“The moment you realize God had greater plans for you that don’t involve crying at night or sad Pinterest quotes.”
“A pretty, smart thing like you, why are you still single? I know the boys should be lining up at your feet!” The more I progress into my 20’s, the more this question is asked, as if pretty and smart should be a shoe in for a healthy relationship. Not only am I asked this from family members and old friends, I ask myself this question quite frequently as well. Even though I ponder over my relationship status, it is not done in a mind frame of loneliness, desperation, or fear of my biological clock running out. Society tells us that after you finish your education and secure a decent job, the next step should be a serious relationship and thoughts of settling down. So, like anyone who is continuously exposed to something, these thoughts do surface from time to time.
The pressure on young women to settle down seems to be a consistent nagging voice in the back of our heads. I have made it a habit to tell these thoughts to shut up. Men typically do not face this external pressure from society to settle down and raise a family. They are encouraged to grow into their careers, date at their leisure, and finally choose their Cinderella. The terminal bachelor is not looked down upon with the same disdain as the old cat lady or spinster. If a man is single for substantial amounts of time, people believe the “I just haven’t found the right one” rhetoric. Chronically single women must have something wrong with them, right?
Where’s Your Man At?
We see it on reality TV and probably in our own lives all the time. A taken woman’s favorite insult to throw at a single woman is “where’s your man at, though” or any similar phrase that is used to undercut a female because she is not in a committed relationship. Let’s break down all of the things wrong with this argument:
- Being Single Is Not A Character Flaw
- If you need the validation of a man to make you feel better about yourself, please reevaluate your self-esteem. You should be happy with yourself whether you are in a relationship or not.
- Alone Does Not Equal Lonely
- Believe it or not, there are people who choose not to date in order to better themselves personally, professionally, etc. It is better to bring what you feel is your best and to be happy with what you have going on before diving into serious relationships. If you’re unhappy, no one else can make you happy.
- Not Every Relationship Is A Healthy One
- All that glitters isn’t gold. Not everyone in a relationship is happy. We’ve all witnessed dysfunctional relationships. Being single is better than participating in a dysfunctional relationship just for the sake of saying you’re in one.
Your Business Is Your Business
As we all know, people act like if you didn’t broadcast it on social media, it didn’t happen. Don’t give in to the pressure of wanting someone to show off on Facebook and Instagram. Even once you start dating someone, there is not a requirement that says, ‘must post one selfie of you and bae weekly to show its real.’ No matter your age, do not allow the internet to make you feel left out. This creates desperation and desperate people do desperate things! You will never yield the results you want this way. There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to be in a relationship, but chasing a relationship just to prove you are wanted is extremely shallow and it will not work.
If you put too much pressure on something, it will ultimately break. Do not break yourself in an attempt to prove you are worthy. If everyone seems to be concerned about your relationship status, ignore them. You owe no one an explanation. If you do not ever want to get married, that is your personal business. If your relationships never work out, who cares if people speculate about what your issues are. Of course the world would be a much better place if people minded their own business, but since they don’t, let them assume whatever they choose to. External pressure will never cease, so if you find that you’re 33 and still alone, so what! If you’re happy, be happy. If you’re not, then you have the power to change your circumstances. Do not allow Tumblr’s #ForeverAlone quotes to make you think you’re doomed to an eternity of only you and Netflix.