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Thought I’d Share

I know that (some of) my long-term readers are tired of hearing me vent about this. But it’s a topic that other people keep bringing up. I’d be perfectly happy to let it die. Really.

Before I go on, and just for clarity, here is how I feel about and the whole, “this is why you’re ” nonsense: Lots of people seem to enjoy their marriages. And lots of people strive to be married.  I’ve got nothing against it, as an institution. And I hope that one day there is true equality in this country (and many others).  That said, each year the number of single people (in this country and many others) increases. It’s a significant demographic trend.

And, this goes without saying, single people deserve just as much respect as married people.

Essentially, I feel the whole “single people (especially single women) need to get their act together” paradigm to be a pointless and unnecessarily divisive anachronism. Marriage as a social construct is not as essential as it was years ago, when women had few opportunities outside the home. That doesn’t mean marriage is bad. Just not as necessary as it used to be. Which is probably why fewer of us are opting for it.


Not that my opinion on any of that matters, but as I’ve been accused of being anti-marriage I wanted to be clear. Now onto today’s topic.

A few days ago I retweeted OffMarketGirl‘s tweet about her most recent post.

“Day 115-Why I’m Not vs Why You’re Not (Married)

The post provides links to 2 other posts that had been making the rounds, WHY YOU’RE NOT MARRIED and WHY I’M NOT MARRIED, and some brief comments from her.

She replied, “Thanks, Simone! Have you read these pieces, btw?!? Provocative!”

I replied, “Read: yes. Provocative, sure. Though, truthfully… I’m tired of provocative. Same old rehash. Single w/ “fault” & “blame.””

She replied, “I hear you!!! What happened to playful and positive?!?”

And, finally, I replied, “Playful & positive isn’t provocative. I really find the level/tone of discourse related to marriage & depressing.”

And that’s it. I find the level and tone of the discourse related to marriage and single-ness depressing.  It’s worth repeating. Reading those posts and the many dozen others of a similar type in the past few weeks, and then the comments, I’m struck by how much anger is out there. Over what?  Other people’s lives. Is it really that important that everyone choose to live the same way/the same way it’s always been.  Is it really horrible for people to publicly question the old status quo? What exactly is so transgressive about a single woman who is willing to say, I’m not going to play by the old rules? Who does she hurt?


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15 to “Thought I’d Share”

  1. C. Fassett says:

    Being single for the majority of my life, my experience has been, and I’ve actually been told this by married men and women both, that I am a threat. You would think that would be different now at my age,(50), but I’m still getting the same reactions. In fact, I very recently had an opportunity come up that would have helped me a great deal, and it was an exciting opportunity, but the woman who was putting it together suddenly felt threatened about me JUST MEETING her husband, and so I haven’t heard from her. Like I’d be interested?! Men are worried about what their wives will think, and women are worried about who the hell knows what? And it’s not like I’m all that, ya know? Meanwhile, I’ve had one opportunity after another in my life go south because of this kind of shit. Don’t get me started, lol…because of this recent situation, it hits my buttons all wrong, lol.

    Sometimes I go home and look at myself in the mirror to try to figure out what the issue is, and frankly, I don’t get it. And it’s insulting.

    I don’t know if that’s off your topic, but it’s what I’ve mainly experienced as a single woman. It’s been in business, friendships, all across the board. Lost opportunities because of being single. It bites.

    • Simone Grant says:

      I don’t think it’s the slightest bit off topic. There clearly IS something threatening about single, independent women. I’ll never understand it.

      Maybe we’ll live long enough to see it change?

  2. Kat says:

    I’m single too. There were times in my life I wanted to marry. For a variety of reasons that right now I don’t. I hate when married people give me unsolicited advice about how “he’s out there.” Whatever. I didn’t ask. It’s not destiny. It’s not a biblical certainty (as some of my christian friends seem to think it is). I’m not incomplete because I’m not married. I like the 2nd article better than the first. The first seemed to be written just to piss off single women. How come these things don’t apply to single men?

    • Simone Grant says:

      Good question. I’m sure guys have pressures of their own to deal with. But the reality of our lives and our generation is that being single and between 30-55 RIGHT NOW puts us in the middle of a serious cultural shift. And there are a lot of people who are unhappy about that shift. They just want us to go away.

  3. Anais says:

    As far as marriage goes,been there done that.Should I not be bitter that my ex husband moved on to someone else that “suited” him more,especially in the fiscal area,even though I did nothing major to warrant the split,and
    I’ve been divorced for 17 years? Probably not,but I am!

    I know of some women that are so desperate to be married,that they’ll stop at nothing to achieve their goal,not even blinking an eye while they bulldoze who or whatever stands in their way.Desperate,much?

    Marriage is not for me,and I refuse to apologize,or feel like a failure due to the standards that society attempts to impose upon me.

    It is unfortunate that we have to mimic broken records to get our point across!

    We are vibrant,intelligent,productive women! Get the hint people!

    • Simone Grant says:

      I like to say, there’s no such thing as repetition, just insistence (misquoting Gertrude Stein). But in this case I think we could repeat til we’re blue in the face, and it wouldn’t matter.

  4. AF says:

    I couldn’t agree more. In fact I think that many conventional marriages fail simply because the individuals involved (and particularly the women) seem to often be expected to stop being themselves and become some watered down version of who they were before they changed into being solely half of the “couple” – suffocating and demeaning – ugh!

    • Simone Grant says:

      I’d imagine that many people are perfectly happy to become nothing more than half a couple. To lose themselves in their roles as husband or wife. It’s just not for everyone.

  5. Jobo says:

    A-frickin-men!! I totally agree. Singledom should be respected just as marriage. And there IS too much anger out there. Why does there have to be an end goal..can’t single be okay? Healthy etc? Great post. I’m sick of all of those craptastic negative nelly articles too. I don’t even read them anymore.

    • Simone Grant says:

      I certainly don’t go seeking them out. They do keep finding me, though:-)

      The anger confuses me more than anything. I read those comments and I think – WTF?

  6. Jenni Reilly says:

    I love this topic! I’ve had this talk numerous times with my friends and family. None sharing my opinion or views which is fine by me. Often I’m criticized by being single when I’ve had decent men come along in my life. Then the topic of children usually butts in the conversation as well.

    Recently my sister and I were mentioned in someone’s blog about why neither of us are married. Ridiculous! My sister was married once, and now she is divorced. I’m sure she didn’t expect to be divorced or to have had a husband who didn’t appreciate her. As for myself I agree with all the other women who are happily single. Why change a good thing?!

    Not once have I understood the meaning of marriage other then the fear of living and dying alone. Sometimes I wish I was born 20 years from now, because I feel that it would take at least that long for people to start accepting singles for who they are and not for the decisions they make. It’s not too far fetched to say that I hold no ill will towards those that are married. I just hope they understand that I think of marriage like I think of a business deal. If it has the potential for both people to gain something from it then by all means get married again and again. Other then that coexisting together is the only connection that I really feel the need to explore.

    Single women should stay true to their beliefs and move beyond the criticism from others, myself included. :)

    • Simone Grant says:

      Welcome Jenni,
      I like your thought of being born in the future. I really would like to believe that public opinion will have shifted by then.

  7. Cougel says:

    Great post Simone. I was married, and now I’m not, and people just assume that my goal is to get married again.

  8. Black Iris says:

    Wow, the blog why you’re not married really takes the discussion to new lows. I thought the blog from the woman who was not married herself was a good explanation of why someone might not get married, but the comments were bizarre.

    I’m not sure why it is such a big topic of discussion in the first place. Some people must want advice on how to get married, but this seems more like an effort to get controversy and clicks in order to sell an unrelated book.