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Single Isn’t the Insult You Think It Is

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Earlier this year, I discovered the most perfect word to describe myself: quaintrelle, a word so obscure that it comes with red squiggly lines as I type this. Quaintrelle is defined as a woman who emphasizes a life of passion expressed through personal style, leisurely pastimes, charm, and the cultivation of life’s pleasures. The moment I realized what I wanted my life to be like, it encompassed everything this word was. My goal in life is just to live off my art until the dust settles and pursue every sigh/site my eyes can handle and every laugh my stomach can sustain. 

I travel a lot for work. I’ve been to 46 states-most more than three times. One year I clocked 29 states by that April. I once told someone that I travel a lot, and his response was, “your man let you do that?” Imagine me, a grown adult, having to ask another person permission to go to work. Now imagine a man asking a woman if it’s ok if he can go to work. I don’t have those worries. Every morning I wake up, and it’s never next to someone I may not hate, but I can’t stand. I don’t go to a job I hate and I’m not surrounded by coworkers I have to be nice to in order to feed myself. My quiet is my quiet. My loud is my loud, and the older I get, the more I love my solitude.  

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On many an internet argument, you’ve seen it launched at single women like a Molotov cocktail, “that’s why you single, and don’t have a man,” as if having one is some sort of accomplishment.

As many times as I have seen that vitriol hurled, it has never ever ever been by someone whose relationship is even remotely “goals.”  If having a man was something so precious, then why do I find myself respecting the boundaries of multiple men’s relationships better than they do? My ego isn’t quenched by the tears of another woman, but I imagine that as many times as I’ve turned a spoken-for man down, another woman hasn’t. I have had too many married men in my DMs to think it’s really some sacred institution.

Why do half of all marriages end in divorce if it’s such a great thing to keep? Why are most of people filing for divorce? I guess I cut out the middleman, huh?

The funniest thing about the “that’s why you’re single,” insult is that I have had it used against me by men who have asked to date me. Yes, you are that repulsive that I would rather be alone than alone with you. To that point, many studies cite that single, childless women are the happiest demographic, and I am here to tell you that even with life’s ups and downs, I’m happy.

Don’t get me wrong, love is a beautiful thing when done correctly, but I won’t sacrifice my sanity looking for it just because society says I have to check off certain boxes to be happy. I won’t shrink myself again just for someone else to feel bigger.  If it is not an equal partnership, it is not for me, and I have been around myself long enough to know what I need to sustain a healthy relationship. Because patriarchy is still very much a thing, I haven’t been around too many men who have supported my aspirations in the same ways I have supported theirs. If God put me on Earth to serve a man, he would’ve given me more hands than him. Most men don’t truly value women as their equals because so many would not take offense to her keeping her own last name, but that’s another argument for another day.

In many relationships I’ve seen up close, marriage and children feel like a lot of sacrificing, mostly on the women’s part. Many times, the men get to fulfill their passions and dreams with the family’s support. That’s not really cute for me, and I can’t imagine raising a daughter just for her to grow up and be support staff in her own household. So why would I do it in mine? I have had love, and I have had peace, but rarely have I had them simultaneously, and I tell you what, peace is what I prefer. 

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Peace has never steered me wrong and left me crying; love can’t say the same. 

A friend once told me that I would never get married-at best, I would be someone’s baby mama. He has never married and was the father to one at the time; since then, he’s had two more children with two more women, and still no marriage (don’t worry, I remind him frequently). I am not at the moment in my life where the propositions have stopped, so finding someone to fill a role is very easy for me, but finding someone who will fulfill me is different.

We reduce women’s accomplishments down to what a great mother she is or how long her last name has been changed; my value isn’t connected to who comes in and out of my vagina. If marriage and/or children happen one day, cool, but I am ok with that and being as happy as life allows me to be until that happens. And if it doesn’t, I am still going to be happy because it’s never safe to put your stock in a company that doesn’t even exist yet.

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