When I tell people I work in the singlehood space, I think they assume my career must have something to do with dating. Because everything that has to do with single women must be about dating, right? I mean my god dating is probably the only activity I’ve ever actually seen a single woman do in media and popular culture other than work, you know…so that she can afford to keep dating. In reality, the work that I do is one thing for single women that doesn’t focus on dating. It does however focus on literally everything else.
There is a wider world beyond the complete centering of dating in single women’s lives, but that doesn’t mean that it’s free of hot trash incoming. We have friends, family members, colleagues, hair stylists—there are all sorts of people in our orbit. Sometimes, these people like to tell single women things that they have extracted directly from their own assholes. Sometimes when they say things to single women casually, in passing, and with good intentions, they’re actually bullying single women into further shame and hatred of our single state.
This isn’t out of nowhere. I recently received an email from a podcast listener, and while I tried to finish reading it without crying, I failed. This woman described a scenario where she went out on a first date with a man who was kind and respectful, but for whom she felt no desire. She was coerced into going on a second date with him by her friends and family, even though her own feelings and intuition told her not to. Those around her made her a) feel terrible about herself for “letting this chance go,” and “self-sabotaging,” accusing her of only liking “jerks,” and b) they made her question her own fucking feelings. Thankfully, there was no third date, because she is an autonomous being capable of deciding the course of her own life. Also maybe because she listens to my podcast pats self on back.
If you’re a single woman who’s reading this, you never have to force yourself to like someone just because they’re there. Kindness and respect are not sacred treasures, they’re the bare minimum requirements. They don’t make a man a “catch,” they make him a human being. Anyone who is trying to shame and belittle you into thinking you should be grateful for the bare minimum is someone who is bullying you, and who…