Why Are You Still Single? Math

Without a Plus One, I am both invisible and a spectacle at weddings and other couples-first capers.  

I work hard because I am the only person paying my bills-- which makes me too independent or intimidating.

If I say I’m happy, I must be kidding myself.

If I say I’m not happy, I’m desperate, or pathetic, or getting what I deserve for not putting a priority on love and marriage.

If I put a priority on love and marriage, I am desperate and pathetic.

Most women like me are smart. My cohort made good choices. The hitch for we halves is that making good choices about reproduction means we don’t have that longed-for child . Making good choices about bad relationships means we didn’t get divorced but somehow, subtracting a spouse adds up while never having one doesn’t.

A boss from my past once told me, “You look like you’re divorced.” I think he meant it as a compliment.

So here we are, alone but not lonely. We are living on the divide between hope and grief, in record numbers and without role models. There’s no made for TV movie about our lives, at least none that ends happily. There is a boy for every girl in the media and in the country’s collective consciousness. Subtract the love story from a woman’s story, and it’s all struggle.

Except it’s not.  Despite the societal-induced dissociative identity disorder, despite being reduced to caricatures and being shamed for being a deviation away from standard, single women thrive. We make connections. We build communities. We own homes, we have meaningful work, loving friends and families.

We are even thinner than our married mates, 9 pounds on average.

At some point, we got it: life waits for no man. The two word problem – I do – remains unsolved but everything counts, every experience, every single day.

Just like math.


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