Oh My Ovaries
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Oh My Ovaries

Commitment and freedom aren’t an oxymoron.

I had a conversation with a close friend recently, where she told me that she is 100% done with both men and feeling hopeful about relationships.

To give a little context, this is not like “I’m never drinking again,” only to hit the bar twelve hours later.

My friend has done her time. This is her third relationship that has turned abusive, coercive and downright hostile.

Her most recent relationship ended just a few weeks ago. Everything is incredibly raw, and she’s trying to process her ex’s patterns of behaviour: but here’s the thing — she can’t.

Not because she doesn’t know enough about abuse cycles (she’s a trained and qualified counsellor) but because this behaviour is literally incomprehensible.

It’s incomprehensible to a person who lives in reality, and who understands the cause and effect of her own actions. She’s trying to understand the motivations behind the behaviour of someone who is literally not rational. The man is certifiably deranged. I don’t use that term lightly, or to be facetious: he is genuinely deeply, deeply unwell (although “unwell” feels like too forgiving a term).

So it makes sense to me that in her current state of grief and despair, she wants to swear off relationships for the rest of her life.

It would have been trite and actually unkind to respond with “but the right person is out there for you — you just have to keep looking!”

Trite, because this is not an incontrovertible truth. And there is no “just” about it. It’s a huge undertaking to be consistently vulnerable and exposed, in the hope that the “one” perfect person will find you, because destiny etc.

Unkind, because it dismisses what she’s feeling right now, in this very moment. It would be unkind to say “yeah, but you’ll change your mind when meet the right guy”. It would be unkind to invalidate the resolution that she feels right now, that she needs right now in order to keep going.

She told me that she’s scared she won’t be able to stick to this commitment of staying un-partnered for the rest of her life.

I didn’t want to jump in with any platitudes about how she’ll heal eventually and be able to forget all the things that contributed to her decision today.

Here’s what she said:

  • Not having to answer to anyone else
  • Not being constantly belittled or told I’m not good enough
  • Not having every decision questioned because I’m a consistent fuck up
  • Being able to fuck off to Bali for a six month yoga retreat without needing to ask permission
  • Not having to explain myself to anybody
  • Being happy in my own company, and not having that questioned

Do you know what that sounds like to me? Not a lifetime of self-imposed “singleness” (although there is absolutely nothing wrong with that).

No. It sounds like freedom. It sounds like joy.

It’s no longer “I must stay alone for the rest of my life, because I’ve been treated appallingly, and if I ever let anyone else in again then I will have failed.”

It’s now “I am 100% committed to my freedom.”

What that freedom looks like might change a little over time. It might stay exactly the same. Either way, it’s a commitment that she can keep hold of, without boxing herself into a strict and immovable construct.

Commitment and freedom aren’t an oxymoron.

Commitment should be giving you something, not taking it away.



Tales from a slightly sarcastic, gleefully feminist killjoy.

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Laura-Anne Williams

Director of Get Social. Marketing and feminism are my bag, baby. And cake. Big fan thereof.