I Go Out Without My Boyfriend. Deal With It.

Blonde woman with a cocktail in her hand

Occasionally flying solo is no cause for alarm.

When I was 18 years old, I wanted to get my then-boyfriend's initials tattooed across my hand. I needed the world to know that we were madly in love (which, of course, we weren't) and this was going to be the man (which, of course, he wasn't) that I'd spend the rest of my life with (which, thank God, I didn't).

Instead, I chose to get a tasteful fire-breathing dragon inked on my lower back.

It's well over 10 years later, and I'm in one of the most positive and healthy relationships of my entire life, so why is it that I've repeatedly been told otherwise? Is it because I don't have his John Hancock inscribed across my digits or bosom? Or do people know something that I don't (like, perhaps he's listed on the Cheater Registry)? The Frisky: The Top Ten Best Things About Being Single & Independent

Let's rewind. My seemingly troubled (and mildly debilitating) history with the opposite sex has, up until now, followed me everywhere. I'm a bit of an addict when it comes to relationships, in that I won't leave ‘em until the thought of tolerating another infuriating conversation is so inconceivable that there's nothing left to do but crawl into a cave of maudlin music and intravenously pump R.E.M. tracks through my grieving veins.

But I don't recall anyone ever telling me those guys were wrong for me.

About a month ago, I was flying solo but with friends at a local bar when a stranger, who I'd been chatting with for all of two minutes, opted to pass judgment on my relationship. He'd only asked me the basic relationship trifecta ("How long have you been together?" "Why isn't he here?" and of course, "Are you in love?"), before deciding to channel his inner Oprah and share his unwarranted opinion with me. "Hey, don't take offense to this, but I really think you're with the wrong dude." The Frisky: "Are Men Turned Off By Strong Women?"