Although it’s often intended as a compliment, the following five words make up probably the most dreaded question any single twenty-something can be asked:
“Why are you still single?”
Out of all the topics of conversation that could be brought up, that was the subject you chose to ask me about? What about my career? My passions?
Maybe you are genuinely interested in why I haven’t yet got myself a man, but to me this question can feel offensive. I completely understand where you’re coming from. A hot and successful woman like me? Single? How! But the question raises some generalizations about being single that I just can’t appreciate.
These generalizations are often more negative than positive, and can make women start to question what’s wrong with them. You should remember that things aren’t always as you perceive them to be.
In the quick “evaluation” of my life, aka my relationship status, you decided that I was either: not following the conventional society standards of getting married and settling down, not able to keep a man in my life, or that I wasn’t focused on getting married. Which might all be true, but it’s not a necessary topic of conversation.
No, I haven’t followed the conventional society standard of getting married and starting a family in my mid twenties. But you know what I have done? I’ve started a career, I’ve learned more about myself than I thought was possible, and I’ve met some of the greatest people I can imagine.
No, technically, I can’t keep a man in my life. But you know what? I’ve ditched half of the guys that haven’t been good enough and I’d do it again in a heartbeat. These guys were not my forever… so why waste time keeping someone around just so I’m not alone?
No, I’m not focused on getting married. But, if I’m not in a relationship… why would I be focused on getting married? I don’t feel like much explanation is needed there.
Please don’t think I’m preaching about being single forever. Don’t get me wrong, I would love to and I hope to get married one day. But I’ve come to embrace this stage in my life — being a single twenty-something and searching for what I want to accomplish by the time I settle down. Would it be fair for me to go into a relationship and marry someone when I truly don’t know what I want?
The only thing I know for sure, is that I want happiness. But I’m still unsure of the path I’ll need to take to get there.
I’m not judging conventional methods of society or those who get married younger – if that’s you, I’m actually happy for you. That means you’ve found your path to happiness at a much younger age and you’re about to embark on an entirely new journey that was intended specifically for you and your spouse. Marriage is a beautiful thing between two people who love each other, for the right reasons, and I will celebrate love and happiness any day of the week.
But back to me. When you ask me, or anyone for that matter, why I am still single… you’re not just saying five simple words. You’re not just asking a simple question, another conversation starter. You are making me feel like there is something wrong with me chasing my dreams, with me working on my life and figuring out my path to happiness, you’re making it seem as if it would be okay for me to settle.
So let’s just not ask that question, okay?
There are so many other topics of discussion… like, the weather? Or, you know: my family, faith, job, friends, goals, ambitions, makeup, dogs, summer plans, travel, the real housewives…
Just please, don’t ask me why I am still single. Just like you, I’m just trying to make it through this messy thing we call life. I may not be where I thought I would be at this point in life, but I’m one step closer to where I’m supposed to end up. So instead of judging the path I’m taking in life, walk with me and love me for who I am.