An open letter to those in a relationship

An open letter to those in a relationship

Repeat after us – there is no ‘right’ age to be in a committed relationship. It is OK to be single. At. Any. Age.

This article is for YOU. You are in a relationship. Healthy or otherwise. You who are ready to label us and show concern by saying things like:

But why are you single at 25/35/45/55? There’s nothing wrong with you. You must be so lonely!

That’s so sad that you are divorced/separated! It must be so difficult for you!

You are living-in!?! That’s so shameful! Not following our ‘Indian culture’ at all. You must get married.

How many times have you called a single person desperate or frustrated? How many times have you made fun of their status? Especially if you know that they are looking for a partner. How often have you stigmatized someone who has a failed relationship in their PAST? Why do you introduce us stressing on our current relationship status? – Meet Nikita. She’s divorced BUT a wonderful person. Or – This is Abhay. He is a divorcee with a child BUT a go-getter.  Really!

How would you like it if you were introduced as – This is Sima. She’s married and has two kids BUT so creative. Or – Meet Jagdish. He’s in a committed long-term relationship BUT a golf pro. Get the drift? Not very appealing is it?

Many people look for love, crave that cuddle, or search for that companionship with ‘The One’. Some lucky people even find it. There also exist some people who are in an unhealthy relationship for financial security or because they are terrified of being alone or fear being labeled. We don’t judge them. Have You ever given a thought to why someone would voluntarily remain single? Let us make one thing clear. It is NOT for lack of opportunity or options.  Allow us to share a few existential reasons which may help your closed little mind open up:

People stay single because they are aware enough to understand that a meaningful relationship requires commitment and work and they don’t feel ready to take on that responsibility

People are single because they have other life goals or priorities which at the moment are more important than being in a relationship

People are single because they may be in a space of introspection and self-growth if an earlier relationship did not work out

People stay single because they are fed up of being stigmatized or ostracized because of their darker complexion or body shamed for their not so slim figure

People stay single because they want to be in a same-sex relationship which is yet not acceptable among some Indian families

People are single because they want to be single

Hope this letter helps you reflect and not question us anymore and not look at us with sympathy or a raised eyebrow. We do not label You. So please stop labeling Us.

An open letter to those in a relationship was originally published in andwemet on Urban Asian, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.