“I don’t ever want to have to need someone again where you feel like without them you can’t be yourself.”
Miley Cyrus confidently stated this during an interview last year when she was asked about breaking off her engagement with Liam Hemsworth. This quote essentially and successfully sums up a young person’s attitudes on being single during the 21st century.
Not too long ago, relationships were a defining factor of life. If you hadn’t committed to someone by your 30s, you were viewed as incompatible. Less of an emphasis was placed on women establishing themselves professionally because they were expected to be in the home. Luckily, shows like Sex & the City emerged, encouraging us to promiscuously date without committing while we still pursue an ambitious career, like law (or having a long-term relationship with your clothes).
In 2014, it is respectable to break off a relationship in order to “find yourself” and develop true independence rather than depending on someone else. “Love yourself first” has been the motto promoted by young people. Magazines feature countless stories about individuals who learn to be autonomous and gain complete confidence in themselves before committing to someone else. It is repeatedly emphasized that relationships are seen as a complementing factor in your life rather than a defining factor.
In the United States, the goals of many students include going to college, especially a rigorous one like UW-Madison. With so many motivated young people together at a university, it is common to remain single in order to follow all of your wildest dreams with all the school and city have to offer. After a long, busy week of studying, extracurricular activities, and work, it has become the norm to join all of the other hard working, single people at parties where you can mingle and relax without the expectation of commitment.
Ultimately, whether you love Miley or hate her, she provides a perfect example of putting yourself first and having a blast twerking around while still pursuing your dreams. Single life is now one of the most accepted parts of young culture today.