Wednesday, November 14, 2012

One more time - Happily Unmarried...

Yesterday I complained about how a week after the election my "Single Women" news alert on Google was still full of articles about politics.  Low and behold today there was an article that was not about how those brilliant and independent or slutty and sinful single women helped sway the election.  This article is instead about married and single women finding a way to get along.

"Married vs. Single: Can't We All Get Along?"  written by the newly married Claudia Maittlen Harris, was in today's Huffington the weddings section.  It was written in response to another article titled "Single Women, Married Women: Why I Refuse to Join the Smug Married Club" by Lindsey Lowell.  It is of course talking about the tendency of some married folk to think that we single folk are living in a pool of sad longing waiting for our true love to come along and provide us with the key to the locked door of happiness.  The sentiment is usually expressed in in a five word question, "Why are you still single?"

Personally I've not really encountered this with anyone in my social circle. I can't fully say that it is because I have friends who are more open minded that the rest of the general population, though I'd like to believe that they are, or if a lot of it has to do with my writing this blog and being rather vocal about not having a desire to be partnered.  However, I have known plenty of women who have had to endure the "Why are you still single?" questions from friends and family and the constant attempts at being set up.  Which, if one is happily single, can be at least mildly annoying and if one is actually hoping to be married one day it can be a highly annoying reminder that you've not yet achieved something you desire. 

While I don't get the "Why are you still single?" question, I do sometimes get the half smirky, "Oh, you just haven't met the right person yet."  Which in some ways is probably worse.  If I truly did have a desire to be married then the why-are-you-still-single question could at least be seen as conveying sympathy. The oh-you-just-haven't-met-the-right-person-yet assumes that the speaker some how knows me better than I do.  I have met lots of 'right people' but it isn't that I don't want to be married to them, it's simply that I just don't want to be married.   

Which is what bothers me about these articles. I think are both full of good intentions but they still assume that the person who is unmarried actually wants to be.  Their perspective is from the formally single woman who doesn't want to be a single woman forever.  Neither touches on the possibility that perhaps some women don't want to be permanently attached.

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