By Jacque Reid, Editor In Chief
Single women get a bad rap. Especially those of us that are over 35. I am always shocked at how many of my friends, family members, co-workers and even some fellow Single women believe many of the stereotypes about us. Well, it should seem obvious, but clearly I must point out that Single women are not monolithic. We are not all Single for the same reasons and we handle being Single in a variety of ways. But one thing most of us share is a frustration about a number of assumptions society makes about us. Here are some of my favs:
1. We can’t keep a man. My grandmother recently said this to me… asking “why I don’t have a boyfriend?” and “why can’t I keep a man?”. But she’s not the only one that ponders this about the Single women. What is insulting about it is that in their minds folks are suggesting that there is something wrong or a bit off about us…. something that just chases men away. Basically they are just comparing us to someone like Glenn Close’s character in Fatal Attraction. Trust me, we are not sitting home at night in a corner, clicking the light on and off while listening to Madame Butterfly. While no one is perfect, assuming that a woman doesn’t have a man because she is damaged goods is shortsighted. Many Single women simply choose not to have a partner. Others want a relationship, but want a real connection with someone who we are compatible with… and we refuse to settle just so we can say we have a man. Labeling us as ‘damaged goods’ is just insulting.
2. We are lying about being happy and Single. I hear this one all the time, especially on my social media pages, where I post often about being Single and FAB! One woman wrote “C’mon Jacque. Stop with this ‘Single and FAB’ stuff. No one wants to be single. We are all designed to be with someone.” I used to get really frustrated about this one, but now I just laugh about it because I am so grateful for my life. I, like many Single women, am hopeful about meeting a wonderful man and even getting married one day. But I have to live for right now. And right now, I choose to celebrate the opportunities for joy and fulfillment with friends, family and with myself.
3. We are open to relationships with married men. In my book there isn’t much more disgusting than being hit on by a married man. These men who seem to think all Single women are desperate and therefore open to a relationship with them. Now, I’m not naive enough to think that there aren’t some Single women who are open to relationships with married men. But most of us love and respect ourselves too much to settle for being a mistress.
4. Married or coupled women should not be friends with Single women because we are secretly plotting to either steal your man or sabotage your relationship. This myth is based in the belief that all Single women are miserable and of course, misery loves company. Now, there are some women are there that are a bit saddened about being Single, but most Single women neither have the time, interested nor the level of insanity it would take to pretend to be someone’s friend while working to steal their man or destroy their relationship. My advice, instead of isolating yourself from healthy girlfriend relationships, why not make sure you keep your relationship with your man strong, so he won’t stray.
5. We can’t give advice on relationships. I have a girlfriend who is a well credentialed family therapist, who happens to be Single. She tells me her advice is often challenged because she has never been married. Yet she has a long record of helping couples work through their issues. Meanwhile, I have witnessed several of my married girlfriends make some of the worst decisions when it comes to their relationships. They are among the last I would take any advice from. The bottom line is that advice from your Single friend may be exactly what you need. Don’t be so quick to dismiss it.
6. Our affection for our dogs/cats is a sign of desperation for companionship. This one is nothing new, but I read about this one most recently in a men’s magazine in an article about women to avoid. Women who were affectionate towards their pets were at the top of the list. I spoil my dogs rotten, dress them in sweaters when it’s cold and take them to the doctor, even specialist, when they get sick. They are part of my family and I love them, but that doesn’t mean I think they are furry little people. Actually, it is scientifically proven that there is nothing off balance about people who treat their pets very well. Anyone who is threatened by a woman’s affection for her pet probably has serious jealously issues. Run.
7. We are Single because we are too picky. There is nothing wrong with having standards. Unfortunately, we let others and our own desperation make us feel guilty for waiting for what we want. I know myself enough to know who I am compatible with and I love myself enough to wait for the right guy. I have a cousin who to this day is a little put out with me because I decided not to date someone she set me up with. The guy was nice, but he displayed obsessive behavior that made me very uncomfortable. My cousin says she suspects I just don’t wan to be happy, lol. I’m not picky, but I have standards.