I’m Not Pining for a Long-Lost Love. I’m Single by Circumstance by S. Reed
I wish more articles addressed the “single by circumstance” situation as the one I am linking to in this post does.
Unfortunately, I don’t see too many articles about that topic, and in the meantime, a lot of conservative Christians who rail against delayed marriage, or declining marriage rates, assume that most or many single women are intentionally avoiding marriage.
So, these conservative Christians (and sometimes secular conservative groups or people) scold women for being single, and they engage in fear mongering, where they do things like tell women they will supposedly die sooner or live miserable lives if they don’t have a husband (Bella DePaulo has refuted many of these types of claims, and I have a few posts about her work on my blog).
Many single women – such as myself – wanted to get married and still want to – and I find it either hurtful, frustrating, or absolutely insulting and infuriating to see these articles (usually by conservatives) who assume I’ve remained single by choice, so they then shame or scold single women such as myself, or they feel they must argue me into getting, or convince me to, get married. However, I don’t need to be “sold” on marriage.
I don’t need to be convinced that marriage is nice. I’m already sold on the idea or marriage.
However, the fact remains that wanting something like marriage does not magically make it come to pass.
Then, you have conservative authors (such as (Link): this one), assume I could easily get a boyfriend or husband if only I made myself weak and stupid to attract a man (or dropped a hell of a lot of standards).
You see, it’s supposedly that pesky feminism or that stubborn insistence that I have self-confidence, or be independent, (or that a guy feel like a good match for me), that is keeping me from landing a man (*roll eyes* at all the backwards thinking and sexism in those assumptions).
The simple truth is, you can be a great person – smart, funny, attractive, and have a host of other great qualities – and just not be able to meet a comparable person you would like to partner with. Nor should you dumb yourself down and become clingy and needy in the hopes doing so will attract a partner.
Speaking of all that, like the author of this article does, I too tire of societal assumptions that if you are single, or have not married past a certain age, it must necessarily mean you are horribly flawed in some way. You can be a good person and a good catch but simply never run into anyone decent, or not anyone who is compatible with you.
(Link): I’m Not Pining for a Long-lost Love. I’m Single by Circumstance by S. Reed
- ….Countless movies, books, televisions shows, musicals and operas teach us to believe there’s someone out there for everyone: Just wish on a star, or get a makeover, or take a chance and boom! True love will find you. So if you haven’t found that person — or lost him somehow — people have trouble understanding why.
- ….For some, that glaring absence can be explained only by some horrible flaw I must possess or a love gone wrong in my past. Although I have many faults, I’ve never noticed that folks who are in relationships are perfect. And when I look back at my romantic history, I think: “That’s a lot of bullets dodged.”
- …The theory that there’s a lid for every pot dates back at least as far as Plato…
- …An idea that is so culturally ingrained can be damaging.
- I spoke with Mandy Len Catron, author of an upcoming book of essays about love (and the viral New York Times Modern Love essay on the (Link): 36 questions that lead to love) about why singledom is viewed as wrong. “Most of our conventional love stories imply that love is a reward for goodness and virtue,” she said. “Cinderella is a classic example of this. They implicitly suggest that those who are in a mutual romantic relationship are loved because they are fundamentally deserving of love.”
- Logically, of course, that means “the other unstated implication of this is that those who are not loved” — the so-called chronically single — “are not deserving of love. They are broken.”
- “We still tend to create a narrative to make sense of why someone is single: He’s too picky, she’s too prudish, he’s commitment-phobic,” Catron points out. “These ideas are all pretty short-sighted, but I think they make us feel like love is predictable and follows some internal logic.” Thus, it follows that if we know someone is a perfectly good person, and they’re single, there must be a reason. Cue the tragic backstory.
- Despite my deep belief in the power and purpose of love, I’ve come to believe that there isn’t someone for everyone. Some people find that deep, soulful connection with a romantic partner; others have deep bonds with people who aren’t romantic.
(Link): What Two Religions Tell Us About the Modern Dating Crisis (from TIME) (ie, Why Are Conservative Religious Women Not Marrying Even Though They Want to Be Married. Hint: It’s a Demographics Issue)
(Link): ‘Why Are You Single’ Lists That Do Not Pathologize Singles by B. DePaulo
(Link): Why Do Churches Treat Singleness Like a Problem? via Relevant Magazine
(Link): A Liberation Theology for Single People by Christena
(Link): Eight Ways to Rethink the Conversation About Singleness by K. Kreminski
(Link): Are Single People the Lepers of Today’s Church? by Gina Dalfonzo
(Link): Desire for Marriage is Idolatry?
(Link): Christian ‘Married People’ Privilege – Most Marrieds Remain Amazingly Blinded to Christian Discrimination Against Singles Or Write Unmarrieds’ Concerns Off, As Though They Are Nothing Compared to Marriage/ Parenting.
(Link): “Who is my mother and who are my brothers?” – one of the most excellent Christian rebuttals I have seen against the Christian idolatry of marriage and natalism, and in support of adult singleness and celibacy – from CBE’s site