Finding The One, and Why We Shouldn’t Need to Find Him

Written By: Sarah Jacobson

From the moment we pop out of the womb, women are inundated with hetero normative signs. For those who find that word a bit big to swallow, we’re talking the pink blankets and pink clothes, the fact that we’re taught in kindergarten that if a boy hits you atop the head it means he likes you, the fact that if in seventh grade he spreads an evil rumor about you it means he like likes you. All that jazz, in short, prepares the heterosexual woman for a long life of attempting to find Prince Charming among a selection of seemingly toad-like individuals. Society programs us to begin our hunt for “the one” quite early on, which is probably why once we start, we just can’t stop.

Everyone knows a serial monogamist. You know, the type of girl who swears that after her last disastrous relationship, she’s just going to “take some time to focus on herself” but has a new boyfriend by the end of the week. Feminists claim this particular breed of woman doesn’t feel secure with herself and keeps a steady string of men around in order to boost her self-esteem. Shy girls call these women sluts. The women themselves? They claim they can’t help it – they just keep meeting people they like.

The idea of a need for constant attention plays its part, certainly. There’s no denying that everyone wants to be wanted. It’s a basic human instinct to crave attention. Perhaps the serial monogamists tend to crave it a bit more than their non-monogamous peers, though it could be argued that those who sleep around are just as bad as the perpetual daters. What it comes down to, however, is the want we’re instructed to think is natural from birth – the want for “the boy” to like “the girl.” It’s why girls who have one guy in one state will have one in another for the summer and tell themselves that neither one means much (but they both mean a lot). It’s why women go to bars in short skirts (super feminists, quit your wining, I know you dress for yourself).

What is it with this need? Is it true that women can’t be truly satisfied if they don’t have a man by their side? The concept of finding “the one” seems outdated at best, but the tenants of the idea – the thought of having a partner who knows your ups and downs and insides and outs and will stick with you through anything is an appealing one. Not to mention, when you put it like that, it doesn’t sound bad. Why shouldn’t we women consistently have a man at our side, a guy who tells us we look pretty even when we smell and are wearing our sweatpants? Don’t we have the right to feel good about ourselves, to enjoy the company of someone we like?

Of course we do. The issue at hand isn’t the right to have a guy, it’s the need. We’re taught that we need a man in order to complete ourselves – that we’re unable to stand on our own two feet. If we’re not looking for a relationship, we’re either weird or jaded, and if we’re looking for one too often, we’re needy. We can’t win! Society has, in a sense, set us up to fail. What’s a girl to do? For starters, we’ve got to learn to stand on our own – to tell ourselves we look beautiful even in our sweatpants. Once you get used to living with yourself, then bring in the man. As my dear Carrie Bradshaw says, maybe we’re our own white knights. Is that so bad?

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