Romantic love is something a majority of women aspire to. Getting married or finding a soulmate is always a goal within the same ranks as becoming a successful business woman or getting a degree. I think love is a beautiful thing, all types of love. Platonic, familial, romantic, etc. But I’ve come to see how damaging it is to constantly push and encourage women, especially from young age, to aspire to love so strongly. It teaches women and young girls that love is the end all be all, when it’s not as important as we make it out to be. That if you don’t find that one true love in this lifetime then you’re incomplete and something significant is missing. It sends an unhealthy message to women and girls. There’s a reason why some of the most successful women are questioned when they’re single and/or don’t have kids; those are the types of women who don’t prioritize love and are okay with being alone. Finding love has become an expectation for all of us and it’s unfair.
You could be a woman who’s reached all of her goals and shattering the glass ceiling when it comes to expectations of herself, and you may still feel a pang of disappointment because you feel as though something is missing since you’re a single woman. Why? Because society has made it a focal point for women to find love while never encouraging men to do the same. We put in so much effort to find The One, put ourselves through so much unnecessary hurt and drama to weed out the bad men to get to the one guy who may or may not be the one for you. There are plenty of people who still believe a woman’s sole purpose on this earth is to birth children and be a wife but it’s 2018 and we really need to stop pushing that narrative onto all women.
There’s a plethora of reasons as to why a woman may be single. She may not be willing to date anyone that doesn’t meet her standards, which is fair. She may enjoy her time and alone and simply doesn’t want to be with anyone. Maybe she just doesn’t have good luck on the dating scene. At the end of the day though, the reason doesn’t matter because it’s her life and whether she has a man or not shouldn’t be as important as people make it out to be. Singledom is something that’s looked at as a death sentence for women, a sign that something is wrong with us. Why does something have to be inherently wrong with me because I don’t have a man? People assume a woman is undesirable simply because she’s alone, which says a lot. You assume a woman is alone because men don’t want her, rather than the other way around, thus stripping her of any agency for herself and her lifestyle.
Being single can be a deliberate choice too, just as much as dating to marry is a deliberate choice. Why has it become so wrong for women to enjoy our solitude and the lives we’ve built for ourselves?
All of this is especially true for Black women. People love to throw around the “Black women are the least desirable” statistics around when it comes to conversations about Black women dating when the truth is that no matter whether or not men desire us, Black women are still a phenomenal group of people and the most beautiful, so that doesn’t really matter. Clearly there’s a ton of Black women out there dating whoever they want from places all over the world, so that narrative doesn’t matter much to me and it shouldn’t to you either.
A recent study showed that Black women are more likely to be upwardly mobile even after being born into a lower middle class/poor household than Black men. It’s one prime example showing what Black women can do on their own. That we have the power amongst ourselves to significantly improve the Black community with our work ethic and wealth alone. It shows that we don’t need to depend on men for anything. It shows how powerful we are. And I know some Black women don’t like the idea of doing everything themselves because it can seem masculine and whatnot, but I believe there’s definitely a way to be independent while still maintaining your femininity. Not everything is black and white, a balance just needs to be found.
After having some messy relationships with men I got tired of dating very quickly because it wasn’t hard for me to peep the game and see how most men operate. It’s very tiring when you think about how many of them like to play games, are dishonest, uneducated (formally or not), are broke with no ambition, etc. I sat down and really thought to myself and questioned why I was forcing myself to date guys when I really didn’t even feel like it. And I realized it’s because I felt like I had to. As a woman in her early twenties, I felt as though I was obligated to get a start on finding my future husband so I could start a family before I was 30. The more I sat and analyzed my actions, I simply came to the conclusion that there’s nothing a man can give me that I can’t give myself.
Yes, romantic love is nice and all of the niceties that come with it i.e affection, connection, etc. But I also told myself that whether or not I find that is really of no importance to me. I’ve had relationships that completely broke my spirit and took me a long time to recover from, relationships that put a huge damper on my self-confidence. I told myself I would never allow a man to make me feel bad about myself in any way ever again.
I’ve committed myself to living a happy and healthy life where I follow my dreams and I work hard. I nurture the relationships around me with my friends and family because I love them and they remind me that I’m never alone. I love and put myself first because this is my life and I will live it as I see fit. I no longer stress myself out over the thought of living out the rest of my days as a single woman because my happiness and capabilities to live the life that I want for myself, are not contingent upon the presence of a man. There are a ton of women, yes even Black women, that are indifferent about finding romantic love and that’s okay. And other people need to learn to be okay with that as well and realize that solitude and being single is nothing to be ashamed of.
“Erin Dyana is a freelance writer with a focus on pop culture, criticisms, and beauty. Her work has been featured in Teen Vogue, Urban Social TV, Wear Your Voice Magazine, Clementine Zine, and Philadelphia Print Zine. In her free time she likes to create art, watch films, read books, and eat everything in sight."