As a single woman, I find people are often willing to provide me with unsolicited advice or encouragement about how to get out of this sad state of being ‘without a man’ that I find myself in. In case there was any confusion about how well-received this advice is, I would like to offer my own words in return – on behalf of women everywhere who define themselves with so many more interesting and meaningful words than ‘single’.
– I do not need to stop looking because that’s when love will stumble onto my doorstep. I am not looking now, and it’s not because I’m hoping it means Mr Right (URGH) will show up. It’s because my life is not defined by whether or not I have a significant other. I am significant. On my own.
– I do not need to ‘go to places men go’ in order to increase my chances of meeting one I might like. As far as I can tell, there aren’t many places I’m likely to find men and not women. Except maybe 50% of public toilets, and prostate exam rooms. Hanging around places like that will more likely find me an arrest than a date.
– I don’t need to ‘go out with him just once’ because I might like him. I don’t need to put myself through an hour of awkward questions because the payoff could be something so much greater – a boyfriend. I don’t have to endure a blind date just because I should be grateful for the chance to not be alone. I’d prefer if I met someone through something that was actually enjoyable, rather than an experience that makes me want to stab forks in my hands.
– Don’t tell me that my humour/intelligence/independence/beehive hairdo is intimidating. If that’s true, fuck whoever is intimidated. I shouldn’t be made to feel like somehow that makes me flawed. The kind of people, not just male, that I want to meet are not intimidated by humour/intelligence/independence/fabulously coiffed women anyway.
– I am not ‘without’ because I am single. My life is not lacking, or empty, or lonely, or less meaningful because I live it as one, not as half of two. Being single is seen as being a transitive state, i.e., no one is single forever, just in between relationships. But whether or not I remain in this ‘transitive’ state is not important to me, and if my relationship with myself turns out to be my longest one, then I am not to be pitied for that.
Don’t mistake any of this as scorn or dismissal or hatred towards people in relationships. I know so many people in happy relationships, and I love them. I will go to engagement parties and weddings until my shoes wear out, but when I show up alone, pour me a drink instead of throwing me a pity party.