Monday, February 26, 2018

The Poignant Tale of a Single Woman

I've had the urge to write an article on this topic for quite long, yet my conversation with a former student yesterday strongly and ultimately galvanized me to really make this happen.

Her name is, say, Rose (her real name is kept clandestine for privacy reasons). We were chatting via a very popular app which sounds like "What's up?" and after a while our discussion topic shifted to that which the chemicals in your brain would make an impression of when you hear Valentine's Day or Twilight.

However, instead of gentle caressing, warm hugs, or affectionate kisses, she told me a sort of appalling reality she had had to face. This is what she said in a gloomy tone (hope it won't make you cringe):

"We live in a world that is really evil to women. I am frustrated with the questions "When are you getting married?", "When will you follow (put a person's name here)?", etc. And when I didn't say anything, they wanted to introduce me to a guy.. It's like wtf?? Really exhausted."

I was joking; if you have a puckered face now, you are forgiven. Rose is actually single in the sense that she has a boyfriend but not married yet, but there are many people (men included) out there who are single in the more commonly referred-to sense – not possessing a partner – and are constantly, at any time, complaining for receiving such irksome treatment. This unfortunate social phenomenon is, I believe, alarmingly ubiquitous. On social media, it is not hard to find posts and comments containing related mockery (comedy Facebook pages Sarcasm and Be Like Bro are perfect exemplars of those making fun of single people in the latter sense).

The matter regarding one's relationship or marital status is truly, and in essence, none of others', even their parents', business. Sadly and depressingly, there is this widely held misconception that it is all right for other people to meddle. I kind of can symphatize with those people who want to cradle a grandchild as soon as possible, yet they must keep in mind that whether or not to have children is fully the decision of the would-be biological mother and father themselves. People hold the very right to choose when they will get married etc., and they should be free of such "terrorizing" words as what Rose got.

Getting married is not a race, as I said to Rose. Would parents want their child to choose the wrong person as their partner for the sake of face-saving or getting second-generation offspring in the shortest time possible? If they think so, I couldn't imagine how egotistical and mean they are, considering that they regard those things (especially the first one, which I think is nonsense) as more important than their child's genuine happiness.

It is to be remembered that there are a number of reasons why people are single. Some would like to get married but just haven't found the right partners yet – they do hope they will find their Mr./Miss Right, though. Others are not sure whether or not marriage is the right thing for them – we can call people of this type "on-the-fencers", suggesting their open stance on the matter. Then, there are those who have decided not to get married due to their own particular reasons. Perhaps, they have been hurt so much in their previous relationship that they find it impossible to move on and have a new one (pistanthrophobia). Or maybe they prefer to concentrate on their careers/business or devote their limited time on Earth to other interests, such as charity – the priests of the Catholic Church practice celibacy for this reason of serving God for His kingdom. Of course, we need to not forget those who have a boyfriend/girlfriend but haven't gotten married yet (like Rose). Probably they haven't tied the knot because of insufficient funds, or they are still finding out about their partners. And to my knowledge, there are people who enjoy being committed in a relationship rather than a marriage (this is especially common among Westerners).

I think the sort of attitude towards the "bullies" that singles need to adopt is the "why should you care?" one. However, ignoring the pesky askers or throwing "mind your own business" at them would be unwise and too rude an act, and it almost certainly will make you a highly dislikable figure in your family or friend circles. I completely realize that being involved in such a nosy & pushy conversation (especially if happens many times) is an example of "sad" things in life, since we couldn't predict (and decide) what kind of family and society we would be born into. However, a reality is a reality and we should handle it as well and smartly as we can. I am convinced that speaking in a soft, respectful tone is the best way to get out of this T. rex jaw situation. Nevertheless, one must make sure that they give a clear, to-the-point explanation. For example, to a "When are you getting married?" question, a single could reply, "To be honest, I don't know when I will get married. I don't have a boyfriend yet as I haven't found the right one for me, and I'm fine with it. I just let my life flow and I hope I will find my Mr. Right/him and get married at the right time." Bear in mind that this has to be stated in a firm and confident way in order to give the best effect possible.

If there is one lesson that can be drawn from this issue, it is that some (or many) people desperately need to become more mature (and less of a busybody) and pay more respect to others with regard to their privacy, to which they are fully entitled.

Thank you for reading this article and please share your thoughts and experiences regarding this matter in the comment section below!

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