Written by: Alexia Platenburg
Its holiday season and the cheer of the holidays has officially started pouring in. From holiday sales encouraging over consumption of material things to Friendsgiving invites that force me to use my five days out of the year when I actually cook something.
Now don't get me wrong, I LOVE the holidays. It's the most beautiful, compassionate time of the year. Everyone is exuding love, showering people with acts of kindness, and going above and beyond to show those they love how much they really love them.
But for some of us, the holidays mark the season of "single-shaming." See single-shaming is when people in loving, committed relationships initiate the judgmental questionnaire over cocktails asking you things like, "Why haven't you settled down yet?" or "Are you even trying to meet someone?"
Not always malicious, but enough to get you to start reflecting on your life and the decisions you made that led you here. Turning what was once the most cheerful time of the year, into a season of anxiety, depression, and passive-aggressive responses to seemingly innocent questions.But this year, I've decided to do something different.
I am embracing "single-shaming" season and reclaiming my singleness as a positive thing. So, I have come up with basic auto-responses to save time, face, and relationships. But in order to do that, I am removing accountability from the single demographic to have to explain our relationship choices, and instead placing accountability on the "single-shamers".
Top 5 Responses to "Why I Am Still Single?'
1. I am focusing on my relationship with God. Now, this is not to be a facetious response, but one I find works really well with elders. They respect your desire to further develop your relationship with the Lord and the commitment you have made by staying single to do so. Now don't use this if you are simply not a believer. But this is a single-response that ends the conversation and leaves them to feel bad for passing judgement.
2. My priority is my career. Most often if we use this, it's because we mean it. See I refuse to believe that I have to sideline my ambitions to pursue a relationship. But when you choose ambition over companionship, it can be hard to find a man who understands your work ethic. I like to use the one with my friends. Yes, friendsgiving does result in the same antiquated question, but when I use it I find that it opens up a discussion around gender roles and I can then shame the misogynist notion. Fun, but not for everyone.
3. Have you seen the fish in the sea? He's tall, dark, and handsome, but thinks women are disposable and he's God's answer to every woman's prayers .Or, he's socially awkward, working a dead-end job, and bad in bed. That may or may not be accurate, but the point is the pickings are slim. If he's worth snatching up, than he is already in a relationship. It's my personal favorite response because then my homegirls start bringing up options and I get my own personal selections. Like Tinder only with real pictures and background checks complete.
4.I can't even commit to a brunch spot, much less a man. Which, lets be honest there are so many places to brunch how can anyone choose? Similar with men, there are so many men to choose from, why only choose one. There is nothing wrong with being honest with yourself, and others, about not being ready to commit. Committing is easier said than done and a lot of people would prefer to pretend they are ready, when they aren't. Live it up. Be single. Mingle a lot. Drown in your sexual liberation. Then when you are absolutely over it, you can re-evaluate why you're single. Plus, it throws the savages off and you can start joking about the one time you took bottomless mimosas to seriously.
5. Simply put, I just haven't met the right one. People forget that a good man is a unicorn. When you find one, everyone looks at you like you just grabbed the last size 7.5 at Nordstrom during a 50% off sale. Not everyone finds a unicorn. With the divorce rate at 50% and rising, women are more cautious than ever about who they get involved with and how serious. So what we won't tolerate is being shamed for not settling for a mule just because you have a unicorn. If I found someone worth being in a relationship with, this would be a whole different round of 21 questions. (Starting with, "When are you getting married?")So, enjoy the holidays. Eat all the comfort food that makes you happy. Have that extra glass of wine. When all else fails, and someone asks you why you're still single, just tell them...