Linds Lets Loose: Why I stopped pining for The One

Lindsay Kriz

Ever since I was a little girl watching romantic comedies over and over with my sister, I noticed that there was a social stigma behind being single.

The single women in so many of these romantic comedies were the zany, loud, independent types who always seemed to be beyond “fixing” — doomed to remain the single friend throughout the movie or to find themselves paired with some equally zany, secondary male character.

Also, in so many of these movies, the main character is a career-oriented woman whose life is together in every aspect except one: she’s missing that one male to complete her. Because these are romantic comedies, the woman somehow manages to keep her perfect life the way it is while adding a man to the mix.

It’s no wonder I grew up with the notion that a single person — and in this case a single woman — is someone who, no matter how complete their lives may seem, is always in need of a man.

This type of pressure has followed me into my twenties. And as much as I want to shake it, I can’t because I’m 22 years old and I have never had a boyfriend.

Thanks to these types of movies and to the romantic relationships around me, I constantly feel bombarded by this sense of failure: that I have somehow failed an aspect of my life because I’ve not found anyone yet.

I simultaneously see single women in their thirties posting statuses about their careers on Facebook amidst engagement photos for a couple younger than me, and I don’t know who has it right. I don’t even know if that’s even the right question to ask.

I realize now that even though I may not have asked the right question, I do know that long ago, Carrie Bradshaw asked a brilliant one: “Does the need to search for The One come from within or are we programmed? “

As I sit and think about this question, I realize that I have the perfect example in my life to prove that the latter is the truth.

My mother was not a happy woman when my parents were married. Neither was my father. Even my 7-year-old mind could pick up as much. Their divorce was clearly the best option for both of them, particularly because my mother had a complete turnaround.

After the divorce, my mother became the woman she is today: fiercely independent, highly intellectual and someone who is completely fine without a significant other.

She is able to fix a toilet, comfort me during times of heartbreak and solve math problems that have left my dad and stepmother — a happily married couple both in scientific and mathematical fields — baffled.

I sometimes try to imagine my mother as the main character in a typical romantic comedy, and I crack up because she wouldn’t take nonsense from any of the lead male roles and would probably think the entire plot was a hunk of crap. In most cases with today’s overdone plot lines, she’s probably right.

Of course I know my mother would not be opposed to finding someone to be with her in a dating capacity. Neither would I. I would love a relationship in my life, and I’m sure I’ll be sad if it never happens before I leave this world. But at the same time, I know that I’ll be okay because thanks to my mother, I know the difference between wanting someone to complete you and knowing that you’re just enough, with or without a mate.