I’m not talking about the girls who worry about posting their relationship status on social media, or the girls who abstain from sharing the intimate moments of their relationship on Facebook.
I’m talking about the women who, when meeting other people, lead with themselves. Not their relationship. They get caught up talking through their own story, or listening to other people. They aren’t using the crutch of talking about someone else’s life.
These are the women who think of themselves as one human being, as opposed to one half of a pair. The women who have someone they love, without having a so-called “other half,” because they’re, in fact, one whole. They are the one who choose not to advertise their relationship, not because they don’t love and respect their partner, but because their relationship impact every decision in their life, or every sentence that comes from their mouths.
I’m talking about the women who know this circumstance all too well: You meet a new group of people. The conversation revolves around shared interests, collaborative work projects or other commonalities. You introduce yourself as you. You mention what you do for a living, where you’re from originally, maybe your beer or gin preferences. Your partner doesn’t come up.
Two days later, you hear from one of the men or women from the other night, asking if you’d like to go out sometime. You apologize profusely for the misunderstanding, and tell them the truth: You’re seeing someone. You don’t try to evade the truth.
And they ask the question any pissed off, recently rejected person would: “Why didn’t you say so when we met?”
The simple answer is that you don’t walk around with “In a Relationship” branding. And yet that’s never a well-received excuse, because it presumes infidelity or some sort of hidden agenda.
Why is not mentioning a partner so often misconstrued as flirtatious? Why are we taking “she didn’t mention she belonged to someone” as “available”?
This is for the women who genuinely like meeting people by themselves, as opposed to with someone else in tow. They like introducing themselves as one person, as opposed to as one half of a coupled entity. They prove it’s possible to be attached without needing someone fused to their hip, occupying one of their hands at all times.
This is for any woman who’s made the mistake of mentioning a significant other during a job interview, only to have the follow up question be, “Oh, so are you one of those people that just wants to get married and have kids?”
When you open yourself up as someone in a pair, you’re presumed to be someone who needs another person’s support. Not always, of course, but the generalization comes up more often than people in relationships would like.
If you’ve never dated anyone who has mandated that you constantly announce yourself as theirs, your friends will call that “lucky.” “Props to you for not finding a jealous type,” they’ll say.
That isn’t lucky, nor is it by chance. If you’ve never gotten those demands, it’s because you’d never stand for them.