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The Courage to Stay Single

Updated on June 12, 2014
Staying Single has Many Advantages
Staying Single has Many Advantages | Source

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.

Many Women Are Choosing to Be Single
Many Women Are Choosing to Be Single | Source

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.

The Reason Some Women Stay Single

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    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 3 years ago

      Anita Saran, In the U.S. "single" doesn't necessarily mean someone is not in a relationship. Legally it means you are "free" to get married. Whenever we fill out applications and other forms which ask for our marital status we're given the options to choose single, married, or divorced.

      For the most part "single" in the U.S. means not married. We simply clarify it by adding she is in a relationship or she lives with her boyfriend.

      Single by choice in the U.S. would be someone who has decided they never want to get married and not that they've chosen to live life like a nun or monk. :-)

    • Anita Saran profile image
      Author

      Anita Saran 3 years ago from Bangalore, India

      Dashingscorpio - thank you! In India, singledom for women is still looked at askance. People wonder why you're not married and as for having children out of wedlook, even more so. It's rare to find single mothers here.

      Grand old lady, thank you too. I do write about chastity too - which is a different subject. But Single by Choice is all about being boyfriendless.

    • grand old lady profile image

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

      Although these women chose not to marry, they have had long lasting relationships. Oprah is with Stedman, Diane Keaton was with Woody Allen, Warren Beatty and Al Pacino. Cameron Diaz had Matt Dillon, Justin Timberlake, Jared Leto, and New York Yankees player Alex Rodriguez. The other women mentioned also had close relatioships, I'm sure. Maybe they never married, but they had loved.

      Read more at: http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/cameron-diaz-gr...

    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 3 years ago

      Very interesting! (Voted up!)

      Single by choice is actually gaining traction especially in a world where the divorce rate hovers around 50%. Just as there was once a stigma against the "old maid" there was also a stigma against being divorced or a single mother as well. Society has changed a great deal over the years.

      AARP did a survey a few years back which revealed that (women) initiated 66% or roughly 2/3rds of all divorce filings in the U.S.! It is speculated that due to better career opportunities and higher pay for women they are more independent than past generations of women. The more options one has the less crap they will put up with! LOL!

      More and more people are becoming non-judgmental about one's marital status. If there is any "pressure" it is likely to come from that individual's own family or friends and not from society in general.

      Historically women sought to get married in order to have a "provider". In fact in the 1800s and early 1900s one of the main purposes for a woman to go to college was to meet a man from a "well to do family" or one who was "going places".

      In other instances women got married because of an unplanned pregnancy. Much of the stigma against single mothers is gone compared to the way it once was. In fact some single women have chosen to adopt children or conceive with the help of sperm banks.

      Some very famous women who have never married include Oprah, Diane Keaton, Sheryl Crow, Winona Ryder, Cameron Diaz, Eva Mendes, Condoleeza Rice, Tyra Banks, and literary writer Jane Austen to name a few.

      The strength required to remain single is not so much needed against society but more against an individual's family, friends, and loved ones. The vast majority of people could care less about their neighbor's marital status. It's also very doubtful that many men would be "upset" with a woman who told them upfront she has no plans to ever get married.

      One man's opinion! :-)