7 Misconceptions About The 'Perpetually Single Woman'
* Note: I recognize that the below can be applicable to men as well, but since I have experienced life as a woman, it only makes sense to speak from my perspective.
Perpetually single women over thirty are constantly made to feel less than with smug remarks and looks of shame. As women we don't need a partner to validate our existence and some are perfectly content with the single life; however for those of us who value traditional partnership, it has become increasingly difficult to find a partner. Not all women are single by choice, in fact many remain single for a while out of circumstance or bad luck.
I’d also like to clarify that those who are on this path tend to be heavily invested in their well-being and personal development. I’m talking about self-aware and intelligent women who not only deserve a loving relationship but who find themselves giving only to receive very little in return.
I feel the need to speak up about this topic because so many with whom I have spoken to, including myself, have had to bear the burden of judgement, which no one should ever have to carry!
This post is not meant to be a call for pity, it’s meant to shed light on a reality that many face on the daily. It’s meant to give everyone permission to speak up about their experiences and have them be taken seriously without shame.
Here are seven common misconceptions about single women that I feel need to be cleared:
1. We don’t try hard enough
Many who remain single are in this predicament because they are rarely asked out or chased and when THEY pursue men it ends in rejection or a short lived encounter. Dating apps are no different. Minimal effort is put into pursuing on the man’s part. Most men on there are distracted with several options and conversation fizzles quickly. Most of us are treated like options and not taken seriously.
Surely, people can understand how tiring the dating process is and to be out on the scene for years with no positive outcome is not easy. We need to feel seen and heard just as much as anyone else, not told that we’re lazy and not trying!
Some of us have bad luck in the love department and we need people to acknowledge our truth rather than pointing the finger at us with assumptions about our “single status”, or telling us that we need to change who we are, or that we need to perform some technique to attract a man into our lives. If a man can’t accept us as we are, what’s the point?
2. We’re too picky
This is another bullshit assumption. For any relationship to work there needs to be mutual attraction both physically and mentally. Not to mention that there have to be shared core beliefs.
It’s IMPOSSIBLE to know how someone will turn out because looks are deceiving. Some men seem nice and turn out to be the opposite. Many of us in this predicament don’t get our basic needs met, so the idea that we are “too picky” is to assume that we are asking for things that are unrealistic, which is not true.
If a man is not:
- actively pursuing me in the beginning
- putting in reciprocal effort
- capable of carrying a meaningful conversation
- able to communicate
- wanting anything other than physical attention
- emotionally intelligent or striving to be
- treating me with respect
This is not picky….these are the basics!
Bottom line is that if no effort is being made on their part, there is no sustenance, which results in remaining SINGLE.
3. We choose the wrong men
Echoing off points in #2 …..it’s a two way street. If a woman is not being approached it already limits the number of prospects she has to choose from. The rest is now on her shoulders to do the pursuing, which from my experience doesn’t end well.
I can speak for myself when I say that I don’t chase after the stereotypical “bad boys” that are known to be disastrous. A big part of choosing a partner is self-awareness and being able to gage a man’s behaviour. Women like me are able to spot red flags early on and we end things with those who are wasting our time or using us. In other words, we have dignity for ourselves. And on the flip side, we also get rejected a lot, very early on and it’s not because there is anything wrong with us. I refuse to carry the blame for those who can’t see my worth.
4. We have “high standards”
I would argue that people who have no standards are actually the problem. Having no standards means that you allow people to get away with anything they want, you bend and conform to maintain a relationship out of fear of being alone. Co-dependent relationships are the epitome of “no standards.” For example, if you settle for a friends-with-benefits situation when you really want a long-term commitment, you are actually enabling the problem. People get away with fuckery because of those who accept and allow it.
I have STANDARDS because I know what I deserve and I refuse to settle for crumbs. When we settle for crumbs we end up feeling alone whilst in a relationship!
A relationship requires two whole people. Meaning people who are comfortable and able to function on their own. They are fulfilled internally both mentally and emotionally. They are self-aware enough to understand their flaws and weaknesses and work to proactively address them when they arise. A relationship requires work to maintain and when both or one party are not whole and not willing to put in the work, it inevitably crumbles and you’re back at square one again. Relationships will always fail when the people in it are not aligned. And when we force ourselves to remain in unhealthy and unproductive situations it enables other ailments such as depression and overall unhappiness.
While many pity my singleness, I have grown to view it as protection. Having self-awareness of who I am and setting standards for what I will and will not accept, ensures that I take care of myself regardless of who enters or leaves my life. Having standards doesn’t mean “perfect," it means being aware of what you will and won’t tolerate.
5. We must be defected somehow
I can assure you that the women I have spoken to including myself are not defected! Truth be told, we are self-aware, authentic, honest, intelligent, career driven, loving, and the list goes on.
Don’t get it twisted— we have yet to find someone who sees our value! I’ll be damned if any woman puts herself down because of the way she has been spoken to or treated by someone who failed to recognize her worth.
6. We must be “in the closet”
This one is really disheartening. Believe it or not, many women who have been single for a while are often accused of “being in the closet” — as if we have something to hide? It’s bad enough that we are shamed for being “single” but to feel entitled to comment on a person’s sexuality without any knowledge or understanding of what someone has gone through is beyond insulting.
7. We don’t need or want a partner
The belief that those who are perpetually single are single by choice, is not always the case. Truth be told, I probably would have been married by now had I not been rejected by the men I believed I had a future with.
When life hands you no option but to be independent, well you have to roll with the punches. Just because a woman can take care of herself, doesn’t mean that she doesn’t need anyone else. Every human needs love and attention. If a man’s ego can’t handle a strong woman, it’s a poor reflection on our society for raising boys to fear a woman’s strength.
Perpetual rejection is real and it’s not always an easy feeling to deal with, which is why we need to stop passing judgement. It takes strength to have self-awareness and dignity. It takes strength to choose a path of solitude over an unhealthy or unrequited partnership.