Mu-An Chiou

On relationships, or lack thereof

Wanting a relational sense of happiness is totally legitimate. But we shame both its desire and its lack of achievement. We condemn women who stay single and refuse to settle, but we also condemn women who are honest about how hard it is to have 0 social support or safety nets. - @aymannadeem

A while ago I made this website,, for reasons stated at My own profile had been reworded significantly since its initial creation, as I continued to figure out what I am actually looking for.

Now 34, a lot of friends have gotten married or have long-term partners. It doesn't bother me really. I have been mentally preparing myself to die alone for a long time, and I am "pretty happy" alone. I keep myself really busy, be it overworking and burning out, running a company, playing video games for days on end, working out, learning stuff, going to all kinds of shows, or hanging out with friends.

There are only a hand-full of relationships around me that I look at and think "oh that might be cool." The majority of the relationships I have observed throughout my lifetime have honestly seemed like colossal waste of time and energy, let alone ones that were hugely destructive. It makes sense though—I observed relationships between people my age who didn't know what they were doing, I grew up in a unhappy family (in my opinion—please, no one send this to my mom), and I tend to make better connections with people who are from broken families or have generally a pessimistic view on life. There's simply not much evidence that suggests relationships are worthwhile endeavors in my observable universe.

If you had been following me you'd know that things haven't been so great, and, as someone who have always been wearing her hyper-independence as a badge of honor, I was devastated upon realizing that sometimes it is impossible to keep it together, through sheer willpower by myself. It was ingrained in me that showing vulnerability and asking for support are extremely shameful actions, and putting emotional burden on others is not only selfish, but also incredibly entitled. Worry not; I have been working on untying these knots.

However, while working through this, I have encountered a bunch of counters along the lines Ayman wrote about. When I talk about wishing to have someone to count on, to support me in times of need, and that relational sense of happiness, people tell me I have to be more independent and only seek happiness from within. When I say I am and have been hyper-independent, I take very good care of myself, and relationships are complementary instead of necessary, people accuse me to be non-committal and that my potential partner would not feel appreciated (read: due to me not being financially dependent on them). It has gotten to the point that talking about relationships makes me anxious and I wonder if I should simply spare myself.

That's why Ayman's words ring so true to me. This desire has become too contended to admit to, while staying single as a woman in her 30s+ remains a pitiful predicament in the eyes of our society.

So I guess I will keep this to myself, and to you.

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