Why Being Single Sucks: What No One Wants to Talk About, by B. Smith
This article discusses how sometimes the single life can be lonely. The author is writing from a secular perspective.
I’ve said on this blog in years past that if Christians did their job properly, Christian singles would have their companionship needs met by the church, but Christians are too focused on meeting the needs of Married Couples and droning on about the importance of The Nuclear Family to give any thought to adults who remain single past the age of 25 or 30.
If Christians were doing their jobs properly, they’d be helping those singles who want marriage to get married – by hosting social events geared towards single adults, by asking their single friends if they could fix them up on dates.
Christians could also provide platonic companionship by inviting single adults over for dinner or out to the movies, but married couples usually don’t want single adults in the mix, sometimes because they don’t like “odd numbers” around the dinner table and the paranoia of Christians who believe in the moronic “Billy Graham Rule.”
Christian singles are left to their own devices as to how to seek out companionship. Most churches simply do not care to meet the needs of singles, but will tell them the church is not for them, that the church does not exist to help single adults get their needs met.
Originally spotted this on Melanie Notkin’s Twitter:
(Link): Why Being Single Sucks: What No One Wants to Talk About
We often celebrate the power and pleasures of the single life, but skim over one of its harshest realities: loneliness
….In 1981, 26 percent of Canadians aged 25 to 29 were unmarried. In 2016 (the last yearcensus numbers were gathered), that number skyrocketed to 57 percent. During that time, the percentage of unmarried women in their early 30s jumped from 10 to 34 percent.
As a result, recent years have seen a rise in single-lady-friendly lit, with uplifting titles affirming the pleasures of life uncoupled, including the 2011 book Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone by Eric Klinenberg and Spinster: Making a Life of One’s Own(Crown, $20) by Kate Bolick, author of the 2011 viral Atlantic article “All the Single Ladies.”
I read Spinster and, while Bolick is a spectacular mind and first-rate writer, it gave me zero solace. I’d hoped to find war stories from a fellow PSB struggling with the garbage part of long-term singlehood: loneliness.
The book is, rather, Bolick’s celebration of five historical spinsters who crafted exciting lives despite their lack of husbands, as well as an exploration of Bolick’s ambivalence toward the outdated idea of mandatory marriage. I called Bolick when I finished the book. “How do you reconcile having a rich life and being lonely?” I asked.
She replied: “It’s about not organizing your life around another person—when you shut all the doors and prioritize the relationship above everything else. I like to have a balance, where my friendships are as important as my romantic relationship, which is as important as my work.”
But what if there is no romantic relationship? Does my yearning for a mate make me lame? Bolick urges women to “make a life of one’s own.”
Done. But I also want to make a life with someone else (and maybe a kid or three).
In It’s Not You: 27 (Wrong) Reasons You’re Single, a 2014 tome I found more comforting, author Sara Eckel points out that people are happy to write memoirs about eating disorders, crack addictions, cheating people out of their life savings, being Jenny McCarthy. But almost no tell-alls explore loneliness in depth.
Even the word “lonely” feels ugly. I’ve dropped it in heart-to-hearts with everyone from my BFFs to my mother and watched their faces twist in embarrassment.
This is because loneliness reads as weakness. Melanie Notkin, author of the 2014 book Otherhood: Modern Women Finding a New Kind of Happiness, believes our longing for companionship is often maligned because it doesn’t jibe with people’s ideas of boss bitchdom. “It doesn’t feel feminist, the wait for love: ‘If you really want to be a mother, go out and have a baby on your own.’ But that’s what feminism gives us, the ability to make choices that we didn’t have a generation ago, to have the love and the child with that love,” Notkin says. “The truth is that we are modern, independent women who yearn for traditional dating and romance. It’s not a non-feminist thing to say. It’s actually quite feminist to admit what you want.”
Yet the persistent perception is that loneliness is something empowered women shouldn’t deign to suffer—something that can be fixed with yoga or a new dating app.
Alternatively, it can appear like it’s our fault: we’re too picky, too selfish.
…It’s easy for PSBs [Perennially Single Bitch] to feel like freaks when the coupled world constantly reminds us of our single status. Bella DePaulo, author of 2006’s Singled Out: How Singles Are Stereotyped, Stigmatized, and Ignored, and Still Live Happily Ever After, calls this ghettoization “singlism.”
Even the shoeshine guy at the airport recently opened with, “You married?” (When he heard my answer, he stuck out his tongue and made a face.)
The older I get, the more party guest lists become standardized into 40 billion couples, a handful of fun gays and a pack of dolled-up PSBs.
….Dating really is a nefarious little game, isn’t it? If you want to stop dating, you have to keep dating to find the partner who will take you out of the running.
All the exhausting gym-going and smiling and battling Feral Cat Syndrome and Tindering won’t guarantee a boyfriend—whether I meet my dream piece or not comes down to chance. It’s maddening. That’s what PSBs must make peace with every day: uncertainty. Want a kid? A house? In most cases, it’s only realistic if you couple up. Until then, I’m in limbo.
If you’d like to read the entire article, please (Link): click here to do so.
I totally agree with that last paragraph I quoted – contrary to what dating advice givers will tell you there is absolutely NO SURE FIRE way of landing a spouse (unless you count Mail Order Spouses, which ew, I do not!).
I’ve done posts on this blog before pointing out that even if you are trim, sexy, have a mansion and a ton of money, it’s not a guarantee of landing a date or a spouse.
According to most sources I’ve seen, even Christian ones, if you want a spouse but do not have one, it’s because you’re supposedly (Link): some kind of dysfunctional loser, or you’re not thin or sexy or wealthy enough.
But of course, as I’ve noted on this blog before, (Link): even skinny, sexy, famous rich people end up lonely at times and have a hard time getting dates or spouses.
Then, of course, within conservative Christianity, there are more single women than there are men, so it’s a numbers situation that works against Christian single women who are obsessed with following the “equally yoked” (only marry another Christian) rule.
Here is a post or two I did on those topics:
(Link): Part 2 – Following the Usual Advice Won’t Get You Dates or Married – Even CHRISTIAN Celebrities Have A Hard Time
(Read part 1)
(Link): Typical Incorrect Conservative Christian Assumption: If you want marriage bad enough, Mr. Right will magically appear
(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): The best age to marry is when you meet the right person – editorial responding to study that says if you marry past 30 your marriage is doomed
(Link): How the Dating Scene Became Stacked Against Women – via CT, by Gina Dalfonzo
(Link): A Critique of – 10 Men Christian Women Should Never Marry by J. Lee Grady / And on Christians Marrying Non Christians -and- Unrealistic, Too Rigid Spouse Selection Lists by Christians
(Link): Man / Husband Shortage in Hong Kong – just like in American Christian circles
Some Other Related Posts (on this blog):
(Link): The Netherworld of Singleness for Some Singles – You Want Marriage But Don’t Want to Be Disrespected or Ignored for Being Single While You’re Single
(Link): Christians Advise Singles To Follow Certain Dating Advice But Then Shame, Criticize, or Punish Singles When That Advice Does Not Work
(Link): Want To But Can’t – The One Christian Demographic Being Continually Ignored by Christians Re: Marriage
(Link): The Biggest Threat To Middle-Aged Men: Loneliness
(Link): The Loneliness of American Society
(Link): Why is it So Hard For Women to Make New Friends? by G. Kovanis
(Link): How Sorry Do We Feel for the Lonesome Single Bachelors of New York? by T. Moore (never married men in their 40s talk about being tired of being single)
(Link): The Reason Why Men Marry Some Women And Not Others by D. Brennan
(Link): You Will Be Ignored After Your Spouse Dies
(Link): ‘Why Are You Single’ Lists That Do Not Pathologize Singles
(Link): Article by J. Watts: The Scandal of Singleness – singles never married christian
(Link): Decent Secular Relationship Advice: How to Pick Your Life Partner
(Link): Seven Truths About Marriage You Won’t Hear in Church by F. Powell
(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): The Cruel, Capricious God of Naive Christians, Concerning Singleness and Marriage – If Only You Had Waited Five More Minutes!
(Link): How Christians Have Failed on Teaching Maturity and Morality Vis A Vis Marriage / Parenthood – Used as Markers of Maturity Or Assumed to be Sanctifiers
(Link): Husband-Hunting is the Worst Part of a Christian Upbringing – Christianity Made Me Obsessed with Finding a Husband – by B. Ramos
(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
(Link): Salvation By Marriage Alone – The Over Emphasis Upon Marriage by Conservative Christians Evangelicals Southern Baptists
(Link): 34 Year Old Single Woman Harassed by Relatives at Wedding Over Why She Is Not Married Yet Asks How To Get Them to STFU About Her Singleness
(Link): Please Stop Shaming Me for Being Single by J. Vadnal
(Link): Ever Notice That Christians Don’t Care About or Value Singleness, Unless Jesus Christ’s Singleness and Celibacy is Doubted or Called Into Question by Scholars?
(Link): Stigmas and Stereotypes of Single Unmarried Men Over 25 or 30 Years of Age – They’re Supposedly All Homosexual or Pedophiles
(Link): Christian Blogger About Divorce, Pastor Andrew Webb, Thinks All To Most Mid-Life Never – Married or Single – Again Adults Are Mal-Adjusted, Ugly Losers Who Have Too Much Baggage
(Link): Preacher Says in Sermon that Single Men Who Play Video Games Are Losers Who Have Retarded Spirits and This Creates Dating Problems for Women