year. Or better yet, I’m sure there are people out there whose family doesn’t even ask them about it. But my family couldn’t be farther from that.
For starters being asked that question is, in my opinion, one of the most humiliating questions you can be asked. It can make you uncomfortable, sad, angry; honestly, it can cause you to express emotions you never even knew you had.
Some people genuinely choose not to be in a relationship. They are more than happy rocking the single life. Hanging out with friends or lovers. Doing whatever they want because they don’t like the commitment and that is more the okay. However, your grandma that was born in the 1940’s thinks it is totally unacceptable for you to be alone at your age. You just sit there and take her glares like a champ.
Some people are part of families that don’t accept who they are. It is very common that members of the LGBTQ+ community are fearful/nervous to bring a partner home. Whether they have judgmental families or just nervous to make it public, many people refrain from bringing someone over for the holiday. When Uncle ‘what’s his name’ asks why you haven’t got a *insert stereotypical heterosexual gender norm partner here* it takes everything in you not to scream, cry, run; a mix of all those things.
Why is it that the older members of your family think that it is okay to ask you if you are part of the LGBTQ+ community when you haven’t brought anyone home for the holiday. And you know it’s not in a caring way. It’s in a, are you sure you’re not *insert non-heterosexual sexuality here*. I am a straight cisgender woman and if I had a dollar for every time I’ve been asked “are you sure you’re not a lesbian?” I would have a lot of money.
My favorite is when you get asked why you’re not in a relationship and all you can do is say that you just haven’t found anyone yet. When you’ve found someone, you’ve probably found several someone’s and each time it doesn’t work out. Or they aren’t interested in you. That being single isn’t your choice; all you want is to find someone to share holidays with and to show off to your family. But that no has wanted you yet. Family doesn’t always get that in today’s time at our age, serious relationships are difficult to come by. That isn’t anyone’s fault, it just hasn’t happened for you yet. But they can’t believe that, of course, so it turns into a discussion about what you can do to change yourself so people like you.
Why is it so important to our families that we find a significant other to bring home to them? I often get the response, ‘we just love you and want you to be happy’. But if I don’t seem to be concerned with my relationship status then you shouldn’t either.