I know it’s different for men and women when it comes to being single. For one, men can always go with younger women; women with younger men, not so much. But to be considered, or to feel as incomplete just because you are single is wrong and not healthy. That’s what I thought when I read this post by a 28 year-old Singaporean woman and what her patronising friend said about her,
“Milktea, I don’t want you to be going home all by yourself in the upcoming bridal showers that we’ve got to attend. The thought of seeing and leaving you alone after a night out would just be too depressing. I hope you soon find the one. I am really worried.”
And to think that this was her best friend, who seem to view a boyfriend and the subsequent marriage as a must-have accessory for a woman. How can a woman possibly be happy if she doesn’t attain those things?
I wrote this comment in response,
Maybe it’s different for a guy than it is for a girl but I don’t feel what your friend said was right. Somehow in her eyes, to be without a boyfriend or lover is to be deficient.
I am also of the type who wouldn’t mind eating alone in a restaurant – before your friend said that to you, did you enjoy spending time alone shopping and eating? Has that changed since?
To yearn for a partner is normal but don’t rush into it just because everyone else seems to be happy with their relationships (you only see one side), or that you feel left out.
To be in a bad relationship is worse than being alone. And remember, love is only one part of being alive. Don’t lose sight of everything else that you enjoy.
Being single is not deficient though I can understand a woman feeling her biological clock ticking. Ideally, if a woman wants children she should have her first one before she turns 30. (Wikipedia). If her friend had put her words in that context, then perhaps there’s logic to them.
Single mothers are still not well accepted in society. They are usually looked down upon and derided for having gotten pregnant outside of wedlock. In-vitro fertilisation treatments may also be prohibitively expensive for a single working woman.
Another factor that may push a woman towards marriage if she really wants children is if the cost of living is high where she is or where there’s no system of social welfare. Having a committed partner would ease the financial burdens of having a child.
If you feel desperate as you approach your 30s, as people around you who are your age are all settling down and popping out babies, be honest about it – you are doing it because of your maternal instincts and not because getting hitched will somehow enhance your life or bring you additional happiness.
If you are not happy with your life to begin with, getting married is not the solution. The feeling of falling in love and being caught up in the moment may lift you up temporarily, but like a drug the come-down will be harsh when the honeymoon is over.
When you are happy being in your own skin, and your partner is committed to you and to the relationship, only then will a marriage be satisfying in the long term. Otherwise, he’d just be a crutch for your insecurities. And the crutch may grow to resent being the crutch and the whole thing might simply fall apart.
So if you are happy with your single life and the timetable that you’ve set for yourself, don’t let yourself or anyone rush you into a mistake that may last a lifetime. And the technology exists to allow you to be a single parent if you choose so. As much as it pains me to say it, you don’t need a man for that. One good parent is better than two who are ill-suited to form a family together. Especially if either one of them went into it out of desperation.