Yes, you want a relationship. And that’s OK

You don’t have to be so blase about wanting a committed relationship.

We’ve come to approach “relationships” like they’re four-letter words — we’re so quick to tell people we don’t want one. Complete independence seems to be our ultimate goal because, you know, who wants to be the loser that’s actually looking for a relationship? If it happens “organically” (whatever that means) it’s fine. But whether you’re a guy or girl, actually seeking one out is entirely uncool.

It’s funny we act this way, because this anti-relationship stance runs completely counter to our biology and everything we know about what makes us happy. Humans are deeply connected and interrelational beings. Darwin believed that our social nature is what allows us to thrive as a species. Study after study show that people are not only happier, but physically healthier and live longer if they’re in relationships. Your risk of everything from depression to cancer to getting the flu is decreased significantly when there is a significant other in your life. 

And yet, we find it so embarrassing, vulnerable and weak to admit that we want to have a relationship — when this is a totally normal and healthy thing to want. Having an “incapacity for love” and “impersonal sex life” are literally two of the 16 characteristics used to diagnose a psychopath. How did we get to this point of convincing ourselves that approaching romantic relationships like we’re mentally ill was the “rational” thing to do? It’s not. It undermines our happiness, and it completely denies the very essence of what separates us from lower animals — our ability to form deep romantic connections.

Your life isn’t a rom-com, and being a commitment-phobe doesn’t earn you bonus points anywhere. Sure, you can convince yourself that the excitement of casual sex and the ease of no strings attached relationships is enough to override your true biological urges. But in the end, the person you’re screwing by doing this is yourself. We’re all looking for relationships (or at least we should be). And maybe that feels like an uncool and pathetic thing to admit. But hey, at least we’re all uncool and pathetic together.

— Amber Madison is a Manhattan-based relationship expert and dating coach. She is the author of ‘Are All Guys Assholes?’ for which she traveled the country, spoke to over 1,000 men and discovered that the answer to this question is no. You can follow her on Twitter @ambermadi or online at www.ambermadisononline.com


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