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 even 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 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. I do know they were never asked if they felt unsafe, which is a question 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, women are taught how to depend on men for money, safety and family.
A single man is called a bachelor, and he is often perceived as handsome, rich and independent. Unless you’re on ABC’s "The Bachelorette," it is never perceived as a positive thing to be a single woman.
I realized on my trip that the questions asked of solo female travelers were all too similar to questions that are asked of 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.
Here are 10 reasons why your 20s are for vodka, not a boyfriend:
1. Just because I’ve watched and sobbed during "Love Actually" does not mean I’m lonely.
It means Colin Firth is romantic as f*ck.
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 that 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 Lover's pizza from Pizza Hut and 1 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 only a few 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. Although I may do things that make me appear lonely, I feel more confident now than I ever did in my past relationships.
I don’t have someone constantly telling me that I need him. I don’t need anybody, and it’s just nice having people around. So, in case you were wondering, no, I’m not lonely.