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 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 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. Single women 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 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. Perpetually single women need to feel seen and heard just as much as anyone else, not told that they're lazy and not trying!
Some have bad luck in the love department and we need people to acknowledge that truth rather than pointing the finger with assumptions about someone's “single status”, or telling women that they need to change who they are, or to perform some technique to attract a man.
2. Single women are too picky
This is another ridiculous 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 those in this predicament don’t get their basic needs met, so the idea that they are “too picky” is to assume that they are asking for things that are unrealistic, which is not true.
If a man is not:
- actively pursuing 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
This is not being picky, it's 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. Single women choose the wrong men
Echoing off point #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.
A big part of choosing a partner is self-awareness and being able to gage a man’s behaviour. Spotting red flags and poor behaviour is something perpetually single women have a lot of experience with. Vast majority of these women have dignity for themselves and they are not willing to compromise for someone who won't take them seriously or treat them with respect.
4. Single women 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 poor behaviour because of those who accept and allow it.
Having standards means that you know what you deserve and are not willing to settle for immaturity.
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 are back at square one again. Relationships will always fail when the people in it are not aligned.
When we force ourselves to remain in unhealthy and unproductive situations it enables other ailments such as depression and overall unhappiness.
Setting standards for what you will and won't accept, ensures that you take care of yourself regardless of who enters or leaves your life. Having standards doesn’t mean “perfect," it means being aware of what you will and won’t tolerate.
5. Single women must be defected somehow
Truth be told, perpetually single women are largely self-aware, authentic, honest, intelligent, career driven, loving, and the list goes on.
Don’t get it twisted— perpetually single women have yet to find someone who sees their 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. Single women 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 there's something to hide? It’s bad enough that single women 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. Single women don’t need or want a partner
The belief that those who are perpetually single are single by choice, is not always the case. 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.