>"single" as a state of mind

>When you think of a single lady, what do you think about? Independence? Strength? Slut? Loneliness? Unmarried? White? Black? Fat? Skinny? Professional? When we think of being single, we think of being unmarried and maybe even associate it with our childhood. It might be something that we associate a sadness with because we remember being young and alone, looking for love. We might also assume that single women must be pretty independent to make it out there on their own. Maybe we imagine this facade of single life as being unmarried, alone and independently strong because we hope that women can make it out their on their own. We don’t want to think that they might waver. We rely on this fantasy to get us through day-to-day, knowing that our girl friends, sisters, mothers, random acquaintances have tough skin and can do it without the comfort of a child or a spouse. It seems our sense of “single” is maybe what we experienced when we were single. Maybe sadness, depression, negative feelings of hopelessness, and so we hope and rely on others who are single to redefine the terrain.

Whatever you view “single” to be, the fact is, “single” is a state of mind. We are all independent humans, with feelings of sadness, happiness and loneliness- regardless of our marital status. It is no surprise we still feel lonely when our spouse is sitting next to us.

Some people associate intense discomfort with being single, because that was their experience being apart from a spouse or living alone. Sometimes people just generally make assumptions, that since you are unmarried, you must have a desire to establish a career and not have children. Sometimes the assumption is that you feel superior to the domestication of female and the household, and therefore you have decided to not participate in family and intimate relationships in the marriage realm. You might realize that your marriage didn’t fix your feelings of insecurity and loneliness, and you hope and wish that single people in your life are strong and independent, usually. Maybe you are in severe denial, but everyone has judgments about single women, women with careers, and unmarried women.

People think that because I work full time and have a job that meets my career goals, then that must mean I am successful. It also must mean that I have been smart and strategic my entire life, waiting to get married or have children at the right time. Honestly, I woke up this morning and I did not feel successful. I did not want to go to work. It is not glamourous having a career. Its hard work, and it strains your body, mind and self esteem. I did not necessarily choose this path, it was the only path I could take! I didn’t start dating until I was 19 years old. By the time I started dating, my friends started their serious relationships. Instead of “settling” for any old person, to try to catch up with my friends (so that we could get pregnant and married together), the only other option that was taught to me was to go to school, so I did. Then I somehow got a job that met my Masters degree focus. I dont know how, it just happened by accident almost. What I am trying to say, is that maybe you should think twice about judging single, unmarried, career women. Maybe they didn’t consciously choose to not have children, maybe they decided instead of settling, or being a victim to circumstances, they were going to take care of themselves and work. They would have their own health benefits and live a fulfilling life without the pressure of getting married and having children in their 20’s. Maybe, this was their only option until they met the love of their life.

“Single” is a state of mind because we are all responsible for ourselves. While you may emotionally share your life with someone, at the same time you remain alone in your mind. You are an individual. Your accomplishments, property, perspective and external interactions are indicative to your life choices.

Being single is about being your own self, not attached the identity of your man. It is about learning your options and exploiting them, It is about supporting women in your life that have different options than yourself. It is about viewing an unmarried, career or “single” woman as also having moments of weakness and immense strength without making assumptions about who she is relative to you. She is not better or worse than you. She is not stronger or weaker than you.

“Single” is not sad, alone, childless or an inflated sense of strength. “Single” is a sense of being, not a sense of doing. It is in all of us. It is who we are in our marriages, relationships, and in our daily lives. Its what gets us through a really hard work out at the gym. Its what gives us the inspiration to do art. It is in us, and in our blood.

Don’t be scared of it.

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