This is dedicated to the courageous women who dare to be over 35…..and single. The ones who boldly arise every day to stare down traditional values and dare them to stress us any longer. This is an anointed lot of the Black single woman population who are fed up with the drab statistics and the ‘Woe is me’ set of sistas whose everyday mission is to discuss their singleness and why Black men will not marry. These are the women who frequently field the questions about why they are not married, are they dating, what are they waiting on, and even acknowledge the questions that are not asked such as ‘What’s wrong with her?’ ‘How come she ain’t got no man?’ ‘Is she a lesbian?’
I salute you for am I you. Contrary to the media frenzy, there are some of us out here who have made peace with our singleness. Instead of bemoaning the poor rate of marriage in the Black community and nitpicking every flaw of Black men, we have consigned to a strategy that will allow us to enjoy a fulfilling life anyway — outside of the societal norm of being a wife. Now, please understand, this is not some dysfunctional, bitter tirade of pseudo-independence or some dramatic feminist mantra (i.e. ‘I am a strong Black woman’ or ‘I don’t need a man….’) nor is it some Willie Lynch inspired self hatred that burdens the souls of Black people, especially Black men. Women like us are not interested in tongue lashing the brothas and requiring them to live up to a set of standards that they had nothing to do with establishing. We are that small enclave of women who embrace the reality that perhaps marriage is further down the road, or, not apart of our Divine plan at all.
To become this kind of woman requires a process of pure emotional hell and upheaval. It requires a woman to undo everything that she’s been taught about womanhood (from her family and society) and then reconstruct the experience for herself. The deconstruction can be unsettling, unnerving–all of that. It’s quite uncomfortable and forces you to deal with your unspoken fears by asking the tough questions and considering those thoughts, you know, the ones that are brewing in your heart such as, ‘Will I be alone for the rest of my life?’ Well, the answer to that depends on you. The simple truth is that you won’t be alone for the rest of your life unless that’s what you want. End of story.
At some point, every woman should ask herself why does she want to get married in the first place and be brutally honest about the answer. Is she in some way believing, whether consciously or unconsciously, that she will not be a complete woman unless she’s referred to as ‘Mrs.’? Companionship, love, and sharing a life doesn’t pass as substantial reasons, either. Why? Because, truth be told, you don’t have to say ‘I Do’ and sign a state-issued piece of paper to get those things. In addition, the divorce rate proves that many people may have married for love, companionship, and to share a life — and it didn’t quite work out so well for them. I’m willing to bet that there’s even more folks held captive in marriages where the love is being questioned, the companionship is no longer there and the last thing they want is to continue sharing a life with each other. So far, the only valid reason that I have for marriage is raising children — which has absolutely nothing to do with your personal wants and needs. Raising children requires at least 18-21 years of selflessness and sacrifice.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not disqualifying marriage because I believe in the institution wholeheartedly, however, I think that we, as a society, and, in particular, as an ethnic community, need to readdress all of the suppositions that we have about marriage. For the most part, it’s being urged as a ‘Must Do’ in our lives which has caused many of us to slap it on a To Do List without so much as a second thought of how it will look and feel, specifically for us. Instead, we just accept the assumptions as truth and then become baffled when the thing is not working as it should. I want you to have the second thought about marriage because, in doing so, you may have some profound revelations about your life — which leads me to my next point.
As a woman continues to process this aspect of her life, she should arrive at the conclusion, eventually, that being single is just fine. It doesn’t, in any way, make her any more or any less of a woman. Also, it’s not about giving up or not believing in love — but rather, respecting love enough to bless you at its whim and in its most beautiful state. By allowing life to take its natural course and deliver all things in its own time, a woman can now determine how she wants to enjoy those moments while it’s on the way. That’s the Single Life Remix. It’s a remix because a woman’s focus is not on trying to turn in her Single status with such a sense of urgency. Dating becomes a more relaxed, enjoyable experience that allows menfolk to easily disarm and be themselves (so you can really check ’em out) and, for women, it lets us take a big deep breath and get on some Eat, Pray, Love type of shit. My latest quip has been that I want a love affair that will make even married people jealous. What does that mean, exactly? I don’t know but I have the time and space to explore it.
The bottom line, here, is that one is not greater than the other, being married has its advantages, but being single does, too. Focus on the advantages — not what you are perceiving as disadvantages such as this so-called epidemic about so many men not being ‘marriage material’. What in the hell does that mean anyway? From what I can see, any man is marriage material if the right woman gets her hands on him. If you’ve ran into a man that is not ‘marriage material’, then you are not the woman for that job. When it’s time to shop for bridal bouquets, embrace it fully — I know I will, but until then, let’s just ride this thing until the wheels fall off. Deal?