The Newest Virus to Strike Women
There seems to be a virus going around….spreading like wildfire and taking no prisoners. It’s as if the single women of my generation all underwent a brainwashing simultaneously. Was it zombies? Werewolves? A sign of the apocalypse? I’m not sure but I don’t like it. I don’t like it at all.
I call it the “happily single” disease. It goes like this: Ask a woman in her 30’s if she’s married and if she’s not married/engaged/living with someone/in a serious relationship, she’ll say, “No, I’m happily single.” Wait a second. Did the question ask anything about her feelings? Nope. She’s just offering it. What is she trying to tell you?
Is she saying that she’s happiER being single than she would be not single? Doubtful. Maybe in a few cases, but not in every case. That simply wouldn’t make any sense. If that were true, all new relationships would cease to start and we’d have no more marriages. That isn’t happening anytime soon.
Let me share with you what I think she is actually saying….if I could speak for her, it would go something like this: “I am single. I have a full life. I have friends and family and I love them dearly. I have a job and I work hard and when I’m not working, I go out and I enjoy my life. I travel when I can. I do fun things with my friends. I’m happy. But when I check my Facebook newsfeed and I see the latest pictures of my friends from college and their kids or I go on Pinterest and every pin on the first page is a wedding pin because the girl I volunteer with is planning her wedding, it makes me a little sad. It makes me sad because I want to have a partner too. I want to share my life with someone too. But right now, I’m single.”
So the question is, when you ask her if she’s married, why does she feel the need to say “happily single” instead of simply “single?” I think it’s a variety of factors, but mostly I think it’s the pressures of society and over one hundred years of work by the women’s movement gone awry. I think women in my generation have worked incredibly hard to get an education and get ahead professionally. For the first time, women are no longer the extreme minority in medicine, law, business, academics, etc. With this success in the workplace comes financial independence to a level that is different than generations before ours. With financial independence comes a sense that we can take care of ourselves, not just with our bank accounts, but in every sense of the word. And we can. But that doesn’t mean we have to.
Every time I hear a woman posed that question give that zombified answer, I think to myself: She’s not being true to herself. She’s confused. She’s been mislead by the pressures of society. She thinks that to say that she’s “single” without the qualifier translates into weakness or neediness or some strange declaration that she’s not OK on her own. But none of that is true.
The Newest Virus to Strike Women isn’t a virus at all it is a choice…
Ladies, here is the best part of all the work that was done by the women who came before us: WE CAN HAVE IT ALL. If we have a successful career, we can have it. If we want a successful relationship, we can have that too. And it is 100% acceptable to want to have both. If you are single, embrace it. Be happy with your life the way it stands. You make it what it is, so fill it with people and activities you love and enjoy. Should you sit around moping and being sad and thinking that life doesn’t really start until you find a partner? Absolutely not. That would be a disservice to yourself. BUT, on the flip side, it is ok to acknowledge that you are hoping for love to come along in your life, that you are putting yourself in situations that will maximize your chances of meeting the right person? Yes! No one will take away your independence card for that.
Bio: Legally Single