crazy

The Curse of a Single Woman

As of recently, the majority of my closest female friends are now married. It’s depressing as hell to me, but I get it. It’s financially savvy provided both parties work, and their earnings aren’t below, or even close to, the poverty line. It’s emotionally fulfilling to a degree (if he or she is truly “the one”, whatever the hell that rom-com, Disney-developed term means). One of you won’t be alone when the other dies…maybe (the other, not so lucky). If there are kids involved, as long as both parties are mature and responsible about it, it’s a Good Thing to have two parents working together, unified as a wife and husband.

What I don’t like about the whole marriage thing — even simply the whole gotta-be-a-couple-glued-at-the-hip thing — is that certain plans to get away for awhile must be agreed upon by the other party. Of course, this has more to do with couples without children because couples with kids have no choice anymore but to plan effectively and agreeably (or else movies like Bad Moms get greenlit).

Couples without children though also seem as if they have to do everything together as a unit.

HIMYM

With each passing year, I’m finding it ever more difficult to concur with that. If I want to get away for a weekend…or a week…or a month… alone or with other friends, I shouldn’t have to discuss it in lengthy detail…and then inevitably fight about it with my significant other. I understand why I’d would mention it to him (for civilized and emergency purposes, really), but I don’t need permission, and I shouldn’t have to feel guilty if I’m not including him for a change.

It’s this issue that baffles me the most — If one is in a relationship with another, there should always be a solid degree of trust between them both. That is, there shouldn’t be any question about whether or not she/he is telling the truth about going away alone or with friends for awhile or whether or not she/he can be trusted on her/his own. If there is, maybe it’s time to rethink the relationship. Oh, and…AND…to my girlfriends out there who are perpetually glued to her spouse or fiance or boyfriend and “can’t go because (he) is not included”, I’m sorry, but you appear codependent as fuck when you’re out and about with him All. The. Time. (Where’s your sense of independence? Your pride? Your self-worth?).

Fine, sure, I’m selfish. I wouldn’t understand. I don’t relate. I couldn’t remotely empathize. (Insert appropriate other Dr. Phil-contrived platitude here) And it’s all because I’m single, right? I’m not married, engaged, glued, whathaveyou.

Buffy

Guess again. I’m quite close to someone, but I’m not bound. He isn’t either. I like that I can see him on my own terms, whenever, wherever, and not be glued permanentlyย at the hip. I like being able to say, “Hey, I’m going up to see my family next week” or “I’m going to the beach with some friends” and not expect complaining on his end, and he is able to do the same with me. This is good. This is how it ought to be. There is trust and decency, but there is a sense of respect for the other’s privacy, the other’s downtime, the other’s need to be away for awhile.

In other words, it is perfectly all right to be…Minus One.

Oh, one more thing, that whole Love Your Spouse challenge going on on FB right now, about that…

ย PamGrier

…Who the fuck cares? Of course you love your spouse. Why wouldn’t you? Do you need to declare and show it over and over and over again to people who don’t need convincing to begin with?

Again, glued-at-the-hip. *Shakes head…Walks away.*

 

 

 

 

 

In response to the Daily Prompt “dramatic.”

 

 

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33 thoughts on “The Curse of a Single Woman

  1. WORD. Oh my gosh. Yes. Look, I am married and I have kids, and I still feel this way. I just spent more time than was necessary planning a weekend with three friends. And frankly, I’m still recovering from the planning phase and am wondering if the fun I’ll have on this getaway will outweigh all the freaking inner angst brought on during the planning process (hear – me surpressing the urge to tell them all to make a fucking decision on their own like grown women.) I wish I could say we were going somewhere far away, glamorous, and expensive. We’re not, but with everything it took to book a date, you’d think we were spending a month in Fiji.

    Allow me to quickly give you the breakdown: Person 1 — married for 10ish years, no kids. She was easy. Person 2 (me) — married for 16 years & questioning that relationship regularly, 2 kids. I picked a weekend, briefly discussed dates with my husband and boom. Done. No drama. Person 3 — married for 2 years (to a high-maintenance man-child), no kids. She made the process relatively easy, but because of him she has no money — none of us have much money, but this was the one of the four who actually HAD money when the rest of us were existing in the deep red. She requested that we not venture far from her home. I’M now driving five hours and never mind that I live in the most resort-y region AND could get us a cheap beach house. Whatever. I’m looking forward to five quiet hours in the car, seriously, cause I’m a weirdo/writer/one-in-the same. It’s fine. Person 4 — my god. Married for 15ish years, 1 child. So many special needs for one damn weekend I can’t even get into to it.

    So, forgive me for hijacking your post and using the comment section for my own personal therapy. I feel remarkably better, though. Thank you!

    Oh, and GOOD LUCK! Cause I got zero advice. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • No no no. You’re not hijacking anything at all. No way. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Ugh. I so feel your pain. The planning of ANYTHING these days is horrid, especially when dealing with friends and their SO’s (again, I am not counting the issue with children; that’s a different matter altogether, and I get that — it’s logical, reasonable, understandable). Everything from parties to day trips to dinners to long weekends away… All of it.

      Person #3, is she stuck with a big spender (thus, man-child reference?)? Or does he control the cash? He obviously “needs” her close by for some inexplicable reason– Why on earth is she with that? (Yes, I stated “that” in lieu of “him.”). This is not a good sign at ALL.

      Person 4 — Could it be what I call “First-and-Only Child Syndrome”? (The kind of parenting that is downright obsessive with everything that the kid may as well be existing in a bubble.)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Person #3’s man-child (and yes, ‘that’ in lieu of ‘him’ is more than adequate) has no redeeming qualities that I can see and I’ve REALLY tried to find them. She’s well-educated with a good job…and he’s out of work as a pest-control inspector (not that I’m judging, but I am) after a suspicious on-the-job injury that wasn’t filed as such because there’s a possibility he was smoking pot when it happened. So while he doesn’t MAKE any money, she talks in the collective “we” now that they are married. As in “we don’t have any money so it would be best if we stay close to home. Ugh. He had a very part-time job as a bartender at Ruby Tuesday for a while, and then her connections helped him get the pest-control inspector position. Which, fine. I don’t care where he works as long as he’s contributing, but I don’t like that he mooches off her and that she allows it. He’s also not that nice to her, and he plays a lot of video games…now that he’s out of work. I could go on. This is one of my very best friends in the whole world, so I tread lightly when we discuss. But…she married WAY beneath her, and I do not get it. Hoping to find out more on the trip.

        Person #4 — yep, you nailed it with the only-child thing, though she doesn’t like change and is just generally obsessive — always has been. She’s my roommate from my freshman year of college and a close friend as well. I’m kind of used to her but haven’t attempted to plan a trip with her in years and forgot how damn difficult she can be. She only likes plans that she makes but rarely takes the initiative to do so…and she ALWAYS has to accommodate the men in her life which I find exhausting.

        I’ll have to find the post I wrote years ago about my former book club. Your post reminded me of the frustrations I have with women having to accommodate EVERYONE else before themselves. It’s truly exhausting.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, I can so relate. Each one reminds me of friends I have as well — ones who feel as if they have to, as you’ve indicated, “ALWAYS accommodate the men” in their lives (emphasis on “always” is right on) and ones who married Gen X boys with little to no ambition whatsoever. What I’m really baffled by is that every single one of those women is well-educated, self-sufficient, witty, sharp, and assertive…and yet…they put up with THAT (there’s “that” word again).

        Like

    • Love this post and it’s actually eerily relevant because me and my husband were actually discussing this last night.
      I’ve been married for nearly two years, but we both believe very strongly that we should have our own independent interests and be able to do what we want (within reason). I’m off on holiday with my mum tomorrow for a week. He was away working at a kids’ camp for three weeks this summer. There’s not even a discussion about each other having permission, we’re just like ‘ you HAVE to do this! I’m so excited for you’. We’re both really up on personal development and experiencing things, whether that be together or apart ๐Ÿ™‚
      I totally get what you mean about co-dependence. It ticks me off when I see it, too.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Thank you so much (glad you liked the post)! You have the ideal relationship, imho, one that has each of you respect the other’s experiences and alone time without the need for any sort of prerequisite permission. I wish other couples would recognize the value of Being Away From the Other, that it’s okay to be apart sometimes rather than permanently glued.

        (On a personal note, having come from an abusive relationship, anytime I see or hear of a woman or man having to obtain some sort of permission from their significant other in order to go anywhere or do anything, it sets off all sorts of warning alarms for me.)

        Like

  2. I have been quite happily married for 47 years. We are not “glued at the hip.” I don’t think of him as “The One.” I believe I could have married any number of men and been perfectly content. It’s the commitment to the relationship that counts.

    I’ve gone on overseas flights on my own; girlfriend getaways on my own. We don’t fight about it. He, in fact, seems quite pleased for me to have such opportunities. Maybe that’s one of the reasons I love him ๐Ÿ™‚

    We did have to plan things more carefully, of course, when our four kids were small. Those years pass pretty quickly, though, and we never looked at it as a burden. It was part of our decision to have children. You adapt, you do what you need to do. And suddenly you find yourselves alone again as they all leave the nest. Very cool.

    Marriage is what you make it. We’ve made it a delight.

    Liked by 2 people

    • You have the ideal relationship, I think. One that is mutually respectful and understanding of each other even when downtime is needed. I wish my friends and acquaintances who were in those sorts of glued-at-the-hip relationships could feel as if they could possibly take a breather. Again, choices, I suppose. It just seems so frequent, so often. I don’t understand it.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I don’t think being a single woman is a curse. I’ve been married. I hated it every time. I ultimately realized it’s just not my thing. I think the key to a good relationship is respect, even admiration, for the other person and genuinely liking the other person. That’s what I’ve seen among happily married couples. But someone like me who doesn’t like negotiating, doesn’t like confrontation and doesn’t really like anyone in their space very long? I don’t think marriage was ever meant to be my metier.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We’re alike in that marriage isn’t our thing (I hated it, too). The elements you’ve indicated are exactly what I’ve NOT seen lately — no sort of mutual, AUTHENTIC respect (let alone admiration) for the other, even if they seem to, on the surface, like each other. Where has it gone? ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

      Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t know. I saw it FIRST between my very elderly aunt and uncle. He hadn’t had a chance to finish high school. She had. He respected education so much and he always showed respect for her knowledge and intelligence, though by the end of his life I think he’d educated himself into an advanced degree in history. That was just one thing about them that was marvelous to me.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Now that you mention it, I’ve seen that sort of admiration and devotion amongst family member-couples, much like your elderly aunt and uncle. My cynicism undoubtedly stems from seeing a lack of it between Gen Xers onward who seem to settle for…well…Whatever.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t think that being welded together does anybody much good, honestly. If you care about somebody them you want them to have a healthy life…friendships, space, supportiveness. Besides, sometimes being apart helps you not take things for granted. Sometimes you have to miss a person for perspective on things.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I don’t think that being welded together does anybody much good, honestly. If you care about somebody then you want them to have a healthy life…friendships, space, supportiveness. Besides, sometimes being apart helps you not take things for granted. Sometimes you have to miss a person for perspective on things.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I guess I could possibly understand if, by odd chance, the “one” is the best friend, but even in those circumstances, there has to be room for independence, individuality, alone time, space, etc.

      Like you indicate, sometimes being apart from one another allows both to see what it would be like without the other, that the little things that DO actually matter. The time the adage “absence makes the heart grow fonder” isn’t true often involves one party revealing she/he isn’t trustworthy whatsoever.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I think the “gotta be right here” thing comes mostly from distrust. The old “what are you doing when I’m not there” thing which is very bad. I can understand loving somebody so much you want to spend as much time with them as possible (as ive figured out whoever you give intimate time to had better be your best friend lol. Learned that the hard way) But as you said, you gotta be able to recognize that everybody needs space. If you care about somebody you should care about who they are, the individual, and not as just a component…a plus one.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Wow. This hit home for me. I am single. I find that most friends always bring there significant other with them whether invited or not, their S/Os are great. But really? And why is it that they both have to have plans to do something without each other in order for both of them to feel ok leaving one another. It seems exhausting. Definitely like your relationship ideals – it also could work on the flip side as in expectations lower for that person always being glued to you. Family events come to mind for me – it is always expected that an S/O show up to everything.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I wonder why — here in the 21st century, where we are supposed to be much more progressive and accepting of adult “relationship statuses” no matter what they are — there still exists that cultural expectation that you will always need to be a “plus one” to certain events, like family events as you mentioned…weddings, especially…and if you’re not, no one wants to have much to do with you simply because you aren’t really one of them.

      The worst experience I’ve ever had involving this was my middle sister’s wedding. I was on the cusp of finalizing my divorce (seriously, the NEXT WEEK I’d be officially divorced) when my sister had her wedding, and I was told by my parents that I couldn’t bring a date because it would be “unseemly”. I also had to endure the then-humiliating title of “matron of honor” even though I’d been legally separated and was finalizing my divorce. Because I was alone, sans an SO, or date, of any sort, I felt especially isolated from the flock of everyone and their SO’s or dates…and NO one wanted to talk to me then and there except for one woman who congratulated me on my divorce (the fellow single woman who’d been through it too).

      Anyway, all single lamenting aside, thanks for swinging by my blog and responding! ๐Ÿ™‚ Means a lot!

      Like

  8. Yes, yes, yes, no. The only no is in regards to the term “reject” to describe conjoined twins. In this great rant, you obviously had a brain hiccup and referred to disabled people as freaks who belong in a circus. I did like the subject matter of the ramble though, and would’ve clicked the button had the derogatory comment not been made.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re right. Thank you for the constructive comment. Quite offensive and derogatory, and that was not my intent at all (am hoping I’ve not wholly offended couples who do everything together…and feel as if they must as well — but then that would defeat the purpose of my entry).

      Liked by 1 person

      • I really admire your response! Thank you for understanding. I should also say that “rant” and “ramble” are terms of endearment (from me), and I do hope you receive them as such. I did enjoy the piece – your voice is strong, and the topic is something I personally relate to. Looking forward to reading more in the future…

        Liked by 1 person

      • And thank you for pointing that out to me! I am not one for censoring writing, but in this particular instance, I thought it justified as it was truly appalling and offensive on my part, and that is not my intent. Your comment was apt and thoughtful.

        As for “rambling,” I don’t take offense by that. I just found it interesting. I mean, I use that with students from time to time whenever they’re off topic in their writing. ๐Ÿ˜‰

        Like

  9. Great article MJennings. I am particularly impressed with your response to George. That was exceptionally mature of you. You could have told him to f off your site. Nicely done.
    I just blogged on single-hood yesterday on my blog Stinky Stuff coz this relationship-addiction nonsense is hitting pitch fever!
    Your article and comments made for a great read.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey, thank you so much for coming by and reading/responding. George was merely pointing out something that really was offensive in context, but I wasn’t thinking that way at all when I wrote it (it was not my intent to offend at all — well, not on this entry anyway). What’s your blog URL by the way? Stinky Stuff, is that the title of it? I’d love to read it!

      Like

  10. L….O…..L

    It’s funny because I’ll often say creepy shit to my SO like “i want to be so close to you that I wear your skin like a jacket” but I also won’t think more than a nanosecond about ditching him to do some cool shit with other people (sometimes he’s around, sometimes he’s not, what’s it really matter when I wanna go shop for sweaters for my dog right at this very moment?) I also find most other people’s relationships disgusting so there’s that too.
    -Kat

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s all about display, display, display. Those stupid photos on FB — beaming couples out doing couple-y things — or the “lookit what my hubs did for me” notifications, so goddamned irritating. I’d one friend who’d posted a long, saccharine bit about her husband surprising her by cleaning the entire house for Christmas (with the kids helping, of course), followed by the string of “oooo’s” “wonderful hubby!” responses. I refrained from responding with a “Give the guy a standing ovation and sparkly gold star for picking his own shit up! YAY!” Instead, I worked on the novel, incorporating my annoyance into the protagonist, the poor thing.

      Liked by 1 person

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