Living Single

The truth about singles in our society.

The Last ‘Why You Are Single’ List You Will Ever Need

Block that click! No more singles-bashing lists.

I’m not biting. I’m not reading, I’m not clicking. Bloggers and single-shamers can post as many derogatory ‘why you aren’t married yet’ posts as they’d like, but I’m not mentioning them and I’m not linking to them.

That was the post I started to write.

Then Nicole sent me a link to a post by Samhita Mukhopadhyay over at Jezebel. (Thanks, Nicole!) The title is “Ten very good reasons you aren’t married yet.” Nicole is someone whose opinions I trust. She said she liked everything about the post except the word “yet” in the title, so I went ahead and read it.

Mukhopadhyay begins by taking on Tracy McMillan, who is continuing her bashing of single women with a book and still another blog post telling them what they did wrong and thereby landed in perpetual singledom. There is so much wrong with that attitude, and readers of my books and blogs already know all about that.

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As Mukhopadhyay notes, few of McMillan’s writings (or other similar ones)

“offer solace; instead, the reader gets shaming advice and tough love about how she is a crazed angry, clingy (or too independent, get your story straight), desperate b*tch who has to try harder.” [Note: The word was spelled out at Jezebel. Not sure we can do that here at PT.]

I find the mere question, “So why have you never been married?,” offensive and inappropriate, regardless of whether it is aimed at single women or single men or both, and I have mocked it in previous posts. In this one, I began by noting:

Questions like that push my perversity button, and I can't help generating Q & A sequences. For example:

Clueless Question: "So why have you never been married?"
My Perverse Answer: So why have you never been an accountant?

Clueless Question: "Why aren't you married?"
My Perverse Answer: Why aren't you a Christmas tree?

Clueless Question: "When are you going to get married?"
My Perverse Answer: When did you last have sex?

Clueless Question: "Will you ever marry?"
My Perverse Answer: Maybe if I get hit on the head with a rock and turn into a different person.

If you want my serious answer to the question of why I, personally, am single, it is simple: I am single at heart. Single is who I really am. Single life is the most authentic and meaningful life for me. (If you are interested, you can take the quiz, “Are you single at heart?”.)

In Mukhopadhyay’s list of reasons, the one that comes closest to the single-at-heart answer is this:

You legitimately just don't want to get married.

“No, you are not lying to yourself; you actually just don't want to get married. You've been to lots of weddings, you appreciated some of the sentiments, you were happy for everyone, but you didn't walk out wishing it were you that got married.”

Mukhopadhyay recognizes that not everyone is single-at-heart. Importantly, she also realizes that even if you want to be married eventually – maybe even if you wish you were already married – the fact that you are single does not mean that you and all of the other single women are “crazy, angry, slutty liars.”

Here are a few more of the reasons from her list. To read the complete list, click here.

You are focused on your career.

“And you are not going to apologize for it. Some people call this being a ‘b*tch,’ because you are a lady and you have a job that you might be more focused on than smiling pretty and making sure you don't intimidate Mr. Right. Most of us just call this being alive in 2012 (you know the time the economy tanked and we had to work to eat).”

You can't afford it.

“…men don't feel ready to propose until they have the cash to support a family. There is no special Spanx you can buy that will bolster a man's self-esteem to convince him that you don't care he is broke.”

You've got a life and friends that you are happy with.

“If a dude shows up that's cool, but you are not sweating it because every day is an awesome new adventure full of phone calls from loved ones, cupcakes, yoga classes and dance parties. You enjoy each minute, focus on the positive and when you are down (a symptom of life, not just single life) you have 500 friends to call, because you have spent time on all types of relationships, not just the kind that will lead to marriage. Friendship-the realest investment a lady can make.”

[Note: If you are interested, check out my series in which I dissect the latest claims on sharing a bed. The first post is here. And, you can always find more singles bloggers at Single with Attitude.]

Bella DePaulo, Ph.D., is author of Singled Out: How Singles Are Stereotyped, Stigmatized, and Ignored, and Still Live Happily Ever After. She is a visiting professor at UCSB.

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