And why you should probably stop quizzing them about their choices.
Six months ago, I left my husband. While there are thousands of reasons as to why I finally walked away after seven miserable years, I’ll tell you the biggest reason was he wasn’t that good to me and leave it at that. Regardless, I found a way out and in turn found myself single AF.
I won’t lie, being single scared me at first. I spent seven years in a relationship that felt lonelier than actually being alone. The last thing I wanted was to sit in my quiet house and be left, well, all alone. I quickly realized, though, that I secretly enjoyed being on my own. The volatile marriage I’d been in might contribute to this, but I felt like I could finally breathe. I was free to do whatever I wanted, with whoever I wanted, whenever I wanted. I didn’t have anyone to answer or explain myself to. I could go to school and not be grilled about who I talked to. I could go to the grocery store and not be accused that I must know the random guy “checking me out.” Hell, I could get a job and not be told the reason I couldn’t was because I “might cheat” if I did (I know, ridiculous, but that’s another story).
Regardless, I felt liberated and that was an incredible feeling to experience. Sure, sometimes I feel the sting of loneliness, but overall I just don’t see the appeal in a committed relationship (which I get might seem counteractive to my previous “Single Moms” post, but this is still true for me). Below you will find the top five reasons why women are choosing to stay single, in my opinion, and why it might be a good idea to quit grilling women about that choice. And, let’s begin!
1) Not every woman needs to be in a relationship to feel fulfilled. Just saying.
Seriously. It might be because of the types of relationships I’ve found myself in, or my clear lack of ability to choose quality men, but I have never felt fulfilled by the relationships I’ve been in. If anything, I’ve felt hindered by them. However, I have felt full and total freedom to be me and do what makes me happy as a single woman. I can pursue my career and not feel guilty if it gets in the way of dating. I can be successful on my own, because of myself, and not have to give credit to any other person who doesn’t deserve it. I can be me, and that feels pretty freaking great. Women who are single and choose to remain single are independent, confident women who know their worth and their boundaries. It doesn’t mean we’ll never get into a relationship, but right now we’re having fun on our own. Understand and respect that, and quit asking when we’re going to bring someone home to meet the family. Just like the last time you asked, it isn’t going to be any time soon.
2) Have you tried dating lately? The options are seemingly slim and women have no time for that.
I’m going to state the obvious. Dating in today’s time absolutely sucks. When you’re a single woman with full-time commitments, finding time to meet someone is half the battle. Online is pretty much the only way you’re going to meet someone nowadays. You log yourself onto a site you swore you’d never go on if you became single (usually Tinder of POF, maybe even Facebook Dating) and create yourself a profile. You spend quality time picking flattering photos of yourself, cursing yourself for not taking recent ones (because you definitely did the whole “New Hair, New You” thing following your breakup), and overthink what you’ve written in your small space for your bio. You wait for someone to find interest in you that you also find interesting, and boy do you have to weed through quite the bunch of losers before you get to that guy.
When you finally find someone you feel is worth getting to know, and you two start talking, it’s usually not long before you realize his only intentions are sex. Which isn’t a bad thing per say, but men like that will only ever be interested in sex, so it’s not really worth the energy. So you keep flipping through loser after loser. Half the guys list the characteristic of “420 friendly” or “[Insert Beer Mug emoji here.]” which is definitely not a personality trait, and the other half make it clear they’re there for a “good time, not a long time.” The few decent guys you do find who leave sexual innuendos and poor grammar out of the conversation will eventually quit responding to your messages or, after one date or visit, ghost you. And then you start all over again. Please tell me why any single woman should try to date in a world where that is your future. No, thank you.
3) There’s something about self-discovery and self-love when you’re single.
Admittedly, I don’t know if this is possible to do while you’re with someone because I’ve never attempted that, but I would imagine it is not. Being on your own allows you the freedom to truly discover who you are and where you want to go without the distractions or judgement of another. I know in my case, I had never been on my own as an adult. I’ve always been in a toxic relationship that warped my view of myself and life in general. Now at twenty-five, I’m experiencing being an adult on my own for the first time. I know that sounds crazy, but it’s true. I’m discovering who the hell I even as am a woman and an adult, as well as who I want to become, where I want to go, and how I’m going to get myself there. I’m learning to love and embrace the parts of me that I have spent years hating and wanting to change, all while exposing myself to new things I hadn’t before.
It may sound odd to someone who hasn’t taken the time to practice self-discovery and self-love, but I’ve learned more about myself in the last six months as a single woman than I ever did in my first eight years of being an adult (while with someone else). I’ve realized what my worth is, where my boundaries are, why I should love the parts of me I’ve been told to hate, and how to love those parts. I don’t think I could’ve done this while I was with someone else, at least not the start of it. Of the women I have talked to who are also in this process of self-discovery and self-love, they’ve agreed this is a process best done (or at least started) while single. It’s great to find a partner who lifts you up and supports you, but it’s much more important to know you’re able to create happiness for yourself outside of another human being. In all honesty, I don’t think it’s possible to love someone else until you’ve learned to love yourself. If you ask me, staying single and doing this is actually a benefit to future relationships, so quit telling women to rush it.
4) Women deserve the absolute best, so trust me when I say we have no problem waiting for that person.
Obviously, every person deserves to find the best person for them. But, we’re always talking about men so this post is staying firmly focused on women. Every woman deserves the absolute best person she can find to share her life with. Settling with someone just to fill the lonely void that can be created when you’re single defeats the purpose of waiting for the right one. For starters, no one gets into a relationship with the intentions of it not working out. When we finally start dating, we hope the person is the one and things work out, and that the whole dreadful process of finding “The One” is over for good.
However, if we rush into relationship after relationship instead of being comfortable staying single and waiting, we run the risk of missing red flags or settling with someone who we’re not fully compatible with, etc. A woman having patience and waiting for a good partner instead of any partner isn’t a bad thing. Quit making women feel bad for that.
5) The Biological Clock should never be the deciding factor in dating someone (so quit telling women it should be).
This is another one of those reasons that needs to be followed up with a “Seriously,” so: Seriously. I know this one is a little different for me, because I am a mother to a child and I became a mother at a young age. However, I still experience this pressure. Even only six months removed from a serious(ly bad) relationship, people feel the need to ask me about my future children plans and make me feel rushed to find someone because my “biological clock is ticking” and my “first isn’t getting any younger.” This bothers me for so many reasons, so let’s discuss those.
First, I’m only twenty-five. My daughter is only five. There is absolutely no reason for me to feel a push to find someone and settle, but those two facts would be at the absolute bottom of the list if there were. Why the hell are we encouraging women to just hurry and pick a man so the option to have kids is on the table? Is there some reason a woman should assume the closer she gets to thirty, or the further over thirty she is, that children stop becoming a possibility? Women in their early twenties can experience infertility while women in their thirties can experience no issues getting pregnant, so using that excuse is pointless. Why are we placing such high values on having children that we’re encouraging women to get with anyone to have those kids?
Second, how incredibly rude of a person to assume that a woman wants children in the first place. Maybe she’s already decided that she wants to pursue a career and a life outside of the societal norm of her having children and that’s okay. Also, why are we assuming that a single mother, regardless of how many children she has, wants more children? Is it not possible that the child or children she has is enough for her? Do we really need to question her decision and tell her, “But what if you meet a man who doesn’t have kids and wants them?” How about he should find someone who also wants that instead of telling women they might change their mind? Of course they might. But, that man might also meet the woman who doesn’t want kids (or anymore kids) and decide she’s enough for him and he changes his mind. Is that not a possibility? Regardless, quit pressuring women to settle for anyone because they may or may not want children. That’s total bullshit.
Again, there are so many reasons women are choosing to stay single nowadays and this is just a brief blog post from my personal perspective. Every woman is different in their reasons for choosing to stay single, and that’s okay. The moral of this post is to say quit making women feel bad for wanting to be single. There is rarely any societal pressure, if any, placed on men for wanting to be single. If anything, we’re high-fiving men for living the single life well. We need to start doing that for women, too. Go ahead, girl, and live your best single life for whatever reason or reasons apply to you. You’ve got all the time in the world to find someone to share your life with. Enjoy this personal time while you’ve got it. After all, you deserve the absolute best you.