I've survived many challenges in life. Some of the big ones were childbirth, betrayal, divorce, multiple UTIs, being laid off work without warning, root canal and fibromyalgia. Sure there were more minor days of suffering, like cyber-bullying, losing friends or being taken advantage of by predatory business people (I like to call them leaches).
Nothing Prepares You For Judgment By Peers
Of all these hardships we single parents endure any given day, one thing continues to crawl under my skin. It's that moment when I'm asked why I'm still single.
How would it feel to turn the tables? What if you asked your friend, "why are you still married?" Especially if you know the details about his or her marriage and know that it's not the rosiest of connections.
Take Back Your Power And Reject The Question
Why are singles and divorcees put under the pressure-cooker as if they had a condition? Why are we put on any kind of "hot seat" to explain ourselves for not being in a relationship? Does it really matter? I could bring up any number of facts including poor choices on dating sites, minimal social contact, too much work in the present, and on and on-- but what's the point? In the back of my mind, I'll still feel like they'll view me as Quasimoto, hump and all, for why I can't keep a man around.
My suggestion is to come back with another question. "Why are you in a couple?" should do the trick.
Social Media As A Source Of Narcissistic Bragging
Another daily dose of this disdain comes in the form of self-flattery-- the kind that comes served in praises of spouses or significant others on social media sites. There's a fine line between sharing your joy for how much your lover cares about you and boasting about something in your personal life.
Do you really have to tell your husband how great he is (or how lucky you are) for bringing you flowers over Facebook? Can't you just tell him when he comes home from work?
If you feel alienated when you see someone from a couple bragging about his or her blissful connection, remember to feel happy for them. Just remember that no relationship is perfect. After all, you've probably experienced a few bad relationships to become a single parent.
Embrace All The Gifts That Come With Being Single
And since we bring up the end of relationships, remember that being single again is your opportunity to grow, learn from mistakes and become the kind of person you always wished you could be. No more checking in with the "old man" or the "Mrs." You can sample as many chocolates as you like in the box of curiosity. You can take time off to travel on your own adventure-- with your own budget, time and terms.
If that's not something your coupled counterparts don't miss, then I don't know what is.
Bottom line: you don't owe anyone an explanation for your current status in life. If anything, you should be enjoying every second of freedom you can embrace in your singledom.
Love is grand, but it isn't everything. Being your own person in life, being independent and having time to reflect on who you are and want to be are priceless.
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