Relationships with a significant other, no matter how wonderful they may seem at the beginning, are not worth the trouble. In accordance with this personal conclusion, I have chosen to not seek “love” in this life, and remain celibate. In this post, I detail some of the reasons behind this choice. Even if you do not agree with this viewpoint, perhaps you can still take something away from some of these harsh truths of love.
Articulating why exactly I have chosen, at my age, to be celibate for the rest of my life, is difficult. After all, not only am I still young (even though I feel old, on the inside), I have never been in a relationship. This, however, does not mean there are no insights I can share regarding the bonds people make with each other, and why I think that sometimes, sometimes doing without can bring you more happiness in the long run.
The first thing you must understand is that everyone, once you get very close to them, are a little broken and insecure, just like you. At the end of the day, even the richest woman or the poorest man is afraid, because the world is a big place and life is complicated. I particularly touch upon this because some people – not only women – get into relationships in order for someone to “save” and “protect” them from the vagaries of life. Only thing is, there is nothing under the sun which can ever keep you safe forever (except perhaps money, but even that can’t shield you from everything), least of all another person; and nothing coming from another person will comfort you if those same things do not exist within yourself. Death awaits each of us, security is a myth, no-one really knows what they are doing – we might as well get used to it, rather than chase fantasies of a savior dropping into our lives.
People are also, well, selfish. Don’t get me wrong: they can be kind, and caring; but they are also angry, judgmental, selfish, lazy; we are all a combination of the good and the bad, and none of us are perfect. This means that the perfect partner that exists in your head (and I know it does; as humans, we cannot help but secretly yearn for perfection) will never be found out there, in the world. As you spend more time with a particular person, gradually their imperfections begin to rise to the surface, and you realise that even Princes and Princesses get grumpy, paranoid; that people can be both simultaneously lovable and irritating. What’s more, you are the same: you can be grumpy, and annoying, and mean. And when two people get together, for long periods of time, friction arises, passion dies, and you are left with two displeased people, unhappy in each other’s company, at best tolerating each other. It is simply human nature.
Whatever you desire in life cannot be found outside of yourself, whether it is love, or appreciation, or something to assuage loneliness. When all is said and done, only you can love yourself, appreciate yourself; and the ultimate cure to loneliness is not to partner up with other people, or have children, or surround yourself with friends, but to reconcile yourself to the innate loneliness of human existence. We live and die, alone, trapped in our own minds, and things like relationships only provide an illusion contrary to this reality.
Others also get into relationships for the elusive “emotional intimacy”, which is, in fact, an imaginary closeness you feel towards another person. No-one under the sun can truly understand you, inside and out, except yourself. You, if you do get into a relationship, can never truly understand another person; we are all mysteries to one another. Relationships are just two people, living together, having fun together, and participating in an illusion of intimacy to assuage existential loneliness. For me, this means that being on my own, and understanding myself, is more fulfilling than tying my life to someone who could never scratch the surface of who I am.
Apart from the perceived emotional benefits of getting into relationships, there are two others: Sex, and Children. Personally, the former is not an issue for me; I hardly get any “urges”, though if you are male, I can understand how being in a relationship could afford you the opportunity to relieve those particular urges. As for children, for a long time, my sole reason for one day wanting to get married was to have kids. I find babies sweet, and lovely. But we must not forget that all babies eventually grow up into their own people, with a consciousness and life entirely separate from yours – that they will be, in many ways, just as incomprehensible to you as your husband, or wife, or friend. Blood ties mean nothing: We are all individuals, separate from our family members. It would be wiser to view children not as extensions of ourselves, but little humans we are choosing to bring up – and though there may be joy in that, I find the prospect to be too tiresome and time-consuming to be worthwhile.
Those are just a few of the reasons behind my choice to remain celibate. I do not believe relationships can offer happiness; true happiness comes from within yourself, enjoying the experience of being human, and doing work that you love. My books will be my children, and I shall, each day, wake up to have a relationship with nature, and the beauty of the universe. Of course, this decision is not final: who knows, maybe one day I will meet someone who changes my mind, even despite knowing these dark realities. But that is unlikely.
In the meantime, I am perfectly happy on my own little island, gazing at the stars and thinking my own thoughts. You do not need anyone to complete you, or make you happy; all that lies within the bounds of your own control. I think it is good to remind yourself of that, every once in a while.