The Single Stigma

“Single:” a word that can send shivers down an entire group of people’s spines in a matter of seconds. I like to think as a society we’ve progressed in some shape or form (if we could just understand the meaning of equality that would be great) but it amazes me that to this day, the word “single” can still instill so much fear in people and still carry such a negative connotation.

Think about just movies for example. How many are still being created where the female lead character lives in New York and has this fabulous job but wait! she’s not fulfilled because she doesn’t have a man. She’s a “spinster” and her pushy mother nags at her to find a man. So she finally meets said man, gives up her career and they run off into the sunset. Now I’m not saying that finding love and sharing your life with someone isn’t great…it is. But when did that become the end goal of our lives? Sure that made sense in the 1950s Leave it to Beaver era but women can work now and have lives of their own and don’t have to rely on a husband if they choose not to. Why is having a significant other always the missing puzzle piece? Your life can’t be complete until you meet Mr or Mrs Right. It’s not just sad, it’s downright depressing. It implies that our whole lives and anything we do before we meet this person is meaningless. What about all those single people helping fight AIDS in Africa? Or that girl who gives the homeless man on her street corner a sandwich every day. People who give their time and their support to help someone else. If they’re single does this mean all that work is meaningless because they aren’t in a relationship or married yet? That was just filler until they met that person and their lives really began?

I’ve certainly struggled with the word “single” for a long time. I let society lead me to believe it’s a curse instead of just a life circumstance and a choice even, in some cases. I sat around and wondered why I was still single. Why were all my friends in relationships or getting married and I wasn’t? What was wrong with me that I was forced to suffer this fate of being *gasp*…single! But the reality is being single is not some poor, woe-is-me situation some of us are forced to endure. Of course I want to be in a relationship again. But the idea that I’m going to sit around feeling sorry for myself because “oh no, I’m still single” is ludicrous. Maybe I’ll be single for a long time, maybe it’ll only be a short time but I can tell you this…I’m going to have a whole lot of fun in the process and live life to the fullest. And my puzzle is already going to be complete when I meet someone because we are the only ones who can complete ourselves. And by completing ourselves, we’re making ourselves truly full and able to accept someone else’s love when they finally come along. That’s what “single” means to me. Take that romantic comedies!

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