By Angela Johnson-Rogers
For years people have tried to define the female narrative. This is true from our outer appearance to our inner experience. One of the most damning ones is the myths attached to single women. The narrative will have women believe that being single is somehow synonymous with being sad, depressed, or wanting. I’ve always had issue with these ideas because they speak to four universal myths about women. Let’s unpack them.
Myth #1 – Being single means you are not happy.
I don’t believe we can make the over-generalization that all single women are sad, or all single women are depressed. Being in a relationship should not dictate your emotions. Another person does not hold the key to your happiness. When we start to shake these narratives off then being single and happy won’t seem like such a taboo. Let’s, look on the other side of this argument. Can someone who is single be sad at times? Yes, but couldn’t the same be said for people who are in a relationship. I think we give way too much power to other people, and this leads to the next myth.
Myth #2 – Being single means you are not whole.
The premise that being single is somehow equated with not being whole, not being enough, and being in need of something/one is laughable (at best), and highly offensive (at worst). Women are enough by themselves. A relationship status does not define whether you are whole or not. You decide that. You decide that in your actions and in your feelings. Being whole comes across in the things that you say, the things that you do, and the things you choose not to do. Yes, having a partner may be an added gift to your life, but it does not take away from who you are by yourself. Let’s look at the flip side: If someone is in an unfulfilling, abusive, or unstable relationship do we then tell the person… ‘Well, at least you have someone?’
Myth #3 – Being single means you are not worthy.
I don’t know if it is the way I was raised, or the generation in which I was raised, but this point never made much sense to me. Self-worth is not determined by relationship status. Some people choose to be single (see next point), while others simply are; and neither makes one more or less worthy of love/companionship. Self-worth does not come from the outside. I know, because baby I’ve been there, especially when you are fresh out of a relationship. These are the times that ideas of self-worth seem to be directly tied to your partner; even more so when someone breaks up with you. But once the dust settles remember, you are worthy of love (if you choose), you are worthy of companionship (if this is what you choose), but neither of these should be predicated on the other people in your life.
Myth #4 – If you are single, and enjoying being single, you are a ___ (insert derogatory word here).
Men and women who can’t imagine someone choosing to be single have crafted this narrative. I could write an entire article about this last myth. It is tied to so many things in our society; the biggest one comes down to choice. Some people cannot fathom women choosing to be single. For those people they believe being in a relationship is the only goal of women on the Earth. It is not. And when you introduce sex into the equation the argument seems to get fuzzier. These people cannot believe women would choose to have sex (gasp) without being in a relationship (double gasp). To these people I say, stop policing women’s bodies. Deciding to be single does not make someone a slut. Choosing to be single isn’t a dirty word that needs to be hidden and tucked away.
These myths aren’t new. They’ve been the constant background soundtrack to women’s lives since the beginning of time. It is a soundtrack that even then, was outdated. It is a soundtrack that needs to be turned off. Pop the cassette tape, scratch that CD, and break that album because believe it or not, women are capable of being (or choosing) to be single… AND happy.