The Courage to Stay Single
Most Women Shun the Single Status
Down the ages single women like Joan of Arc, Queen Elizabeth, Florence Nightingale, Mother Teresa and countless others, have enriched our lives, yet the single woman must still fight the title of ‘Old Maid’. Society generally considers her as a failure just because she has chosen to remain unmarried. She is not capable of a relationship, she is not a complete woman because she has no children. But fact is that her singledom has been determined by her environment and upbringing, and more often than not, the single woman is of superior calibre to the men she meets. And that often scares men away.
It takes a rare courage to decide to remain single. Such women refuse to play the mating game, to compete with other women, to stoop if necessary beneath the level of their class or to go where men outnumber women.
The problem of being single for a woman is deepened because of the countless ages of social conditioning behind her that urge her to fulfill her role in attracting a man and bearing his children. A little girl has always behaved very differently from a little boy: while he is independent and aggressive, she is coy and charming. She is expected to know the feelings and moods of a man much better than he knows them himself and thus she is considered the reliever of his pain (which he anyway reacts ‘objectively’ to).
So she has remained single because she refused to play the subtle game of :”You must wait in maidenly modesty for your lover, and then start a game of retreat to draw him on”. And she has soon found that even her less attractive sister was married and she left behind because she was afraid of what people would say and especially the men she fancied, of her boldness. The young Juliet went to her Romeo on equal terms, but she too at her tender age was aware of the role she had to play in society –“Or, if thou think’st I am too quickly won I’ll frown and be perverse, and say thee nay.”
The Quest for the Ideal Lover
The ideal lover, say the experts, seems to be part of every woman’s mental make-up and is to be denied only if she consciously chooses celibacy over marriage as a minority of women do. Otherwise, they say, it is not conducive to her mental health. Dr. Laura Hutton in her book, ‘The Single Woman and her Emotional Problems’ says that it is unfair to believe that a woman’s work or profession should compensate her for her home, husband and child.
The Art of Being Satisfied, Fulfilled and Independent
Single By Choice
Consider the career woman of today. No matter how successful she may be, and how late she may marry, she is not usually willing to sacrifice marriage for a career. And those that are, those women who don’t need the presence of others to give them a complete sense of themselves are seen as strange. After all, as children our aloneness is frowned upon. Everything a child does quietly by itself is suspected as not being sociable. Nowhere in our childhood or youth are we conditioned to rely on ourselves for our happiness. The popular child is the happy child.
Yet there are solitary and fulfilled women today and always have been. They are the ones who have found that constant ‘presence’ within themselves in profound spiritual experiences. They are the ones who are skilled enough to make their own money. We are not speaking here of the women who are single because of their circumstances and their environment. We are speaking of those that are Single by Choice. And that’s the only way to be happy about singledom.
Marriage is the hue and cry of a civilization which is desperately afraid of aloneness.