I Don’t Want A Long-term Relationship, And I’m Okay With That

I don’t want to be in a long-term relationship. I know, that’s weird, right? I mean isn’t everyone supposed to be searching for their “soulmate” and trying to find their “other half” or even just someone to fool around with? I mean, I AM definitely attracted to guys (Looking at you, Noel Fielding) so why don’t I actually want one for myself?

It’s more than a little complicated, and it’s something I didn’t even realize till recently myself. Society pushes this enormous cultural idea on us that you’re supposed to have a partner, a lover, a whatever you want to call them, even if you don’t get married. That’s part of why there’s such a huge fight over gay marriage and trans rights to get married, because everyone just wants to be together, regardless of sexuality or gender identification.

Well I don’t. I don’t like feeling obligated to spend time around someone, I don’t like having to incorporate other people into my plans and I don’t like feeling tied down. Oddly enough though, none of these reasons brought on my recent epiphany. I just suddenly realized that I couldn’t picture myself in a long-term relationship, down to the nitty gritty details. I then started thinking “Well, would I actually want to be in a long-term relationship?” Ahh, no. No, I’m happier by myself and can’t see myself really benefiting from a relationship.

I’ve already realized that this perpetual single-hood will entail years of awkward questions, things like “So, why don’t you have a boyfriend/girlfriend?” “Isn’t it about time you settled down?” “Can I set you up with someone?” and comments like “Well, maybe if you just tried it…” and “You just haven’t found the right person yet.” I already get these comments in regards to my sexuality, I’m not looking forward to being the only single person I know at age 35 or 40 and still having to answer, “No, really, I’m much happier by myself. Yes, I swear to god I’m telling the truth, no, I haven’t had a lobotomy.”

See, our modern culture just makes it so hard for people to be single. There’s all kinds of restaurant vouchers, “his and hers” home accessories sets, vacation and cruise deals marketed towards couples, to say nothing of the multi-million dollar dating and marriage industry consisting of trying to find you your perfect match, then helping you work through your relationship problems before turning around and throwing it all back in your face and telling you to break up so you’ll buy into the cycle all over again. Not to mention all of the peer pressure to “find the right person.” And even if your friends understand that you really would just rather be alone, which mine thankfully do, I still get odd looks from waiters when I go out to eat by myself, I still get asked questions by nosy and well-meaning coworkers and neighbors and friends of friends and I’m not even 25 yet. I can’t imagine this ever getting better with time. Well, maybe when I’m 80 and half my friends’ significant others have died off.

For now, all that I can do is ignore the looks and patiently explain to friends and acquaintances that I’m happy as I am now, and I don’t need a significant other to have a happy and fulfilling life. As for the others, the rude comments and nosy people? Screw ’em, I don’t need people like that in my life anyway.

Despite everything that I’m told by well-meaning friends and relatives, usually my parents, I realized I’m perfectly secure in being single and staying that way. And as long as I’m willing to stare down the criticism and keep doing what makes me happy, there’s no reason I should bow down to society’s standards. I mean, if the right guy came along would I consider a relationship? I don’t think it’s necessarily off the table, but it’s certainly not something I’m actively seeking out, nor is it something I would rush into with open arms. It would have to be very specific circumstances. As I told my friend the other day, I’d rather be in a long-term relationship with my chapstick. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

View Comments (4)
  • You know i did some searching online to see if anybody else felt the way I do about long-term relationships. I just don’t like them, and the feelings of obligation, having to constantly check with someone else about every decision I make, and having someone else with such an invested opinion into how I spend my time, really don’t appeal to me.

    Oddly this was the ONLY article I could find addressing this thought process? I can’t imagine that you and I are alone in this, but I didn’t even see any other comments about this post, on this page. My relationship with my ex-girlfriend only proved to me that I knew myself well enough beforehand to realize, that I shouldn’t have even gotten into the relationship, but the constant questions, and societal pressure finally convinced me to at least try it out again. Perhaps that will happen every once in awhile, but I honestly think I am just happier alone. I’d like to think that at 27 I have a pretty clear understanding of myself and what I want out of life..

    Like you said, I can’t imagine a scenario in which this perspective will change. Perhaps someday I’ll meet someone that totally changes my mind. But right now, I can’t picture it.

    • I’m with you on this one! The idea of a long term relationship is not appealing to me at the moment. No, I don’t have commitment issue, I have no problem trusting people and I’m not scorned. I choose not to commit and that’s just fine with me. There are a lot of things I plan to do without having to compromise to make someone else happy. I’m sure there will be a time when I do decide to settle, but for now I am a happy “non-commiter”.

  • Hello
    you guys are not the only ones, believe me!
    I love being single. I don’t want to ‘give’ or share myself with anyone else, I really like to remain a whole, uncompromised person. Whatever people say, although I can see there are many benefits from being in a LTR, you find yourself becoming a diluted version of yourself, or a chemical compound! Some folks like that. Each to their own. I’d rather be a sole element. Just me.
    A long term relationship is seen as the ultimate goal in most societies. Why? This is so one dimensional.

    The other thing is that short relationships are looked down upon or viewed as failures. “Oh, he obviously wasn’t “the One”. What a load of rubbish!
    Each person you have a connection with ( whether it be friendship/ sexual/both , whether it be one very intense afternoon or 10 years) is valid and each relationship should be valued however long it lasts and however it begins/ends.

    It’s not a bloody competition and you don’t get a medal for getting past the finishing line! Anniversaries always struck me as odd – why do people congratulate you on the length of a relationship? It’s weird.

    PS I’m 38 and the longest relationship I have had has lasted 10 months:-). It’s your life, don’t waste time doing something that doesn’t feel right for you.

  • I know this article is nearly 2 years old, but I wanted to thank you for writing it. I recently came to this exact revelation and thought I was the only one who felt this way. Thank you!

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