Wednesday, November 2, 2011

What Not to Say to Your Spinster Friends...

Today Charlotte at MyPixieBlog, who I follow with almost groupie like adoration which I enjoy reading regularly, shared a post about What Not to Say to Your Single Friends Ever.   While I know that most folks come from a place of good intentions, it never ceases to amaze me how many people don’t think about the words that come out of their mouths.  Words that at best might one day be looked back upon and laughed about and at worst, be unintentionally very hurtful.

I’ve had my own run-ins with well intentioned friends and acquaintances that have a lack of understanding about what “this whole spinster things means” and who often impart unsolicited advice or share their observations regarding what my motivation must be.   So in the spirit of Charlotte’s post, here is Spinster Jane’s list of What Not to Say to Your Spinster Friends.

1.  You must have been really hurt to give up on love.

While I have had my share of unhappy love affairs, my decision to remain single has nothing to do with a broken heart and I’ve certainly not given up on love.   What I have done is made a conscious choice to not seek permanent romantic attachment.  Really what this breaks down to is that I don’t want to be married and I don’t want to live with anyone.    Aside from the fact that I'm not really all that sure that human beings are designed for living in a state of perpetual monogamy, I’m a happier person living my life with myself and on my own terms.

2.  Oh…you just haven’t met the right person yet.  When you do, you’ll change your mind…you’ll see.

Somewhere in this world is this perfect person, wrapped up all pretty with a big bow on their head and a tag addressed to me.  One day I’m going to meet this Mr. or Ms. Wonderful and we are going to fall madly, deeply in love and forsake all others until the end of time.   Right.

Just in case the response to statement number one was not clear, some of us just don’t want to be married or committed in the traditional sense.  This doesn’t mean we might not have long term love interests.  In fact, some of us might even have more than one love interest at a time (and before you all hop on that particular gossip wagon, this spinster is far too busy to keep track of much more than herself at the moment).  

Basically my point here is that relationships come in all sorts of forms.   Though most of the world operates on the idea that there are two states of being relationship wise, attached and blissfully happy or single and seeking, it simply isn’t true.  There is a broad romantic spectrum that includes those who are single with no interest at all in romantic relationships, the single and dating, those in unmarried but monogamous relationships,  couples who underwent legal marriage, those who are in polyamorous committed relationships and everything in between.   You may not understand them, you may not even like them, but the fact is that all of those options are out there and each is a valid choice. 

3.  So I get it…you have something against marriage.

While I could go into the history of marriage and how its origins are based much more in property and inheritance rights than in love, I won’t because really I don’t have a darn thing against marriage.  In fact, yep I’m going to say it, some of my best friends are married.  I have even performed wedding ceremonies for friends who have requested it and I have done so happily.  Marriage does work for some people, and for those friends of mine who have made the decision to tie the knot I will toast their shared happiness because I love them and I respect the choices they make for themselves.

4. Um…so hey, if you are so unattached, you wanna (wink, wink…nudge, nudge), ya know, hook up sometime?

Why sure!  I’m just sitting around at home counting the minutes to the next hook up because if I’m not looking to get hitched, then I must be looking to sleep around.  In fact I keep a special drawer in my dresser packed full of a wide variety of condoms, sex toys and lingerie just to make sure I’m always prepared for the next time the hump fairy decides to send something my way.

(Yes friends, that was sarcasm)  

As I said in The Great Big Sex Post, with far less sarcasm, choosing to redefine or reclaim the word spinster has a lot to do with having choices.  And while I do choose to have sex, it does not mean I’m going to choose to have sex with you. 

5. But you’ll grow old alone!!!!!

I’m going to take a moment to point out that statistically most woman in the United States do end up outliving their male partners.  Retirement and assisted living homes are full of predominantly female residents.  So I guess this makes the guys the lucky ones as they actually do get to grow old and die with the one they love, while the females grow old with each other which means (big revelation here) technically, in the long run, my choice won’t really leave me in any different state than any other female in our culture.  Actually, growing old with my female friends both old and new doesn’t sound like a half bad proposition.

However, I am making plans for my future as anyone, married, single or otherwise, should.  I am saving for retirement and while I expect that as I age I will slow a bit I do plan to remain active.  I will continue to make friends and have a life filled with all of the people, activities and things that I love.   

You see not being perpetually paired up does not mean being alone or lonely now or 30 years in the future.  It isn’t in response to some offense against my heart and it does not mean that my life is devoid of love.  It is simply a choice, just as any other and it is one that more and more women are making.  

After all, some of your best friends might be spinsters…


  1. Oh, how I love this because of how very true it is: "Though most of the world operates on the idea that there are two states of being relationship wise, attached and blissfully happy or single and seeking, it simply isn’t true."

    I have come to know many couples over the years (and even some distant relatives in Norway) who just decided marriage wasn't for them. But they had children and are, for all intents and purposes, what one might consider a "married" couple. They just don't WANT the legal marriage papers. And everyone should be entitled to make their own decisions about what works best according to their lifestyle. Let's face it: some people are just NOT made to get married.

    Also, LMAO @ the hump fairy. BRILLLLLIANT! And I received one of those wink wink nudge nudges this week and it's starting to piss me off.

  2. quite informative... I appreciated the in person explanation as well :)