Singledom. What is it that makes this concept so blatantly uncomfortable, fear inducing and stigmatising for modern day adults? Of all of the concepts, the ideas and elements that I write about, this one in particular is the notion I seem to come back to the most. Beyond this, I simply can’t crack the mystification around the tag of being single that makes it justifiable to other people’s never ending input and commentary on someone else’s life.
I don’t mean to be rude, nor am I attempting to take a dig or point a deliberate EFF YOU to anyone (actually just typing that was slightly cathartic.. but still)… I promise you that is not my intent at all with publishing this piece. I am simply trying to get to the heart of an issue which places so much blame on single women of a certain age. Blame for not constantly looking for that metaphorical other person, blame for focusing ‘too heavily’ on a career and not trying enough to settle down. Blame for being too empowered, too successful or too nonchalant about kowtowing to a man’s expectations towards being properly wife material.
Could you ever imagine flipping this and saying it to a young man? I highly doubt it. The problem that we have in society today, and have had for eons in the past is that women, and young women in particular, are too easily judged against standards of a purported feminity, which is a perverted social construct to even begin with. Does it make me less of woman, less of a human being that finding someone and coupling up to simply conform to society’s norm around what is expected of me at this age is not my top priority?
During each and every conversation about my marital status I, like so many other single women in their 30’s, find a switch flipping in my brain. All of a sudden I’ve fallen down the slippery slope of justifying that ‘there just isn’t anyone I’m interested in right now’ or ‘I just don’t have time to date at the moment’. Interestingly enough, during these conversations no one ever asks me what it is that I actually want. As in, what I, as an individual being prefer, for my own life. They don’t ask me if I see myself being married or having children because apparently this is just what is universally expected of me. It is presented as if I have no choice in the matter, referred to as if they are no alternate pathways to success, happiness, existence or a life well lived. But I am here to remind you that there are; there are infinitely more options available for us all.
Surely if we are attune enough to understand that every person is different and unique in a way that allows them to dictate the direction for their own lives, then surely we can comprehend that should also apply to their marital status also. The term ‘marital status’ itself thus connotes to a pathway to inevitable marriage in which we have to benchmark ourselves against on either side. Can I instead rebrand it single status? Would it then mean the same thing?
I know that as human beings we are driven by hope. Perhaps the hope for some single women that their shining knight is out there waiting for them provides them with the impetus to keep fighting their way towards them each and every day. But what if some people are just not destined to meet ‘the one’? What if ‘the right person’ just isn’t out there for everyone? I understand that it’s an uncomfortable concept and a difficult pill to swallow but it’s the reality for many.
Going beyond that, some people and more importantly, some women, are actually okay with this concept. They are okay and even happy to be by themselves, to be living their own lives, to be building their own empires. They don’t feel the need to push themselves down a rabbit hole of a never ending search for ‘their other half’. They complete themselves and perhaps one day someone will come along; and maybe they will choose to open up their lives and their hearts to this person. But the thing to be made utterly clear here is that they are capable of living full, happy, successful lives on their own. They don’t need your pity or reassurance that the key to that occurring is someone who hasn’t come along yet.
Signing off as,
The Last Single Girl. Sx