My Relationship Status Does Not Define Me

It breaks my heart to know that girls are constantly measured by their relationship status, especially in college culture. I have been in a happy relationship for nearly two years, and this is an obstacle it seems I'm always facing. I often find myself withholding the fact that I have a boyfriend, not because I'm ashamed of him, but because others tend look past me as a human being and label me as a 'girlfriend.' Immediately, I'm not funny, witty, or even engaging. I'm taken, and therefore, I'm not worth pursuing.

I was recently at a house party with some girlfriends, having a good time. I struck up a conversation with my beer pong partner, and we ended up casually talking and joking around for an hour. I genuinely enjoyed talking with him. He had just suggested we play another game when a male colleague of mine leaned in toward my partner and kindly informed him: “Hey man, I just wanted to let you know she has a boyfriend.” My partner nodded as my male colleague sympathized, “yeah, sorry about that.” Upon hearing this devastating news, the guy I had talked to for the past hour vanished, just like that. 

This summer, I was minding my own business at a coffee shop, with my journal and my first ever chai tea latte when I was approached by a guy who started asking questions about me. Was I in college? Where did I go? What was my major? And most importantly, “you got a boyfriend?” I almost laughed, but he wasn’t joking. When I told him yes, I do have a boyfriend, he smiled and replied, “damn, that’s too bad," and promptly disappeared.

These were just two incidents of many. Time and time again, people define me by my relationship status. I am so sick of feeling like I'm not worth even talking with, because I've already 'been claimed.' I am in a relationship, yes, but I am also an individual with her own quirks and goals.

It's time people recognize women for who they are as individuals, regardless of whether they are in a relationship are not.