Maybe it’s the universe planning its own grand scheme of things! You know they say, ‘you attract what you believe in and what you really deserve’! And that, ‘when you desire something desperately, the sun, moon, stars, and galaxy conspire to give you what you want!’ Being single means you’re going to hear these quotes more often than not.
Of late, the moment I open my Facebook account, the only relationship articles that pop up on my timeline are those that indicate how great singledom is. For instance, there was this Guardian piece that explained how women enjoy being single much more than living a life committed to a partner.
The married vs single is an age-old debate. Truth be told, I always knew these facts even without researchers having had to invest time, money and resources in discovering them. Well, when basic maxims of life are backed by science, they enjoy a wee bit more credibility than when women like us who live these truths – blurt them out.
The Dichotomy of Being Single In A Sea Of Married Folks
So coming back to where I started, I feel like I am coming across many more such articles and blogs, and hundreds of being single quotes like – ‘You are better off alone than being cheated and disrespected.’ And all for good reason! So the next time, a smug married questions my singledom or pass a snarky remark about my lifestyle, I have science and a witty one-liner as a comeback.
I honestly feel the charm of marriage has worn off even among the SMs (Smug Marrieds). As any single woman might tell you, there are not many people advising her to tie the knot ASAP or register on a wedding portal immediately lest time flies away.
Perhaps it’s because the reality of life has curdled the milk of romance. With extramarital affairs, Tinder and easy-peasy relationships available with a swipe on your mobile, the whole romance around marriage is lost.
But that does not mean that married (happily or unhappily) people GET us! In their good mood, they may say, ‘Oh you aren’t married? Good, stay that way!’ but when it comes to the crunch, they still carry the same old misconceptions and perceptions about the single life.
So here I have compiled a few questions and statements that I often get asked that prove that howsoever hard they try, marrieds cannot ‘get’ us singles. They try but they don’t.
Is she still single?
This question has become so common and so tedious that I just smile and nod whenever I get asked. I don’t blame them. It’s rare for someone above 30 or 35 to be footloose and fancy-free. But the tone and the meaning behind this query is what is amusing.
The young and mint-fresh marrieds blurt it out with a tone of sympathy. As if they actually want to say ‘Oh no, why does no one want to marry you?’ As if I can’t be happy single.
Those belonging to a similar age-group have a tinge of envy (ha! Any guesses why?). But the genuinely befuddled are the older people who just can’t fathom why anyone in their right minds would not have a partner. STILL single? – is their query with emphasis on ‘still’.
None of them understands that someone could be unmarried by choice or content with their single life. Their lives revolve around the same-old, boring way of life – get into a relationship, marriage, and then, have kids.
Related Reading: She Has No Regrets Being Single
You can stay late at work, can’t you?
This is the workplace demon we have to fight. And this gets asked way too often! Apparently, since we are not married to a man, we have to be married to our jobs, right? Since we don’t have children or fussy husbands waiting for us back home, we need to stay back and do someone else’s work too, right?
Because, commitments are only important to SMs, right? Wrong! It may be difficult to fathom, but my commitment to my reading, fitness, friends, or Netflix series is equally important.
Married people need to understand how valuable our ‘me-time’ is! Unless you’re in a healthy relationship yourself, you can’t give someone else your time and effort. You need to do what’s right for you. Being single gives you space, and you can’t afford to compromise this for more office hours.
I also can’t stay back late at work because I have other responsibilities to take care of, like cooking and cleaning the house. It’s not only married couples that have duties and household chores to complete.
You will never understand the pressures of being married
Err…sorry sweetie, but you don’t understand the pressures of being single either. Life is not just casual hook-ups and slacking off for us.
Sure, you expect me to understand your home stress, pressures of disciplining children, the inevitable fights with your spouse, having to sacrifice your needs and desires for the greater, common good of the family yada yada. I promise I will.
In return please also understand MY stress – paying bills alone, having to fix a leaking tap alone, having to nurse myself to health when ill, needing to take charge of finances, health, travel, and career, to name just a few.
Nothing in life comes easy, and single people understand this pain better than anyone else. We don’t have a partner to share our sorrows and hardships with. But we’re not complaining! We love the independence.
What do you know about family life?
Of course, I don’t understand anything about family. I dropped out of heaven, sans any family, you see! So pardon me if I don’t understand anything about school stress, in-law visits, traveling with 10 people, so on and so forth.
Not to undermine the importance of parenting and having a good relationship with your in-laws, they have all my respect. But it wouldn’t hurt to acknowledge the other point of view, right?
My family is my friends. And parents and siblings. And anyone in the whole wide world who I am free enough to connect and have a chemistry with. The definition of ‘family’ has changed, it’s not just your husband and kids!
Related Reading: 5 Reasons Why The Indian Family Is Killing The Indian Marriage
Why are you so choosy?
Hmm… because I have the luxury of having a choice! I refuse to compromise. I feel there is something (and someone) better and I believe in organic connections and not forced relationships. Simple. I would rather be happily single than be with someone that makes me miserable.
I don’t believe in sacrificing, especially if it is at the cost of my happiness. I’m blessed enough to be able to make my own decisions, and I’m going to make full use of this luxury.
Why do you travel/watch movies/go shopping alone?
Because I like to and it’s wonderful. Being single is the best and most freeing experience. Try it once.
Traveling solo will transform you into a whole new person. If you enjoy going to the movies and shopping alone, you know there’s no better experience than being by yourself. Don’t give up on your ‘me-time’ for the sake of other’s happiness and societal pressure. It’s not worth it.
The married vs single debate will always continue but please don’t say, “How can you be still single?” We are not asking you, “How can you still be married?” If there is a happily married, there is a happily single too. Just understand that.
One of the best being single quotes that sum up my side of the debate is by best-selling author Mandy Hale, “Single is no longer a lack of options – but a choice. A choice to refuse to let your life be defined by your relationship status but to live every day happily and let your ever-after work itself out.”