Singles Shaming Mother: Her Sons are in their 30s, Great Guys, But She’s Freaking Because They’re Not Married (letter to Hax columnist)

Singles Shaming Mother: Her Sons are in their 30s, Great Guys, But She’s Freaking Because They’re Not Married (letter to Hax columnist)

Letter to advice columnist Hax from some woman, April 2016.

This letter made me cringe for the singles-shaming attitudes in it.

Hi, Carolyn:

I feel sad and worry about my sons, who are around 30. Both have college degrees, promising careers and a decent network of friends, and both have had past relationships.

But each lives alone and neither is in a committed relationship.

I know it’s better than being in an unhealthy relationship, but I worry that the older they get, the more difficult it will be to find a lasting relationship.

They may miss not having a family, etc., and will become sad, too!

Each says they are doing okay (but not an enthusiastic “I’m doing great”), but can you give me a new perspective?

signed, Sad Mom

Hax’s reply:

Dear Sad Mom:

I can try, but I’m up against your finish-line mentality — the notion of set positions in life that define success. You implied your race results:

First place: healthy relationship.

Second place: no relationship.

Third place: unhealthy relationship.

For a new perspective to stick, you need to be open to believing that people can want and choose to be (alternative to happy commitment here), and be better for it.

Or be better for it even when preferring to be paired. Maybe living alone makes your boys stronger and more self-aware. Maybe their options later will be better suited. Maybe they’d achieve X at work if coupled, but are achieving X+Y because they have the flexibility to. There’s no end of maybes.

Unimpressed? How about this: Would you want your Ma to see your life as fundamentally lacking — or as inherently whole, no matter what it contains?

Isn’t the fullness of a person’s life in the eye of the person filling it?

If preempting sadness is your concern, please consider that an enthusiastic “You’re doing great” from a proud parent can go a really long way.

Related Posts:

(Link):   Mom Is Ashamed of 30-Something Daughters Who’ve Never Been Married or Dated

(Link): University Officials Warning Students About Woman Who’s Been Roaming Campus Grounds in Search of a Date For Her Son by N. Niemietz

(Link): My Parents Excluded Me When I Was Single — Now They’re Doing It to My Sister (Ask Amy Column)

(Link): Thirty Year Old Woman Kills Herself Due to Being Single and Childless – Churches contribute to this by either Ignoring adult singles or shaming them for being single and childless

(Link): I’m 45, Single And Childless. No, There’s Nothing ‘Wrong’ With Me. by M Notkin

(Link): Guy So Depressed Over Being Single He Cut Off His Own Penis (article)

(Link): Otherhood – An overlooked demographic – the Childless and Childfree Women and Singles Especially Women Who Had Hoped to Marry and Have Kids But Never Met Mr. Right (links)

(Link):  Really, It’s Okay To Be Single – In order to protect marriage, we should be careful not to denigrate singleness – by Peter Chin

(Link):  Are Single People the Lepers of Today’s Church? by Gina Dalfonzo

(Link): Typical Incorrect Conservative Christian Assumption: If you want marriage bad enough, Mr. Right will magically appear

(Link): Single Adults – Why They Stay and Why They Stray From Church – Book Excerpts

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