"I bet your nights are spent reading long books and taking long bubble baths.”
“At least you have time to yourself; I can’t remember the last time I did.”
“Enjoy it while you can.”
“Don’t be too picky.”
These are all statements I have received from people once they learned I was single.
In our world of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, I’m not surprised people have an opinion about my life as a single woman, and a quick glance at my social media feeds proves people are not shy about sharing those opinions. One friend sees me leading an intellectual life alone within the luxury of my thoughts, another friend thinks I live a lonely life full of bitterness, and yet another thinks I live my life as a sex machine glorying in my unending conquests.
People don’t simply have opinions about singleness; they actually have a specific life they envision a single person leading. But here’s the thing: The “single life” is an illusion.
To all of my friends, family, and the occasional stranger at the airport, here are some facts and ideas to consider before assigning a “single life” to a single person.
Single People Are No Longer a Small Demographic—and Probably Never Will Be Again
Single people were once a minority in society. In certain circles (like the Christian, Midwestern communities I grew up in), the single demographic was looked upon somewhat negatively. This can be traced to beliefs like marriage being created for the purpose of procreation, the idea that some of the most upstanding biblical characters were married (some of which to multiple wives), and the reality that some of these same poets and prophets praised obtaining a wife and having a strong marriage as one of the greatest gifts one could possess.1