Being described as or describing oneself as ‘single’ past a certain age can certainly sound like an epithet in a society where romantic love, coupledom, and marriage are blatantly touted as the way to go. Not having someone else to validate our existence or uniqueness in any way shape or form, within this context, would be considered incredibly unappealing and might be construed as a statement on our very being–that we are unworthy of being loved or that we are not special. This is rubbish.
To say that being single is less desirable than being in a relationship is like saying that air is better than water, or that pineapples are better than grapes… or that having two people in the car is better than having one person in the car. It is not a matter of comparison–of one being better than the other, it is simply a state of being which is neither right nor wrong.
“Why are you single?” uttered from unthinking people’s lips often sound like a challenge to one’s worth or being, and thus automatically places single people on the defensive, when there is really nothing to defend. One could just as easily say, “Well, why are you married?” but unfortunately, our culture does not dictate that being married is unsightly, and therefore people who are married or coupled up are hardly questioned in such a manner/tone, which is a pity because if we actually go around and pertinently ask the question and compare the answers, it might happen that there would be more stupid reason for getting married than staying single.
In this age of moral degradation and increasing impermanence, it would be more prudent to accept being single as the default state–with marriage or other partnerships as an option, only if this option would provide more benefits than otherwise. The estate of marriage used to serve patriarchal interests since they treated women as chattel and as vessels for procreation, they cut off any means for women to be self-sufficient and thus leave no room for women to be independent.
Now that women are allowed to vote, live alone, and earn their own living, marriage does not seem to be as necessary for survival as it was before. Furthermore, overpopulation in the world and ecological concerns over global warming and over-consumption of the earth’s resources do not make procreation necessary for the survival of the human race–in fact, quite the opposite is true… Less procreation would probably save the human race from using up all the earth’s resources, spreading disease, poverty, and moral degradation due to difficult economic climate and scarcity of resources.
With these factors in mind, being single is not such a disaster as it was before and it does not immediately indicate some personal flaw or personal failure and furthermore, neither does choosing not to have children. It probably would indicate being self-aware of one’s options, and the strength to make one’s own decision as well as a laudable responsibility for the ecological future of the earth.
History and tradition serve their purpose to remind us of our roots but the passage of time and present context must also be considered in choosing to keep age-old tradition as well as in wisely deciding to revise outdated beliefs accordingly.
(c) Niconica 2013