No country for old maids

Singles, as I’ve been told, have two big fears — the fear of loneliness and the fear of what other people think.

The first is understandable enough but the second may actually be the bigger motivator to find one’s missing half. It’s perhaps easier to endure lonely nights than the knowing looks from friends and relatives whom we think are secretly pitying us for our status of one.

And it doesn’t help that stereotypes abound of the typical career woman who works 16-hour days, has a screaming fit at the slightest provocation and eats every incompetent imbecile for breakfast. So you secretly stress over whether you’re turning into this scary old maid that you used to make fun of and never thought you’d one day become.

As your childhood friends celebrate their ninth wedding anniversary and blog about their third child’s first day at school, you become even more convinced that there must be something wrong with you. Except that you don’t really know what.

Society, by and large, favours the family unit. Take Singapore for example, young married couples get massive rebates on public housing while the single has to wait until he/she is 35 to buy a resale flat at much higher market rates. While it makes sense to give preferential treatment to the married (especially to keep the birth rate in the black), the single is sometimes caught out in no man’s land.

And as your circle of single friends get smaller, you start to feel even more displaced. That’s why I started this blog, so that perchance you might find this a safe place where you belong, and who knows, perhaps even get to know other like-minded people.

As with every good sermon, I’m ending this post with a call to action. The next time you start wondering if there’s something wrong with you for being single, look in the mirror and say, “I’m fearfully and wonderfully made, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with me (at least nothing more wrong than someone who’s married!).” Repeat that at least a hundred times and you should begin to believe it eventually.

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