Ever the chauvinist, a business associate of mine recently blurted out, “There is always a problem with single women!” This response jolted me and forced me, a single woman, to do some introspection.
Most single women I know aim to live their very best lives. We date men and do not feel the pressure of being married or having children. If we happen to want the aforementioned, we know that there is a disadvantage in rushing such things.
Whilst some hope for companionship, there is an element of gratitude to having a certain level of independence. Many single women sleep unperturbed, not worrying about a man’s whereabouts.
Truthfully, many members of society still frown on single women. They are chided for not having children or not being in ‘serious’ relationships. Those of us who choose careers over family life are guilt-tripped into existence.
What society thinks should never trump one’s happiness. However, there are quite a few unhappy, single women who feel inadequate and unfulfilled because society dictates that they should be. This is a problem. My aim with this article should never be misconstrued as an attempt to discount the beauty in marriage. However, there are countless examples of women who marry for the wrong reasons only to realize years later that they have made the mistake of their lives.
Every woman is not a mother
We live in a world which scoffs at women who decide against having children. Nonetheless, I am proud of the women I know who make the choice to be childless without fear of being judged. I believe that children are blessings, and look forward to the day when I have my own children. However, every woman does not share these sentiments. These women should never be made to feel selfish or lacking in empathy. Every woman does not want to be a mother. Quite a few women are comfortable being an aunt or a god-mother; taking care of the children but sending them right back to their parents as they wish. Not wanting children is no sin.
Our ovaries are not ‘tingling’
While on this note, society needs to cease attempts at translating what one’s ovaries are saying. Ovaries do not talk. If they did, they would more than likely be able to speak for themselves without the myriad of people who believe they are God-given ovary-translators. If something is ‘wrong’ with a woman’s ovaries, allow her to visit the gynaecologist on her own accord. Declarations such as ‘Your ovaries are tingling’, ‘Your ovaries soon rust’, ‘Your ovaries begging you to do something with them’ or ‘Your biological clock is ticking’, are never desired. Many of you are not trained doctors and need to understand that comments like these are grossly uncivilised.
Every single woman is not a lesbian
Some women prefer to keep their business private. A colleague of mine recently lamented about the fact that she was among a group of women who were convinced she was a lesbian because (wait for it) she “doesn’t post photos with men on Instagram”. Very silly.
There are women who resort to either “living for the Lord” or being abstinent who have been incorrectly labelled as lesbians.
In the good words of someone on Twitter, “the truth is never important when the lie is more entertaining”. Lesbians are awesome but society should stop incorrectly labelling people simply because we are unaware of their preferences and because we don’t know their business.
Single does not mean unhappy
Many of us celebrate our sisters wins without feeling inadequate. Many single women can beam with pride and happiness at the actualization of our friends’ family goals without feeling like we are not good enough. Unfortunately, this is a genuine and disappointing perception society has of single women. The next time we believe that a woman should rush her life to fit society’s expectations, give your closest divorced friend a call and ask her what was the greatest lesson she learned from her marriage. The answer will put things into perspective for you. If yuh rush the brush, yuh gin spill de paint!
Single does not mean desperate
Men need to be aware of the fact they although we love them, they are not God’s gift to us. Being a ‘side-chick’, disrespected; a ‘one-of-ten’ chick is not an option for a woman with a healthy self-esteem.
Ladies, it does not matter how many times you can wash clothing on his abs, how talented he is or how much money he has, there is no good in settling for a man who means nothing but the best. In this era, there is nothing a man can provide for a woman that she cannot provide for herself. Know this.
Married women automatically and arbitrarily believe that you want their husbands
Just because a woman is single, does not mean she wants to be married. It also does not mean that she wants your husband.
Yes, there are a few of us who have special inclinations to other women’s husbands but everyone should not be painted with the same brush.
I must say though, some of our married sisters ought to know that the rest of the world does not see your Prince Charming the same way you do. If your man looks like a cross between Shrek and King Kong, you better champion that cause and make him feel as though he is a hybrid between Brad Pitt and Idris Elba. Elevate your man! However, do not let love drunken you to the point where you actually believe he is Idris with a heart of John the Baptist. Most single women are not out to get you, are jealous of your Shrek-lationship, or even want your man.
Quite recently, my mother and I had to explain to a friend of ours that her dancing with another woman’s husband could be seriously misconstrued. It didn’t matter whether she just viewed it as a dance. The point was that it made his wife uncomfortable.
As a result of instances like this, I am personally very circumspect when interacting with other women’s significant others or husbands. If one has to call into the matrimonial home, I suggest that we single women ask for the wife, explain why one is calling and let her be the ‘liaison officer’.
I can go on with various examples of the issues that society has with single women. However, the word limit would not permit me. The only problem I see with single women is the fact the we allow society to guilt us into having certain expectations of ourselves and at times, we settle when we fail to meet those expectations.
My mother would always say to me “before any, NONE”. Her rationale was before she threw herself into a relationship with a ‘no-good man’, she would rather have no man. There is nothing wrong with waiting. There is nothing wrong with standards. Most importantly, there is nothing wrong with being single.
Toni Thorne is a founder and entrepreneur who enjoys a great debate, family time, island life and minding her mouth! Email: firstname.lastname@example.org