I was thinking long about the right topic for this article and suddenly I was hit on a really great idea! I’m aware of the fact that some of its content won’t be valid for all of you, but I believe that there is still a large group of girls like me – ‘weirdo’ girls – who are observed with pity by their aunts, grandmas, uncles or even the uncle’s neighbor, who you have never met before, but who knows your life’s wandering better than you do, and all these thanks to numerous colorful stories shared by your relatives, who are tremendously concerned with your misery. Such pointing at the ‘black sheep’ of the family is fostered by all types of events such as weddings, funerals, christenings or aunt Grażyna’s name days, and the more elevated mood, the more bitter words come out of your relatives’ mouths, the ones who are truly worried about your incredibly poor fate.
Now you probably start thinking: ‘Dear Lord, what has she done?’ I can certainly assure you that I’m neither a dealer nor a smuggler; I’m also not a junkie with a marijuana bush behind the curtain; I haven’t been in prison for illegal reason; I haven’t been given a ticket; I haven’t been rude to my brother; I haven’t taken grandma’s seat in church; I haven’t drunk too much; I haven’t taken money from a street performer’s hat, as I know that this wouldn’t be a good deed, no need to remind me about that … Am I in that case so perfect? I regret to say that, but I’m far from being perfect … do you know what my cordial sin is? SPINSTERHOOD! I want to emphasize that there’s no misprint, each letter is on the right place. Yes, I’m 31 and I’m a spinster. To make this embarrassing confession sound a little bit better, I’ll repeat it once again: yes, I’m a single out of choice. I feel a little bit like during an AA meeting, thanks to which I have more respect for people who confess their weaknesses in a group of people, but at the same time, I have a growing guilty feeling accompanied by a belief that I’ve failed a big time.
Of course, I’ve exaggerated this problem in my introduction, to make it sound a little bit more dramatic. Is being a spinster alias a single out of choice the worst thing that could have happened to you? Well, for sure no! Maybe, it’s not a kind of future you dreamed of when you were a little girl playing house, and later when you were a teenager setting a little bit more realistic goals for your future. Not everyone is meant to have a family, a wonderful husband and a bunch of children! It could have been worse – being in a relationship with any man, who turned up and quite unexpectedly was willing to be with you. It doesn’t matter whether you love him. It doesn’t matter whether you have common goals. It doesn’t matter that he doesn’t respect you despite the fact that he was initially a great promise. It doesn’t matter that you barely exist in a relationship out of habit, because you took a loan and you have some kids, who you wouldn’t be able to raise on your own. It doesn’t matter that he beats you, and then ensures you of his eternal love when you heal your wounds … All these things don’t matter! The most important thing is that you’ve met the demands of family and society, which otherwise would come to a conclusion that there’s something wrong with you … mental illness or some other venereal disease …
Of course, I still hope that one day I’ll meet someone right for me. The man with whom I will set up my family and raise my children, but I also know that I will never force myself to anything, as you cannot force anyone into love, at least not for long … and then real dramas start, it gets even worse when your unaware kids are involved in the adult problems.
What should you then never say to a single girl? The list is pretty long, as for years I’ve listened to many things! I decided to present just a few examples:
- ‘When will you finally get married?’
- ‘At your age I was long time married and I had kids!’
- ‘Do you have someone?’
- ‘You’re not the youngest, the clock is ticking, your batteries will run out soon, and you know what will happen then …’
- ‘How old are you? You won’t be able to have kids soon!’
- ‘A handsome knight in a silver armor won’t knock at your door, take what you are given – your aunt, grandmother and probably great grandmother did so too … they somehow lived and gave birth to kids!’
- ‘If this goes on, one day there won’t be anyone to give you a cup of tea when you grow old!’
I always compare this type of situations to asking someone at the table why she doesn’t have kids, not knowing that this particular woman has already miscarried a few times or the next IVF treatment didn’t go well. Some people are single out of choice, but there are also some who would love to have a husband and kids, but they haven’t met the right person yet. Don’t tell anyone that she is red-haired, because this person knows it since the day of her birth. Don’t tell a spinster that she is a spinster, as against all appearances she knows that well!
See you around!
Photos by: Mehrdad Haghighi, Ben White, Hédi Benyounes, Christopher Campbell, Mike Lloyd , Allen Taylor, Emily Morter on Unsplash
Comments: 23 replies added
I loved this and so true at the same time. I hate the "clock is ticking" phrase drives me nuts. People should just let others be and let them do them.
Of course, everyone should focus on one's own problems instead of pointing at others. :)
I feel like I get a lot of these questions as a married woman with no kids. People are forever asking when we'll have kids and say things like, "Well, you're not getting any younger!" It's none of their business why we don't have kids and I find it pretty rude that they ask.
Reasons for not having kids are different from person to person and others should respect that. There's no point in asking such questions on and on. :)
Yeah, the things people say to others are strange. Same to married couples when people ask, "Oh are you having kids?" Some people don't want them, so it's super rude.
Maybe sometimes people are unaware of the fact that such questions are a bit awkward for the other side, that's why they don't see it's a problem. :)
The questions that people ask can be quite rude. I do not like when people ask these type of questions.
Me neither, sometimes they make me just furious! :)
I find the comments you mentioned SO disturbing, no one should ever try and pressuere a single woman to settle. You can't force love, nor can you tell someone who to love. Some people really want a relationship, or a family and are willing to be with someone that doesn't fit what they want to have that, but others are happy on their own or happy to wait for the right fit. Relationships are so different couple to couple and what relationships mean is different to each person. I think it is so important to respect each person's individual journey (:
Hopefully, everyone finds the right fit, even though the journey may be long. :)
Yep... dealing with a single sister and needing to constantly remind myself how dramatic of a topic this is. It seems to totally define her and I am thinking it's all ok... so this is a good reminder of things to keep in mind!
Sometimes it's a positive feeling to know that other people face similar problems. Hope your sister will finally find the right person for herself. :)
It is important to be mindful of others. We do not know what they have been through or what they are willing to go through!
That's so true, it's so difficult to know what others think and plan, so it's better not to make such guesses. :)
Sister, you are not alone! I am single (by choice) because I refuse to settle for a man who doesn't see my worth. I've been in a few crappy relationships and I'd rather be alone than to constantly have a headache. You do you and do not let others pressure you into doing what you do not want. <3
Crappy relationships are worse than being single, as you not only waste your time, but also you may not notice the perfect fit for yourself. I wish you good luck! :)
When my daughter met her fella, relatives right away started asking when she was going to get married. She was 19. Then they asked when she was going to have a baby. When she had a baby, they asked when Baby #2 was on the way. I'm just like, really? I love my grandbabe so so much, but there's a lot to be said for waiting to settle down until you are ready and it's right. Good for you, for not succumbing to the pressure to rush what shouldn't be rushed.
I think such questions will never end! So it's better not to pay too much attention to them. :)
For the life of me I don’t know why anyone would ask a single woman any of those questions. Somethings are better left unsaid. Honestly I hate when guys ask me “you beautiful why are you single”
Oh, this type of questions makes me sick! No guy would pick me up by saying something like that. :)
It is so true and this is one of my sister's problem-- being asked when she's gonna settle down.
Hope she knows how to face such problems well! :)
So good... There's nothing wrong with being single! Whether it's a choice or not. For one thing, time is a funny thing and you can't just force good things to happen. On the other hand, it's so valid to choose to be single! Relationships aren't everything, and singleness can really give a person and excellent sense of self and availability to do wonderful things that they may not otherwise be able to do. I hope the world starts understanding better just how valuable people are, no matter whether they have a family or not.