I recently read this article titled “Three Ways To Guard The Single Women In Your Life.” The article’s premise surrounds things that I, as the perpetually single friend, hear all the time – and I’m damn tired of hearing them. The writing impacted me so strongly because it’s faith based, but I think it’s relevant for all single women so I just want to hit home on the article’s most secular point.
Stop telling young women, “You just haven’t met the right guy yet.”
“Yet” isn’t in the cards for everyone. Some women will never get married, whether they want to or not, so let’s stop telling them that that’s what they ought to aspire to. And please, when I tell you I’m not sure if marriage is what’s in my life plan, don’t pity me or try to comfort me or reassure me that “the right guy” will come along. It’s okay. Honestly the only thing making the situation unbearable is people who can’t seem to fathom a life of purpose without marriage. Young women can foster other relationships, make an impact, and change the world without a husband or a boyfriend.
Why can’t we affirm young women where they’re at in life *right now*?
Instead of asking me if there are any “special guys” in my life, ask me what my favorite class is this semester. Ask me my thoughts or opinions on an issue that actually matters. Ask me how I’m giving back; how I’m achieving my goals… and then give a damn about what I’m saying. Encourage me to work towards more important things.
Young women have so much to offer the world and we’re discouraging them and drowning out their voices by saying shit like:
- When are you gonna get a boyfriend? / (Maybe tomorrow, maybe never. Either way, I’m still me.)
2. When you get a boyfriend, we should go on double dates / (or we could just hang out now??)
- You’ll settle down and want to have kids eventually / (Maybe, maybe not. Your perception of family doesn’t have to align with mine.)
- How are you still single?
Being single is sometimes circumstantial and granted, sometimes a choice – and sometimes both. But it’s not my entire identity. In fact, it’s not even a piece of my identity at all. My relationship status doesn’t determine my ability to give love. It doesn’t add to or take away from the endeavors in every other area of my life. It doesn’t prohibit me from pursuing what I’m passionate about.
What makes it difficult for young single women to do all those things is people constantly asking about their relationship status, gawking at them as if they’re some sort of social anomaly. We will not “harden and crust into crone shaped barnacles” if we don’t have a boyfriend to come home to.
So if you know a single woman, PLEASE latch onto her, not because she’s single but because she is a force with the potential to change the world – because all humans have the potential to make an impact, whether “single”, “in a relationship”, or “it’s complicated.” There is more to life.
And if you are a single woman, please know that you are not alone – you are never alone. Now get outta here and go kick some ass.