After joining Tinder in the hopes of finding a permanent boyfriend, I began to wonder: is being single really so bad?
As women, we are told that to be alone is not only socially sad, but can be precarious as well. Countless movies, TV shows, and best-selling novels have preached the message women’s lives are not complete unless they have the presence of a strong man. What does this strong man do exactly? He introduces and instructs her on sexuality, takes her to places that she has never been before, keeps her from becoming a callous career focused shrew, or saves her from bodily threats and danger. Women are not allowed to be the heroines of our own stories. Even when stories are positioned towards a female lead the focus is actually on men.
No matter how hard we may resist, we allow men to dictate how our lives should be lived. This is achieved through the deluge of media outlets and advertising that thrive on making women feel bad about ourselves. We are told that our main goal in life is to be sexually appealing to men and if you don’t fit into this tight standard than you may as well not exist at all. This leads to internalized misogyny where we hate ourselves because we cannot live up to the unreal expectations forced upon us. Not only do we judge ourselves, but we judge other women who cannot meet these ideals along with envying women who seemingly do.
The most dreaded thing that you can be in a male dominated society is that of a single woman. Connotations of being undesirable and unlovable are unfairly attached to being single. It is not so much the fact of leading a solitary life that is difficult to digest but rather the fear of having to answer to one’s peers that often leads us to fear the idea of an independent existence.
I am 27 and single. Most days, the idea of being single doesn’t bother me, in fact, I enjoy it. Occasionally, I will have a day where this fact makes me a little sad. I wonder when I will find someone. The funny thing is that on regular days when I don’t feel the pressure to be coupled, if you asked me if I wished I was married and had children my resounding answer would be, Hell No!
Since childhood, the idea of marriage has been unappealing. My parents had an unhappy marriage which is one of the factors that lead me towards my hesitancy about the institution. On top of that, I feel that I am unprepared to take on the responsibility of these roles at this time in my life. I still have so much that I want to accomplish and places that I want to explore before I even feel comfortable entertaining the idea of marriage and children.
While I believe that everybody should have the right to marry, I also think that some people are better off not going through with it in the first place. Today, marriage is less commonplace than in previous history. People are marrying at later stages in life or are deciding to live together without the legalities. And while it’s great to have these options, the idea of choosing to be on your own still has a stigma attached to it.