Updated: Nov 20, 2018
My first real boyfriend came into my life when I was 14 and since then I’ve almost always had a partner. I’ve recently made the decision to take a break from dating to work on myself, and for the first time, I’m dealing with Single Shamers. They're known for their predictable responses to our relationship status and they're notorious for making us feel like being single is the new leprosy. Below are the top five predictable responses from Single Shamers and what makes them bullshit.
1. “You just haven’t found the right person yet.”
When I tell shamers I’m not sure if I ever want to get married or have kids, most drop their jaws, gasp for air and let out, “You just haven’t found the right person yet.” When I explain my aspirations for teaching, writing and entrepreneurship, I’m met with blank faces that imply the only way to be truly valued in society is to get married and have kids.
I look at some of the most successful people of my generation who are not married and do not have kids. They’ve become role models and leaders, yet they’re still judged for never taking the plunge into married life.
The truth is that many of us were created to achieve greater goals than a spouse and a family. The perception of this simple truth became corrupted when everyone decided to start keeping up with the Johnsons instead of pursuing their individual dreams.
2. “You’d love my friend.”
When shamers try and set me up, the pitch is predictable and often sneaky. I’ll be out with friends or getting ready to go out when I’m told, “Well, you know my boyfriend has a friend who wants to come and he’s cute, so just saying.” Other times it’ll be a coworker saying I’d love their son.
Regardless of the source, the implication is clear that, I want a partner and I need help finding one.
Shamers assume when you’re single, that you’ve been looking for someone with no luck, so they take it upon themselves to help. But being single doesn’t equate to helplessness or unhappiness. For many of us, this time in our lives where we have no one to answer to is a blessing, not a curse.
What the Single Shamers need to know is that many who are single are not looking for someone else, but actually looking for themselves. We can’t love anyone else before we love ourselves and with rates of depression sky rocketing, loving ourselves is more difficult than ever.
3. “You need to have kids when you’re young.”
It’s been said that having children at an older age puts the mother and child at risk. While I understand this concern, I don’t agree with putting a decision as serious as bringing a child into the world on a time limit. Today, people are working longer and having babies later, a choice that is slammed so often.
No one needs to do anything. While I partially understand society's vain obsession with having offspring looking like its parents, if your biological clock times out you can always adopt. Having children is not for everyone and if you're unsure about it, wait. There is nothing awful about having children later in life or never having children, yet the shamers convince us there is.
4. “It’s bad luck to wear a ring on the wedding finger.”
I am a jewelry queen and I’ve been wearing jewelry all over my body for years. This includes wearing a ring on the wedding finger. Perhaps I do it because I’m not superstitious, maybe it’s because I like the way it looks, maybe it’s because I want the world to think I’m taken so everyone will fuck off. Whatever the reason, it's my choice and superstitious claims are just another response the Single Shamers use to attempt to"save us" from winding up alone.
Pieces of jewelry are like tattoos. Some people attach symbolic meaning to them while others just wear them because they look nice. Whatever goes on your body should be for you and for the reasons you want, single or taken.
5. “You’re so young.”
Compared to the shamers' other predictable responses, this one would appear the kindest...if you’re young. But what about the people in their fifties and sixties who never married or had children? If I feel like a leper at 22, I can’t even imagine what it’s like for older people to fight the Single Shamers day in and day out.
It doesn’t matter if you’re 30 or 80, marriage and children are not a requirement. We all live and die, whether we're single or taken, and it's time we stop allowing Single Shamers to define the value of our lives by our relationship status.