Is being single still an indictment in 2013?

I just read an interesting post on “Confederacy of Spinsters”. (Sorry, still learning how to use this site and haven’t figured out how to link back to other posts). I believe the gist of the post was that a single woman admitting to wanting marriage is scorned and pitied by society. I don’t know why I was surprised by this. I believe most people look at the persistently single woman as some sort of oddity. If she doesn’t fit into the hole society has allocated for her, it doesn’t know what to do with her. I’ve had people ask me some bizarre and oddly personal questions as they struggle to figure out what I’m about. Did I not want to get married? Could I not find a man? Am I a lesbian? Was I abused as a child? Did I have a bad experience in the past? I don’t consider this to be anyone’s business but it’s no secret. I never wanted to be married. I’ve never met anyone who made me consider otherwise. My childhood was happy. My parents provided a solid example of married life (60 years together this year). I’m a heterosexual and proud of it.

I’m concerned, though, that apparently it’s still considered an unfortunate state to be single. I’m an educated professional. I have a good job, a nice house, and nice things. I do have quite a few cats, so perhaps that part of the stereotype is true. However, I also have a huge dog that may or may not be part wolf. I have a fascination with firearms (recent development) and an insatiable love of learning. I don’t feel like I’ve “missed my chance” or that I’m “on the shelf”. I’m an individual worthy of being known despite my lack of a man. I would have thought, by this time, it would be considered a normal variation for a woman to choose to be on her own. Most of my friends are married. They appear to be happy, although I sometimes wonder by the way they talk to and about their spouses (but that’s a post for another time). I enjoy hearing about their adventures or misadventures with hubbies and kids. Sometimes I do envy them the position or respect that they are given because of their marriages. I have asked myself a hundred times if I wouldn’t have been better off if I’d taken that path. Each time, I remind myself that I’d probably be divorced (or in prison). Some people should not be married or have the responsibility of children and they should be applauded for making appropriate life choices. I believe that I should command societal respect and position because I am a functioning society member who contributes to the benefit of the whole.

A few years ago, I had a bout of severe clinical depression. As a healthcare professional, I believe depression to be an imbalance of chemicals in the brain. I believe that depression can be exacerbated by situational events but if brain chemistry is in balance, life events can be handled without sliding into a pit of despair. When I sought professional help from my colleagues in the medical community, the first question I was asked was if I thought I was depressed because I wasn’t married and was childless. To me, this illustrates the view that most people continue to hold. Single is sad. Thankfully, I was able to convince my colleague that being single and childless was not the reason for my despair. I received a prescription and have since rebounded from that illness. I can’t imagine what my “treatment” would have been if I had thought the depression had been caused by my life choices. One husband daily x lifetime with unlimited refills? 

Perhaps society hasn’t progressed as far as I would like to think. Maybe it will take another twenty years before a single woman can be a respected and valued member of society. What are your thoughts? 

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Littlesundog
    Apr 17, 2013 @ 21:55:41

    I know several friends who are single and even more friends who do not have children. I have no children myself, and am very happy with that at this point in my life. I think society has a lot of twisted and suffocating views of how life should be. It is difficult to be different. I think those of us who choose to be different and are comfortable in our skins are the happiest people of all.

    By the way, I have dealt with dysthymia most of my life. I’ve had the same thoughts put at me that it was most likely because I was childless. LOL People are silly sometimes. I’m never quite sure what they base their thoughts on!

    Reply

    • 1daughter
      Apr 18, 2013 @ 08:14:42

      Yours are some wise words. Being happy with who you are and how your life is going is a blessing that not everyone can claim. I should embrace that instead of worrying about what others think. Sometimes it takes another person to remind me of what I have. Thank you for commenting!

      Reply

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