Ode to Single Women and Married Women Mythology
Single women – keep your heads up. I see you.
Let me say first and foremost, as a married man, I’ve never dated a woman who was NOT ‘marriage material’ – whatever the f*** that means. It’s my belief that all women are marriage material and worthy to be wives if that’s what they choose for themselves. Just because men have preferences or hangups doesn’t speak to the character and quality of the women they’re evaluating. As a metaphysician and someone who believes we all create our lives, I felt it was important for me to address some culturally accepted mythologies about single and married women.
There seems to be this belief that a woman who is married has some type of deeper understanding around what she wants, who she is, how to get a man, or how to keep a man. There’s a belief that married women are some how better than single women – like better people, more responsible, and more worthy of public praise. The world tends to look at married women as more willing to make a sacrifice in their lives for the sake of family, their husband, and their community. I totally understand where this comes from. It’s in our culture to place people within a hierarchical structure or pass judgment based upon the position they hold without evaluating their effectiveness in that position.
I’m not saying single women are openly discriminated against, but it is an unwritten, unsaid reality for many people in our society that the older a woman gets without being married the more she’s looked at as ‘strange’, like there’s something wrong with her. You can hear people thinking it to themselves, “Aww…she hasn’t been able to find the one. Maybe she had a childhood trauma or just can’t bring herself to trust. Maybe her self-esteem is low.”
It’s even worse if she’s single with children because everyone acts like their concerned for the kids.
Let’s dispel some socially propagated myths about married and single women in order to have a more balanced, less judgmental perspective on women as a whole in our society.
***DISCLAIMER: These are just examples of what many (not all) in society have accepted as a truth about both married and single women. These examples obviously don’t apply to all married or single women and that’s not the intent of this article. This article is not meant to generalize anyone. If these points don’t apply to you or your perspective, great! It’s just something for those interested to consider and may help change some societal myths.***
MARRIED WOMEN MYTHS
1. Married women are more suitable to be wives and life partners – that’s why they’re married and other women are not. Incorrect. There’s no proof of this and how do we even define suitability? What is true is married women have accepted a reality and standard for themselves of being married, but this has nothing to do with ‘suitability’. This has nothing to do with the skills and talents of wifehood, motherhood, or a cultivator of family.
2. Married women are family oriented. Incorrect. I’m sure this is a desire for married women, but it doesn’t automatically translate in real life. I know many women who’ve initiated divorce or cheated on their husbands for the sake of their own comfort (over family). Statistically, it can be said married women 50+ years ago were more committed to the concept of family than women today as indicated by their record of choosing family over themselves. I’m not saying the way these women showed dedication in the past was healthy, but many of them clearly prioritized the family unit over everything else in life, including themselves.
3. Married women know what they want out of life. Incorrect. It may be true in certain cases, but there are plenty of married women who feel like they’ve wasted their early years on kids and family and being dedicated to their husband without considering themselves or their career pursuits. Being married and knowing what you want out of life are two unrelated things.
4. Married women feel confident about themselves, their femininity, and sexuality. Incorrect. Often times we (men and women) get married because we’re not confident being by ourselves or tackling the world on our own or because of a fear of growing old alone. I could also argue that single women are just as, if not more, feminine than many married women and have more confidence when it comes to their confidence and sexuality. I’d like to see the proof that married women are some how more confident than single women because to this point I haven’t seen it. How about sex? We know there’s an epidemic of sexless marriages which would cancel out the femininity and sexuality myth with married women. Again, if this myth is true, I’d love to see the proof of it.
5. Married women know how to care for a man. Incorrect. Again, this may or may not be true, but where’s the proof? Just because you have a man doesn’t mean you can care for him or love him better than another woman and we know men choose wives for a variety of reasons – not just nurturing. We know many married men look to women other than their wives for nurturing and comfort so to say this is somehow a standard or prerequisite for marriage is unfounded. I don’t know, but I’d be willing to guess that home cooked meals are more infrequent now than 50+ years ago.
6. Married women are highly sought after by many men because they are marriage material. Incorrect. Like I said above, I don’t even know what defines marriage material in the eyes of men today. The truth is many women who are married took the first and only offer. Many women married because they have children by a man. Yes, if she was getting multiple offers then you could conclude she’s got something that men covet for marriage, but believe me, these highly coveted, multiple offer ‘marriage material’ women are not the standard.
SINGLE WOMEN MYTHS
1. Single women don’t know how to relate to men and can’t sustain long term unions. Incorrect. It’s often times said that single women’s problem is they relate to too many men; therefore, they have too many options and never choose one. It’s kind of like the ‘young forever’ syndrome we have in our early adult years where you feel invincible and just never settle down. Additionally, many single women are ‘technically’ single, but are in long term relationships with men for 5 and 10 years, but have never officially tied the knot.
2. Single women are sexually promiscuous unlike married women. Incorrect. Not that there’s anything wrong with sexual promiscuity, but the belief that married women are virgin-like and that’s how they were categorized as ‘wife-material’ is ridiculous. Single women are no more or less promiscuous than women who were single and are now married. Just because her husband doesn’t know her past doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Again, no judgment because it shouldn’t matter anyway.
3. Single women don’t value family. Incorrect. A woman being single has nothing to do with her not valuing family any more than me utilizing public transportation every day means I don’t value automobiles. There are plenty of things we value that we don’t have or aren’t a part of. The real question is how we function once we get that thing. Do we take care of it or treat it as though it’s expendable? Again, married women initiate seventy-percent of all divorces, so I’m not buying the valuing family argument.
4. Single women don’t know what they want out of life and aren’t goal oriented. Incorrect. I’ve known many career oriented, successful single women who are doing what they love because they’re clear on what they want. They have clear and definite goals. Often times single women are so goal oriented, they don’t have the opportunity to meet men and cultivate the possibility of marriage. These women have a hard time finding a man who is willing to accept who she is and what she’s striving to accomplish; therefore, extending her single life.
5. Single women make bad relationship choices including bad choices in men. Incorrect. When you talk to women as I have through my coaching practice, it becomes apparent that certain experiences are the norm no matter who you are. Most women, single or married, have men they’ve loved who didn’t show up the way they desired. Most women, single or married, had at least one hard breakup, but usually multiple. Again, seventy-percent of divorces are initiated by women so its’ hard for me to buy that married women somehow have a crystal ball type of insight on which men to choose.
6. Single women are the primary reason and stimulus for why married men cheat. Incorrect. A man makes his choice and will find what he wants whether she’s married or single. There are a number of married women who can vouch for what I’m saying because they are in affairs with married men, but of course there will be radio silence from them on this. Married men could also speak to who they cheat with and believe me it’s not all single women. As a matter of fact, a married woman would be more coveted to have an affair with because her expectations are already in synch with his because she has a family and spousal responsibilities.
7. Single women haven’t gotten marriage offers from men. Single women haven’t had the same opportunities to get married as married women. Incorrect. Let’s not judge women because they’ve decided to say “No”. As I’ve said above, many single women have been proposed too, but didn’t care for the men making the offers or weren’t ready or whatever. Maybe he didn’t respect the fact she was goal oriented and wasn’t willing to move or drop her career to have his children. Actually, I know plenty of women who say no all the time, but want to be married. Saying no upfront is better than saying yes, then divorcing later so let’s give these women some credit to sticking to their path in life.
8. Single women are not highly sought after by men for marriage and long term relationships. Incorrect. Again, there are a multitude of reasons why single women are single, but not receiving attention or interest isn’t a universal truth; especially, for those who are career oriented.
I’m really going to need single women to stop putting married women on a pedestal just like I’m going to need married women to stop looking down on single women like they have a problem. My advice is to respect other human beings for the quality of their character, but marriage is not one of them. Marriage is not a characteristic. It’s an institution. That’s like judging Chinese people because they live in China. If you’re a single woman looking for quality of character traits to emulate in married women, I would suggest ones like these:
—A married women’s ability to nurture and care for her man through demonstration.
—A married women’s demonstrated ability to love her husband unconditionally.
—A married woman’s ability to balance family, career, and personal pursuits, including those in the spiritual realm.
—A married woman’s ability to maintain a happy, peaceful environment at home.
—A married woman’s ability to stay sexy and maintain long-term passion for her man as demonstrated by connecting with him sexually on a regular basis.
—A married woman’s ability to stay humble and not think she’s better than single women or anyone else for that matter.
—A married woman’s ability to tell her man the truth and not lead him down a path of illusion or manipulation.
—A married woman’s ability to be a partner, friend, and confidant to her husband.
—A married woman’s ability to be the spiritual anchor of her family.
—A married woman’s ability to be a soft place for her husband to release all his pent up emotions.
I’m putting this list out because for some reason it’s assumed that because a woman is married she’s automatically doing these things. FALSE.
It’s such a bad habit we have to assume because we have something someone else doesn’t we are somehow better than them or deserve priority in life. Or even worse yet, to look down upon others because they don’t have what you have. Or even worse than that is to treat them like a threat to your marriage because they themselves are not married. *head scratcher* If you’re this highly coveted, ‘wife-material’ woman, what’s the worry? Where’s the concern coming from? Could it be your assessment of single women is not accurate or based on fear or insecurity? Maybe it’s they do have solid marriage material qualities, that you’re not giving them credit for. It almost sounds like racism or gender bias or something. It’s crazy when you think about it.