Singles want one thing and one thing only… A significant other.If I were an alien who so happen to land in hmmm I don't know- Atlanta, GA, and wondered into an apartment and decided to binge on good ol' cable television for several days I would easily draw that conclusion about single people in our society. The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, Rock of Love, Flavor of Love, Love New York (and the rest of the Vh1 crap), these programs glorify marriage and/or embarking into "coupledom" even if they are semi scripted (lol). Then there are those popular series like Girlfriends, Sex and the City, even Friends about a group of "single" friends searching for a relationship. As a (then) single viewer part of me wanted feel empowered because I could relate to them, but soon the other part of me felt left behind as they entered into coupledom and slowly began to drift apart. Is that what happens to a group of friends after they each meet "the one," they are no longer tight? Does the weekly brunch with cocktails turn into occasional texts and instant messaging? (Future post)
Even if you are not a huge fan of television you still can not escape the hype. Walk into any books store and shelves are over flowing with self help books on being single and A)coping with being single (as though it is a disease), B)finding a mate, C)preparing for a mate, D) getting over losing a mate, E)pleasing a mate... There are FEW really good books about being single and just being. I'm actually working on a detailed review for one of those books so look out for that post!The internet is worse! The lucrative business of matchmaking and hooking-up has been booming over the past decade. Singles across the nation invest hundreds in dating sites and other social networks in hopes of finding the one. It's okay to look is a popular tagline urging singles to jump on in there and find "the one"!
We live in a society where we are led to believe that if you are single you must be looking or just got out of a relationship and will be looking soon. Even if you are clearly single and happy people scrutinize your status with several assumptions; she has loads of baggage, can't keep a man, commitment-phobe, workaholic etc. As a result of the scrutiny and societal presumptions, many people dart into relationships with the belief that being single requires them to look for a mate. This is the assumed behavioral norm of singles.
According to societal standards, no matter how successful, accomplished, wealthy, spiritually fulfilled, strong your friendships and family ties- if you are single that means nothing you are still incomplete without a mate and if you have not found one (after a certain amount of time) something is wrong with you.* I am going to be honest and this is pure speculation, Oprah is probably with Stedman (or better yet chooses to be associated with Stedman) because she got tired of people obsessing over her romantic life.I am not saying that there isn't anything wrong with being single and actively looking, I am only trying to emphasize that if you are single you do not HAVE to be looking.
Despite being heavily stigmatized, being single is not a disease and should not be seen as an obstacle or a burden so I urge you not to perceive it that way. "I need a man"... "I gotta find me a man"... "Where is my future husband?"To look or not to look, the decision is yours and truly own it, do not let societal messages pressure you to have a relationship, or fear being alone or any fear for that matter. Do not allow yourself to believe that you are single because something is wrong with you and a 300pg catch-him-guide is going to be the answer to your prayers.
Whatever decision you make, make that decision from a positive place. If you are not making it from a positive place then take time to rethink it, because if the decision is not coming from a positive place the path will not lead you to a positive place.
*inspired by the book Singled Out (review coming soon)