You know that aunt or the one lady from your church that keeps pointing out how barren your left ring finger is? Or the circle of your friends that have gotten married and are now questioning your progress on joining the club? They’re all single shamers! (That term makes me chuckle because everything has a “shaming” term now… body shaming, slut shaming, fat shaming, etc.) As comical and common as it may be, single shaming can really make you second guess yourself. In a world that makes it so easy to compare your progress with your peers (via social media), you can find yourself wondering if you need to slide into the cookie cutter that everybody else has seemingly jumped out of to get “wifed up”. Questions ambush your normal routine constantly. Should I wear more make-up or show more cleavage? Is my body shape that bad? There are so many factors to think about!
Let’s not get onto the subject of “the biological clock”. For some of us that thing has turned into Father Time himself and even HE’S trying to impregnate you at this point! Nobody wants to be a single parent, but with marriage seemingly nowhere to be found nowadays, women are opting to have children with donors and skip the relationship entirely (for the sake of doing it in a timely fashion). I’m not knocking it. Everybody is finding new ways to get to their “adulthood finish line” under societal pressure.
Even churches are doing what can be considered as single shaming! (Honestly, they’re the source of most of the single shaming because we’re taught that we are to marry, be fruitful, and multiply constantly in church.) Pastors preach about finding a helpmate (letting them find you) just as much as any other outlet. The world AND God wants us to get married but who’s effectively letting our future husbands know this? (The pressure seems to be on the women!) There are “single’s ministries” in almost every progressive church now (to transition singles into married success stories). Just when you thought considering the youngest deacon as husband material was weird… they start hosting singles’ night so that all the unmarried members can interact. I appreciate the effort, but the struggle is REAL. There’s no escaping the concerned and/or inquisitive gaze of well-meaning elders who just want you to marry—especially in church.
I’m pretty sure all the single men are at the same meeting discussing just how long they can prolong ducking the “ball and chain” while dodging proposal hints like Neo dodges bullets in The Matrix. Someone should let these well-meaning aunties and church mothers know that WE don’t control the proposal (although I’ve seen some women actually break down and propose… that’s not my thing). We should pile the aunties and pushy mothers in one big Uber bus and send it to the Master Mancave (ie. Single Guy Headquarters). I mean do we need to run a commercial on Spike TV or ESPN so they can feel a fraction of the pressure?
Then there are the weddings… oh boy there are the weddings. There’s always that moment at the reception when you want to melt away into the bathroom just before they herd all the singles onto the middle of the dancefloor to publicly show just how bad they want to be the next to get married. Ever notice how most of the men back away from the garter and it hits the floor? Never in history has a bouquet ever hit the floor. There’s always one chick there that sets aside all shame and dives for the bouquet like she’s Odell Beckham Jr in the end zone. She’s convinced that grabbing that bouquet is the ticket she needs to walk down the aisle. She’s let society get ALL the way into her head with the single shaming and she’s taking matters into her bouquet-snatching hands.
While this all may be hilariously relatable, I’m sure we can all agree that it IS annoying to say the least. Some of us are happy being single and/or don’t want to be pressured into getting married just to say we’ve done it. People should celebrate women a little more for being independent enough to navigate life alone before getting married. There’s something to be said about the woman that can maintain a household and career prior to meeting her forever mate, right? There’s actually NO shame in being single (no matter how old you are). It’s less indicative of you not being good enough to marry and probably more indicative of you refusing to let your wait be for less than your perfect match. Tell the world to single shame on! You got this!