No, I'm not lonely. I have booze.
At the beginning of the summer, I was a newly single university graduate, and like many other graduates, I felt that after four years of drinking and making questionable decisions, I deserved to drink and make more questionable decisions on a three-month backpacking trip to Europe. During my time abroad, I split my time between traveling with friends, family, and by myself.
The month that I was by myself, I was bombarded with other travelers asking me, "Don't you get lonely?" However, from my observations — and I may be totally wrong — I did not see solo male travelers being asked the same question.
They were never asked if they felt unsafe, which I was asked multiple times a day. I've come to a rather unsettling conclusion on this: Women are taught to never be alone.
From children watching princes save the helpless princesses in Disney movies, to having earlier curfews than your brothers because it's dangerous for a woman to be out at night. For centuries, women were taught how to depend on men for money, safety and family.
A single man is called a bachelor who is often perceived as handsome, rich and independent — hence, "Bachelor Pad," but unless you're Kaitlyn Bristowe on ABC's Bachelorette, it is never perceived as a positive thing to be a single woman.
I realized on my trip that the questions asked to solo female travelers were all too similar to questions that are asked to single women on an everyday basis. Well, here I am as a solo female traveler and single woman to tell you loud and clear that I am not lonely.
2. Just because I sent you 50 texts last night does not mean I'm lonely, it means that I had one too many Jägerbombs and you should be flattered I was thinking of you.
3. Just because I had a one-night stand with that hot bearded dude does not mean I'm lonely, it means I like beards and I'm horny.
4. Just because I swiped right to you on Tinder does not mean I'm lonely, it means I just finished binge-watching the third season of Orange is the New Black on Netflix and I have nothing better to do.
5. Just because I am out drinking with my girlfriends does not mean I'm lonely, it means it's girls' night and I want to go out and shake my ass because I know I look good on the dance floor.
6. Just because I ate an extra-large meat lovers pizza from Pizza Hut and one pound of honey garlic wings in one sitting does not mean I'm lonely, it means I'm hungry and possibly high (most likely high).
7. Just because I uploaded a selfie on Instagram where my tits look miraculous does not mean I'm lonely, it means I want to beat my record of 155 likes on one picture.
8. Just because I do fall for you after just meeting you does not mean I'm lonely, I just suck walking in heels.
9. Just because I like every single one of your profile pictures seven minutes after you accept my friend request does not mean I'm lonely, it means you're hot so accept the f*cking compliment.
10. Just because I go to the movies alone does not mean I'm lonely, it means I can only ask my Grandma so many times to see Straight Outta Compton.
After three failed relationships in the span of four years, I finally have the opportunity to appreciate what it truly means to be independent.
And although I may do things that make me appear lonely, I feel more confident now than I ever did in my past relationships because I don't have someone constantly telling me that I need them. I don't need anybody, it's just nice having you around.
So in case you were wondering — no, I'm not lonely.
Originally published on Unwritten, the number one lifestyle destination for millennial women.
This article was originally published at Read Unwritten. Reprinted with permission from the author.