Shed the "Shoulds"
A Woman Shares Why She Decided to Stay Single
When I was younger, I was proud of being single. The fact that I'd chosen not to follow the path that's expected of every woman made me brave, out of the ordinary. I dated fantastic men, and even got proposed to. I just didn't choose to take that path. Friends and acquaintances admired my choice and with me celebrated my quirky difference.
But now that I'm in my mid-50s, things have changed. I'm tiring of the frequent questions and pitying tone about my "plight." At a party recently, I ran into a former colleague, and before I could answer her "How are you?" she asked, "Are you married yet?" I always feel like I have to have a quip ready for this question. A quip that's lighthearted but also makes it clear that I think the question is ridiculous. There's nothing wrong with asking if I'm married, but the "yet" implies that this is something I must do.
What was more astounding than being asked the question was the fact that this woman, who was clearly judging my marital choice, was going through her third divorce. It seems that having multiple marriages is more acceptable to people than having never been married at all. How do we single women change people's perceptions that being unmarried is a valid choice, not a plight? Obviously, I am not the only happily unmarried woman-of-a-certain-age out there. There are lots of fabulous women who are neither wives nor mothers—and all they want is to be acknowledged as the dynamic, fulfilled people they are.
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