On my last birthday, I decided to have a small group of girlfriends over for some drinks and delicious food before going dancing. That is my idea of a perfect, fun night, and a great way to celebrate my birthday. One of the gals brought someone along, a friend of hers that was visiting and whom I had seen before but was not close to. While I am typically an advocate for the “the more, the merrier” philosophy, I wanted my birthday gathering to be more intimate since the months that preceded had been quite rough and I needed to feel the love and closeness of my good friends. But the last minuteness made it hard to say no.
I had a lovely evening. We had great (and lots of) food, delicious sangria with Spanish-themed decorations that the host picked out for me. Most of the girls knew each other, but some did not, and it was nice to see everyone getting along and having like-minded and lively conversations as if they did. As the evening was wrapping up, we split into a few cars and off we went to the club. The newcomer (a.k.a. party crasher) felt she’d gotten acquainted enough to take the liberty to provide free, unsolicited, frustrating advice. It was not only inappropriate since it was my birthday and she was not someone that knew me well, but also because it could not have been farther from what I think and desire, along with many others like me. It went something like this:
“You’ll find someone, you are beautiful and a wonderful person.”
I stayed quiet, hoping the conversation would go elsewhere from that point on. But she was not done and insisted:
“It’s not good to be alone, you need someone.”
There’s so much wrong with those statements including, but not limited to:
- Will I only find someone because I am beautiful and wonderful?
- Why do I NEED someone?
This was not the first time someone made such comments. Interestingly, most times I heard them said to me or other single gals, they were:
- Made by married people, both men, and women, that are clearly not seeing my side of the story
- Stated with sympathy and pity undertones as if there was something wrong with being single and choosing to be alone
- Meant to sound encouraging as if it was a shared goal
- Mentioned as if singlehood was considered to be an undesirable status or situation
- Directed at women — men are never judged the same way. In fact, being single is more often than not celebrate or seen as a winning attribute.
The truth is I got divorced because I chose to leave a marriage where I needed to pretend to be happy and accept he was not cheating and lying. Since then, I chose to date casually because other types of relationship have not fit my life and I have not found the right man that inspired my desire to commit or has demonstrated it was real and genuine to move forward in such direction. Do I want to be in a relationship? If I meet the right person, absolutely. Otherwise, I am fine the way I am.
The bottom line is:
It is time to understand that single women have a choice in how we live our lives when it comes to relationships, and while most of us want love, companionship, and more, we are doing pretty darn good on our own if so we choose. We don’t like to settle just because we want to be with someone. We may not want to be with someone. We may have other priorities and no time to date. Whatever the reason is, we are free to enjoy who we are and should not be judged or criticized for it.
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