Even though I’m only 22, I’m constantly baffled by strangers who politely ask if I have a husband or children or if I have a serious boyfriend.
I’m not questioning the importance of having relationships; I’m just trying to figure out why people put so much focus on a woman’s relationship status.
Articles for women and men are full of advice and opinions on what will help them win and keep a partner (often assumed to be of the opposite gender).
There are countless discussions about women seeking, winning, and keeping a partner, but what about women who seek happiness outside of a romantic relationship first?
The fundamental assumption still made today is that a man is single by choice and a woman is single because no one wants her.
This fallacy continues to uphold myths about women and what they are expected to want out of life.
For women single by choice, I ask you to remember the following:
1. Your standards aren’t too high
Always be wary when the only people who tell you that you are too demanding are trying to pull down your pants or want grandchildren.
You should always be on the lookout for ulterior motives.
When you know what you want out of life, you and a romantic partner, it’s not necessary to date just to pass the time; you have better things to do.
This is not something to be sorry for.
A stranger should not be allowed to think that it is his right to question a woman about her marital status and then judge her based on her answers.
2. You are not healed or damaged
There’s a difference between knowing something is scary and not doing something because you’re afraid.
Others may view your refraining from serious romantic relationships as fear-based behavior.
However, I think most women who are willing to suffer the backlash of being single and would rather be alone or wait for someone worth their time are far from cowards.
Once again, we are discussing a woman’s personal life.
Other people’s lives are none of your business, no matter what the tabloids say.
Respect for human privacy is declining, while humiliation and judgment are on the rise.
We need to do something about it.
3. You don’t need a romantic relationship to be happy
This is what sparked the feminist movement in the 60s and 70s.
Too often, a career-focused woman is seen as frigid or must one day choose between her career and her family.
People find satisfaction in learning, hobbies, work, travel, and a myriad of other activities that are restricted when you have a family.
It’s one thing to be a happy person who knows that your happiness would increase with a family; another is to have only one family to live with.
Codependency is not healthy by any means.
Women should be encouraged to explore what they love in life as an individual and as human beings first and foremost.
4. Not wanting marriage or children is not a fault
A single man is a man who lives the life of dreams; a woman who remains single throughout her life is sad.
This is not true.
While women may have careers, friends, and active dating life, there is still an expectation that they will eventually want to settle down.
There are women who know from childhood that they will never have children – not because they can’t, but because they don’t want to.
No matter how much time you spend defending your choices, people will always assume there is something wrong with you.
It seems that a healthy, happy, single woman is inconceivable in this world.
5. The filling must come from within
As a single woman, you learn to be comfortable with yourself over time.
It can be selfish to worry about inner happiness before starting a relationship with another, but that’s okay.
Being a woman is the ultimate symbol of caring and taking care of others, so don’t forget to take care of yourself.
This is often an underrated part of a woman’s life.
Don’t let anything stop you from exploring the endless opportunities in this world before you decide to focus on a family.
6. You can change your mind at any time
If you’ve never been in a relationship and never ended up in one, that’s fine.
If you’ve never been in a relationship, never intended to, and end up marrying four kids, that’s fine too.
Life is about what makes you happy, not what would make your parents, friends, and the general public happy.
Being content and content is by no means defined; each person must find their own happiness, which does not always align with the expectations of the world.
In this frenzy of matching the woman with the man, we forget the multitude of relationships that can exist in the world.
So for those women who wish to explore the intricacies of their individuality while celebrating friends, soulmates, adventurers, comrades, mentors, and sisters in their lives, never apologize for the life you’ve created for yourself.