Yes, being single and getting grief for not being married is annoying, but getting upset about it doesn’t help matters.
Scott Griessel / 123RF Photo
One thing I’ve noticed about single people is that they can get a little touchy about their relationship status. I certainly understand why. After all, we live in a world where, despite being a significant segment of the population (44 to 51 percent, depending on how you slice the statistics), being single is still seen as the wrong choice. How many times have you been on the receiving end of questions like, “Why on earth is a nice girl/guy like you still single?”
I know I’ve been overly sensitive to those well-meaning comments from friends and family ― from rolling eyes to hopping mad ― when they suggested my life must be empty because I haven’t found “the one.” It even motivated me to launch Singular magazine and SingularCity, so singles would have their own publication that defies the old stereotypes and provides an alternative to the traditional singles industry that says we need to get un-single, post-haste.
Still, I’ve come to realize I don’t need to get my knickers in a twist every time I hear or see something that can be construed as an attack on “being single.” For example, I have a 70-year-old former client named Steve who is happily married. I used to get so annoyed when Steve would ask me for the umpteenth time, “When are you going to find a husband?” And then I realized getting upset was a waste of my time. He’s convinced that being married is the right way to live. Nothing I can say will ever change that. His intentions are good. He wants me to get married because he truly believes my life will be better that way.
I finally realized I had to let go of trying to explain to Steve that I’m fine as I am. Now I just smile and say, “Steve, some people aren’t as lucky as you. You’re so blessed,” then move on to another topic of conversation.
The same goes for developing a sense of humor about it all. Back in the day when gay people weren’t widely accepted, surprising breakthroughs came via television comedies such as “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” (2001) and “Will and Grace” (1998). At the time these shows first aired, it was unheard of to see openly gay characters in prime-time TV. But the context of these programs was humorous, people laughed, and something happened: America found itself actually identifying with and accepting gay people as just people. The stigma started to slip away, empathy developed and those ridiculous negative stereotypes began to disappear.
We’re still a long way from the day when being single is simply a box to check on our income tax returns, not seen as a personality trait. Still, I don’t think throwing a brick through the “being married is better” window is a solution ― even though it can provide some immediate satisfaction!
Copyright © Kim Calvert/2015 Singular Communications, LLC.
Kim Calvert is the editor of Singular magazine and the founder of the SingularCity social networking community. An outspoken champion of people who are living their lives as a “me” instead of a “we,” Kim oversees the creative direction and editorial content of the magazine and online social networking community. She secures contributors and is responsible for maintaining the fun, upbeat, inspirational and often-humorous tone of Singular, a lifestyle guide for successful single living.