Don’t worry about being ‘forever alone’

Stephanie Markham, Editor-in-Chief

People drop the phrase “die alone” into conversation like it’s the worst thing that could ever happen to someone.

More recently, Internet memes have started preying on people’s fear of being “forever alone,” as if that were a death sentence.

Sure, humans are social creatures, and solitary confinement is arguably one of the cruelest forms of punishment that’s still used today.

But when people throw around these phrases, they aren’t talking about being isolated from all human contact, as the words themselves would imply.

They are talking about going through life without a significant other, partner, boyfriend or girlfriend, husband or wife, or whatever term people have most recently started using to claim other human beings as exclusively their own.

Stop to think about the logic behind this fear before using lines like these, because the idea that not having a romantic partner equals “dying alone” can cripple someone’s ability to enjoy life.

Let’s say I’m at the ripe old age of 107, and death is banging down my door like an angry bill collector.

Let’s also say in my entire 107 years of life that I never experienced any type of romantic relationship.

Death finally loses patience and busts through the front window, and I’m done for. Does that mean I “died alone”?

Most of the people I knew in my youth would probably be long gone, but there’s no way I could have lived 107 entire years without gathering some friends, neighbors or acquaintances to root for me toward the end.

My 107 years of life experiences would not be wasted just because there was no ring on my decrepit finger.

Personally, I laugh at the idea that “forever alone” (translated: forever single) is a death sentence.

I went through my entire high school career without dating, and as of yet, my college career has been the same.

I figure after reading that sentence, some of you probably glanced at my staff picture accompanying this column and tried to judge exactly what is “wrong” with me that I’ve been single for so long.

And as you can probably guess by my tone, I couldn’t care less what anyone thinks about my relationship status.

People who put that much thought into what I’m doing probably have more “wrong” with them anyway.

Being “single” as in not having a romantic partner does not mean someone is a single solitary person cut off from any sort of fulfilling socialization.

While having a romantic partner can be a great life experience, finding one shouldn’t be someone’s life goal because that requires relying on another person to be happy. Better life goals involve self-exploration, improvement and accomplishment.

A romantic partner certainly can be a part of all that, but none of the latter goals require one to be reached.

You’re never going to actually be alone even if you sometimes feel like it because of the societal pressure for everyone to pair off.

If you don’t want to be “forever alone,” then don’t commit a violent crime, get sent to prison and then commit more violent crimes in prison. Because the only conceivable way you’ll go the whole rest of your life being truly alone is if you are sentenced to solitary confinement.

If you do find yourself laughing at one of the “forever alone” memes, laugh at the idea that living independently makes you any less of a person, or that being alone is even possible in a world of 7 billion people.

Stephanie Markham is a senior journalism major.  She can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]