There Should Be No Stigma To Singlehood

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[London Bridge Is Falling]

We live in the 21st Century and yet women are still being made to feel as though their lives are incomplete unless they are married and with children.

Young girls are made to aspire to find Mr. Right, with the house and children in order to complete their lives. There is nothing wrong with marriage and children if that is what a woman wants, but if it is the only thing that will complete her life then there is something seriously wrong with it to begin with.

There are numerous books, magazines, movies which incidentally portray views of society, and the message therein is loud and clear, you have to be a married woman or involved in a couplehood and if not then there is something wrong with your life. 

Family and friends are no better. There is not a lot of sensitivity with this issue of singlehood.

Single women are bombarded with advice on how to find your man, keep your man happy, keep your family together. People don’t stop to consider that a woman may have been put off relationships because of bad choices made in partners, once bitten twice shy! Or that they may be childless but not through choice or that she simply prefers singledom.

I bought into these societal expectations many years ago. I had to find that Mr. Right and then move on to pase two, children. In my desperation and haste to achieve the norm, I ended up with dogs from the Battersea dog pound in South West London. Ouch.

Although I had felt enormous pressure, with friends coupling and bearing children, it was I who made the mistake that countless single women from their mid twenties do--the search, the rush, without stopping to get to know Mr. Right; before taking the coupling into a physical and emotional level. I therefore take full responsibility for any heartbreak suffered through carelessness. As my big brother Milton would say, the buck stops here.

I am now in singlehood with two daughters and therefore the stigma for me is even greater. It matters not that I am educated and employed and lead a full life. Society would still have me believe that there is something wrong with me and that perhaps I should have kept at least one of the dogs from the pound, enduring their ferocious bites, metaphorically speaking of course. Hah!

Society would also have me believe that my children are somehow doomed due to my singlehood. I grew up in a two parent household and I will admit that the advantages are distinctly notable especially in terms of discipline and finances and I would have wished for the same for my two daughters. Had I not fallen into the trap set by society, I would have in due time found my Mr. Right and my daughters and I would have been "normal."

Sascha is now 16, has just received A's and A-pluses in her science exams. She is a talented guitar player, lyricist and poet. Alyssa who is four-and-a-half is bright and bubbly and loves to read. 

Her teachers thought her smart enough to push her up a class after 6 months of nursery instead of the usual 9 months. My singlehood should have no bearing on their success or failure as long as I put in the time, love and effort. I view motherhood as any other job in the sense that I am to perform it to the very best of my abilities. I am passionate about my children and their lives. Singlehood should not be used as an excuse for failure.

I am often astounded when friends remark that I look fine. Single women are regarded as bitter old maids, lonely men-haters and to an extreme, promiscuous. This is totally untrue in most cases and a completely unfair stereotype. Yes, singlehood can be lonely sometimes, but one can also be lonely married or coupled. I know that you can be lonely laying right next to Mr. Right. Lonely in his arms. Lonely side by side.

Everyone experiences loneliness at some stage in their lives and there are ways to combat these feelings and it should not be a book on how to find and keep Mr. Right. In this new millennium, a woman can aspire to be just about anything she wants to be and there are great role models for singlehood; for example, Condoleeza Rice.

Finding hobbies like reading, writing, cooking, gardening, volunteering in one’s locality are all good ways to combat idleness that invariably leads to loneliness. 

Exercising is especially great because of the endorphins released which give a general feel good factor. 

And of course there is always Ann summers. If you don’t like life, if you don’t want to experience life then it is likely that you will still be lonely married or coupled. Mr. Right should complement your life but not complete it.

To everything there is a reason and season. Don’t let society rush you. Mr. Right will come when it is his time; when it is his season.

Allimadi writes for The Black Star News from London.

"Speaking Truth To Empower."

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