“Why are you still single?”
Followed by something to the effect of: “You’re so clever, smart, unique, hot, pretty, interesting, accommodating, friendly, well-kept, have your shit together, normal, weird* (*in a good way), easy to talk to, cool, and loving. I don’t get it.”
It makes my skin crawl, my blood boil, and my brain explode to get asked this invasive, insensitive, polarizing question.
I used to reply with a sheepish apology, something like, “I guess I haven’t met the right person yet.”Over time, the question bugged me more and I grew bitter about being asked.
You see, not everyone wants to be married. Just because I’m a woman doesn’t mean an engagement ring will solve my problems or make me whole. It’s so insulating to be asked why I’m not married and the single man asking me is in the exact same spot. Isn’t that an occurrence of the pot calling the kettle black?!
“Why aren’t you married yet?” is another way of checking under the hood of a used car. It’s also essentially asking “what’s wrong with you that nobody wants you?”
Amazing, bright, beautiful women may not be married by their mid-thirties because they’re building careers, something their mothers and grandmothers instilled in them from childhood. Previous generations of women had to marry young to gain independence and move out of the family house in their late teens or early twenties. My generation and the millennials coming up are attempting to “have it all” but this often means that dating and marriage are delayed while inspired women build empires and learn about themselves.
Spectacular, sensual women may not be married by their mid-thirties or early forties because they have been in long, healthy relationships with partners who were great in their own right. Or, maybe they had long term partners who were awful but they could not leave. Either way, these women were not sitting around at home counting down the days until someone puts a ring on it.
Interesting, informed women may not be married because they’d rather be single than marry the wrong person. We all know couples who married young and divorced young because they felt pressure to tie the knot. There are women in their mid thirties who truly don’t want to settle for the sake of losing themselves just to say they have a partner.
Creative, captivating women who have been married may not want to repeat their experiences. They’ve done it once and feel complete not doing it again.
One of my closest friends reminded me that being single by choice is excellent. She likes dating and making decisions for herself that don’t impact a partner.
So why are you still single? Because.
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