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Pursuing Independence as a Hopeless Romantic

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Wilfrid Laurier chapter.

Valentine’s Day was last week, and just like every other year, many of my single friends and I are still recovering from the evident divide between people that are in relationships and people that are not. At least in my circle, the topic of romantic relationships seems to surface quite often: who is she dating, whose boyfriend is acting up, whose girlfriend did what, who is “talking” to who? I’ve noticed this pattern a lot recently and even though I am an eager participant in these kinds of conversations, I’ve become confused as to why we, as women, seem to be so obsessed with and centered around our relationships.

A recurring frustration that I hear from my single friends is that they don’t want to be single. Emotionally, I think it makes sense that they want to be in relationships – we seek companionship and stability from the commitment of having a partner, and it seems that having some formal title for a relationship is our end goal. As a self-professed hopeless romantic, these patterns have become more relevant to me, and I’m starting to get weary of them. I have friends that, when we get together, all we talk about are the people we are interested in. Although it is inarguably engaging and endearing to hear about the intimate details of a friend’s feelings, I’m not sure for what other reason we seem to place such an emphasis on the subject. It seems like such a go-to topic, and yet, it has become exhausted.

I’m reminded of the Bechdel Test, an assessment of film wherein a movie only needs to have three criteria to pass: there are at least two named women, they talk to each other and they talk about anything other than a man. Although this test is a comment on female character depth, it made me think about how often I have a conversation with another woman in which one of us doesn’t mention a guy? I don’t think that my circle of friends is unique in this way either. Of course, I’m not suggesting that we should abandon our romantic desires and never discuss our crushes and significant others with each other! Rather, we cannot base our feelings of personal success on romantic relationships, and that being single does not equal being without value.

There is a fine line between being a hopeless romantic and being a blind romantic. Your significant other should be a happy addition to your already beautiful life, not a completion. You are your own person! Personal value does not increase nor decrease whether you’re taken or not, and you certainly shouldn’t feel as though you “need” a relationship to be happy. I have found that we often require validation from our partners in order to feel satisfied in ourselves, and if the validation isn’t received, we feel wholly insufficient. In other words, know your worth!

I think that as women, we tend to place a lot of our personal value in our relationships with others rather than in ourselves. In my experience, good relationships come along when you are most at peace with your life and self, and especially when you least expect them. I believe loving yourself fully and completely first will attract love to you.

Liz Cooper

Wilfrid Laurier '23

Liz is a fourth-year Religion & Culture major at Wilfrid Laurier University with a passion for languages. When she's not studying, she loves practising calligraphy, baking, and reading the stars.
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Sarah McCann

Wilfrid Laurier '20

Sarah is a fourth year Communications and Psychology major at Wilfrid Laurier University who is passionate abut female empowerment. She is one of two Campus Correspondents for the Laurier Her Campus Chapter! Sarah loves dancing, animals, photography, ice cream, and singing super obnoxiously, in no particular order.