So you are single.
…in your mid-thirties.
So you’re probably in a good place professionally. Or you’re getting to know yourself more and beginning to discover the fun in being grown and single
Maybe you’ve been in a few relationships. Maybe you thought you found the one, once or twice. Let’s face it, that last relationship probably wore you out. You thought this was it, you put in effort, did the work, then it wasn’t.
Or was it the one before that? That last one was just so that you could feel wanted again, and even that became exhausting.
Maybe you are still waiting…
Maybe you never really clicked on that level that you crave and have decided you won’t settle.
Or maybe, just maybe, marriage just doesn’t appeal to you (whether you’ve been able to admit it to yourself or not).
Love it or hate it, this is your reality. You are alone
Spinster: an unmarried woman who is past the usual age for marrying and is considered unlikely to marry
Source: Merriam-Webster’s Learner’s Dictionary
“Spinster” has such a negative and very specific connotation. You hear the word and picture someone average, dull, bitter… we don’t think of Oprah or Condoleezza Rice or Naomi Campbell. These women have one thing in common, they’re making their own way independent of relationship status. I can’t speak to their reasons for remaining single or to their opinions on relationships and marriage and so on. We can only see what’s on the outside and they seem successful, they seem in control of their lives, not sitting by waiting to be validated, waiting to be handed happiness. You know their names regardless of who they are connected to at the time and this for me is the crux of it all. They own their individuality, unapologetically
At this point, I’m going to resist the temptation to talk about the state of relationships today, and all the expectations we inherit in our peculiar cultures and society as a whole. Quite frankly, I am sick of complaining… talking about the same ol’ things. And if you can relate to everything you’ve read so far, you are too. Relationships in this context, is irrelevant. The focus is not on why you are single, there is already enough being said about that, but that you are, for whatever reason. So what are you going to do about it?
For argument sake, let us assume you are “un-marry-able” and nobody wants you. Will you go and kill yourself?
Let’s assume, that even though nobody wants you, you think you’re pretty cool and genuinely enjoy your life, do you give that all up and mould yourself into something more “appealing” even if it means trading in your new-found independence with no guarantee of being “chose.”
Would you rather live a life exploring your options (as you cannot marry), or carry on waiting and praying? As time goes on and 30 becomes 40, then 50… and you have experienced none of the things you dreamt about as a child, achieved none of the goals you set for yourself and basically spent your entire life waiting for someone to give you permission to live your life. At the risk of sounding like a marriage hater, I think too much of our identity as women lie in the hands of other people, be it society, men or our children. I have nothing against finding a life partner and starting a family and all that good stuff. I actually still dream of my “the one” but seeing as he is taking his sweet time, I will take this time to do all those things that would become harder to do once “I” becomes “We”
I guess what I am trying to say not so elegantly is, just because we are still single at this age doesn’t make us less human… less woman.
We are not less deserving of love or happiness or adventure. As a matter of fact, we will never be more prepared to take on anything we set our minds to. We are in a unique position where we have experience that comes with age and the freedom of our early twenties. Why are you sitting at home being miserable when you are literally unstoppable right now? You can take that trip you’ve always fantasized about. You can learn a new skill or a new language. You can literally just pick up and go and do whatever crosses your mind because it’s just you right now and there will come a time when you’ll miss having all this alone time. This is the time to shift the focus off of relationships and the things we are expected to want and things we don’t have. This is the time to make it about us and the things we have and what we really do want for ourselves. This is the time to dream and be selfish and do the things you’ve always kept for later.
And who knows, “the one” might just be around the corner in that city, or in that French class or on that plane ride. Doesn’t that sound terribly romantic?
If Amber Rose can reclaim “Slut,” I say we can reclaim “Spinster.”
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: What if you got a glimpse into the future and see that you never get married, who would you be? What kind of life would you have? And, would you be satisfied with the life you’ve had so far?