Princess Diana once said, “People think at the end of the day that a man is the only answer… Actually, a job is better for me.” It’s an opinion echoed by legions of strong, independent women who choose to remain single. According to the US Census, there are about 47 million single women in America, and the number is increasing every day.
A Little Perspective, Please
For many centuries, it has been widely accepted that it is men who have a more difficult time committing to relationships, while women are perceived as pining for marriage and manipulating men to get them to the altar if necessary. It was not so very long ago that the only acceptable role for women was to study home arts, get married and have children. The 1960s, the sexual revolution and the women’s movement transformed the traditional female roles as women found their voices and used their communal power to change things. With these new female roles came new ways of thinking and behaving that extended even to love and relationships. We have entered a time where commitment phobia is an equal-opportunity affliction for both genders. Women have now realized the compromises they had to make in their lives and in their careers to be in a relationship, and so the commitment-phobic male has been joined by the independent woman.
Now that women hold positions of equal responsibility to men, but are still expected to have children and raise them, there’s a completely new feminine perspective on marriage and partnership. Women used to rely on men as providers and protectors of the household, but with women making good salaries and feeling more self-sufficient, the belief that women need men to complete their lives has dramatically diminished. Considering the potential negatives of having a less than compatible mate, women are frequently choosing the single life rather than settling. Most women would agree that men can be a lot of work. The stereotypes often apply: they’re messy, insensitive and self-centered, and modern women are less likely to put up with these character defects as they become more independent.
As women have come into their own, commanding higher salaries and plum positions, many men feel threatened and wary of the changing gender roles. Strong, independent women easily find that rather than kowtow to a man’s self esteem by diminishing her own, she’d rather be alone.
The Pickiness Factor
When men had all the money and power in society, they rationalized why they were allowed to be fussy about the women they dated, stating that only “the perfect woman” would do (beauty, upbringing, temperament, etc.) Now that women have more power within the economy, they are becoming just as choosey. They want that perfect man, or it’s a “no go.” They prefer their freedom to work, travel and shop without the hindrance of a man, unless he’s that perfect-10 Romeo. They rationalize that if they commit to a man who doesn’t really fit their requirements, they’ll miss better men just around the corner.
The Single Factor
The single life can really work for some women, who may simply be happier without a partner. Relationships are not for everyone, and a strong woman who chooses to focus on herself and her goals can accomplish much in her lifetime. If you have tried the relationship route and have felt that you just do better alone, you needn’t feel bad about it; simply embrace what you want out of your life. However, it’s best to make sure you are alone for the right reasons, not out of a fear of commitment, but out of a strength and genuine preference for a more solitary lifestyle.
No one can tell you what’s right for your life, and if you’re honest with yourself every step of the way, you’ll have plenty of energy to commit to your life where it counts, with whatever and whomever that may be!