Think About It Thursday: All the Single Ladies
Sex & the City brought it into the mainstream years ago with women over 30 battling through the tenacious dating scene and living their lives as “Just Me” (as Carrie once eloquently put it). I mean, you have to give it to the girl – she once registered herself for a missing pair of high end shoes after tallying up the amount of money spent on gifts for a married friend whose home she lost them in (i.e.: bridal shower, wedding, children’s births and birthdays). I totally get it. The scales are unbalanced monetarily in terms of output for single ladies versus married ladies. And that’s not the only thing. Sometimes coupled and married folk feel it’s their job to remind you that you are single and you better get moving on it. Which begs the question whose business is it if you are single? And moreover, at what point do you reach your breaking point when dealing with unfair social questioning by family and friends?
Melanie Notkin explores this topic with firsthand experience in her article Childless So Far: Why I choose Love Over Motherhood. She points out that most women over 30 who are single did not expect to be here (hello! please take this point home mothers, grandmothers and aunts of single girls) and that – shocker – they would love to have a family but don’t. So each time someone sticks their foot far into their mouth to dig out the details on when a single gal is planning on snagging a groom and popping out babies – please understand they are rubbing the salt deeper into the Captain Obvious wound.
This unfair social questioning can be found in couples as well, married or not. D and I have lived together for a long time, happily unmarried. Every now and then I have to field the “are you planning on having children?” question. Of course, to me, the obvious answer is always yes. Just not yet. I particularly am enjoying finally being able to spend my hard earned money on me! And all that hard earned money – it comes from working a lot of hours, something I don’t plan to do when I have kids. So for the time being I’m riding the train, but who are you to ask? I even had a client (whose child I provide therapy for) remind me that “time is ticking” and that “I better get moving”. I thankfully know enough to not be mortified. The comments bewildered me. What gives you the right?
Jennifer Aniston has long held the throne for receiving unfair publicity for being over 30, single and unmarried. She also has had the sheer pleasure of being reminded of that weekly on magazine covers, blogs and gossip shows. But girlfriend kept her head high, did things that made her happy (holla yoga!) and found her happiness and partner in time.
Taking her lead, most single girls I know are busy using their independence cultivating who they are. Working hard and using their free time to do things that make them happy on a daily basis. And I think it’s wonderful and fabulous and probably why so many divorces emerge from young weddings – couples haven’t had this time to embrace themselves and spend time alone figuring out what makes them happy and what is important to them.
So the next time you’re thinking about harping on your sister or best friend who isn’t paired up like you are or haven’t had children yet, get over yourself. Realize they know where they are (think: headlines news for years per Jennifer Aniston – you think she didn’t get it?). And maybe understand they are possibly having a bit of fun spending every penny they earn on themselves doing exactly what they want to, with no one to report to. That’s something to be envious of.
May I also suggest… Can’t Change Someone? 5 Tips to Change How You React in case maybe this resonates a little better.