Do you ever feel like people judge your relationship status the same way they do if you’re wearing something that was in style two seasons ago? You know, that raised eyebrow when you mention you don’t have a boyfriend, or that sideways glance you get when you enter a roomful of couples completely solo? Much like that epic episode of Sex and the City in which Carrie is asked to model for a fashion show and stalks down the catwalk like the proud diva that she is (only to fall on her face and immediately be deemed “fashion roadkill”), I sometimes feel like all the confidence and ownership I have about being a single woman is something that’s not “on trend” with the rest of the world at the moment.
“Enjoy your life while you’re single,” my mother insisted to me recently. “Because once you find yourself a man, you’ll be too preoccupied with each other. Have fun being young and free!” I wondered where this was coming from. Did I not look happy? Did my peaceful interior not color coordinate with my outside demeanor? (BTW, this is the same Bible-toting woman who wants me to find a hubby now, shack up and churn out grand-babies like there’s no tomorrow.)
Unfortunately, my mama is not the first (and probably will not be the last) person to give me unsolicited dating advice. People seem to think that me — the perpetually single female — beckons love advice any time of the day. Much like the befuddled shopper who wanders into a department store and is immediately attacked by an army of “helpful” salespeople, it seems like everyone wants to dress me up with a man or dress me down for not having one in my life.
This one time at a party, a girlfriend of mine cornered me and asked the question I hear all…the…time: “Why are you single?!”
“You’re a great girl!” and other ego-boosting compliments followed this query (like they always do). And then the dreaded statement shot out her mouth; “You just need to put yourself out there!”
Huh? Was I designer bag or expensive dress that needed to be paraded up and down the street in the hopes of attracting attention and validation? What does putting yourself out there mean exactly? I’m pretty sure I’m “out there.” Do I need to wave a giant flag that says I’m single?
It sometimes feels like my single status bothers other people, the same way someone who dresses two decades behind gets nagged to go on one of those crazy makeover shows. Is it that hard to believe that I’m well-adjusted and happy? I’ve never once been depressed that I don’t have male arm candy to call my own.
“Pssht, yeah right.” is what they say when I tell them about the theme of this column. I guess it’s probably easy to think that I’m writing these posts to reassure myself of my single happiness. But I’m not. I’m writing to show that it’s possible to be single and happy. Just because you’re alone, doesn’t mean you’re lonely. And just because you might not be trendy now, doesn’t mean you can’t be a classic forever. (I mean, does anyone question Andre Leon Talley when he walks around in a cape?)
At the end of the day, it’s just like with your personal style. Everyone’s going to have an opinion but it’s only yours that matters. After all, whether you’re wearing an outfit OR a relationship status, it all comes down to how comfortable you feel in it.
Dara Adeeyo is a happily single female and writer who blogs at DarkBerryBeauty.com. Every two weeks she’ll be delving into her life as a boyfriend-less young adult. Follow her at @dadeeyo for daily single girl musings in bite size.