5 Reasons Why Being Single Is Better For Women

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking this is going to be a cutesy piece about onesies and starfishing; about farting at will, freely and loudly, and never ever being compelled to relinquish the remote control.

But you’d be wrong. Not that those things are without their charm, but still, you’d be wrong. Because in actual fact this is a post about freedom; about the freedom to live in accordance with ones values, and about the very real and ongoing pursuit of fulfillment and happiness.

In the 1980′s, Pat Robertson, a US republican presidential candidate, once famously wrote that feminism was a movement which encouraged women to “leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians.” Funny words from a frightened man. But it is true, I think, that the legal right and practical opportunities to leave unsatisfactory marriages is one of the greatest things feminism has given Western women. No longer fated to spend our lives trapped and dependant in an often stifling and sometimes abusive and coercive institution, we are freer than we have ever been. Nevertheless there is still a way to go.

As a heterosexual woman of thirty eight years old, I have lived without a male partner for five full years now and I can honestly say with no reservations whatsoever, that my quality of life has improved as a result. Some reasons for which I give here, in a list, because everyone likes a list:

1. I am not ever forced to set aside, disregard, or in any way compromise my own values for the sake of… well, a man.

The other day I read this article on a prominent parenting website. An anonymous female blogger had discovered that her husband was secretly using pornography and chatting to sex workers online, despite him knowing this would upset her greatly. After time spent talking things through, she had made the decision to forgive him and continue in her marriage.

And yet, she was not comfortable. Unable to shake the feelings of anger and betrayal, she posted to ask readers their thoughts. Had she done the right thing? The majority of responses were predictable and depressing enough, with urges to try to “understand” him mixed in with the insistence that all men used pornography, and that there was nothing women could do other than to accept it or be manless.

Which is rubbish. Not all men use pornography (there are many with more humanity) but as a single woman it’s very easy for me to choose manless over porn addled wankers. I am only too grateful to not have to be in the position of needing to decide between leaving someone with whom I have built a life and family, or staying in the newfound knowledge that that someone secretly prizes a few seconds of sexual release over and above the dignity, respect, and safety of women, and therefore by extension, me.

2. I do not have to negotiate the division of labour with someone who has been socially conditioned all their lives to believe that certain jobs are my responsibility really.

I think it might have been Julie Bindel who once said the practical application of feminist principles were a nightmare for heterosexual women. She was right. We are attracted to men, we form relationships with them, and before we know it, we are in conflict. We may well be in love with fundamentally decent men, who support and share our views on equality, who know intellectually that simply having a vagina does not make us more inherently suited to pushing a hoover around, working part time, or remembering everyones birthdays. But an entire lifetimes worth of social conditioning and unchallenged privilege is not easily undone, and negotiations, in my experience, often become protracted.

And do you know what? I just can’t be arsed. I don’t want to have to spend time and emotional energy persuading someone who is supposed to love and respect me to recognise the equal validity of my needs and time and ambitions. I’d just… rather be doing something else. Like practicing witchcraft. Not really.

3. My free time is my own. I get to spend it how I like.

An observation: many women in relationships seem to spend an awful lot of time doing things they don’t much like in order to please their partner. As a single woman I get to say sod that. Call me selfish, but I like to spend my time pursuing my own interests and hobbies.

4. My money is my own. I get to spend it how I like.

Enough said. If I want to spend it all on Marlborough Lights and smoke myself to death, I can.

5. Plus I really do get to starfish in bed, fart at will, and keep the remote control to myself.

Which is not to be sniffed at.

About Gappy

Blogger and single mother of three. Likes cake. Hates Jeremy Clarkson. These are my principles - if you don't like them, I have others.
This entry was posted in Dating and other various peeks inside my personal closet, Politics and feminism. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to 5 Reasons Why Being Single Is Better For Women

  1. Iota says:

    I do not sniff at your at-will farts.

    I’m rather horrified by the idea that all men use pornography. Either I’m very naive (very probable), or I’m very naive.

  2. Jean says:

    You are a bloody star. Love this x

  3. Steve says:

    My wife knows that she may fart at will and at her ease whenever she pleases. And I love her dearly for it.

  4. Heather says:

    Yes and yes.

    And thank you for mentioning farting. Every now and then when I think about how nice it would be to have a man-friend, my first thought is “but I wouldn’t be able to fart at will!”

  5. Marylin says:

    Totally agree with everything you said! It’s the main reason I’m not particularly looking for a guy. Sure I have moments of wishing I could meet someone, but when it comes down to it, the thought of having to put anyone else’s feelings other than my kids’ before me? Nope. No way! I love the freedom to be myself that being single gives me, and it’s not something I’ll give up lightly that’s for sure!

  6. Dee says:

    In my case, the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back was the last time I just crashed at a male friend’s house (so, not even a relationship), he pestered me for sex for 30 minutes even though he knew I had to hit the road. The guy before that, a friend with benefits, was so bad in bed I was better off doing it myself (so the benefits were rather one-sided). And before him? The last boyfriend I ever had was a man who didn’t hear the word “no” after he stuck his dick in my arse. I literally dragged him off the bed, up to the front door, and threw him out. Thank Maud I outweighed him by 50 pounds because otherwise I wouldn’t have got rid of him. That’s in addition to all the other annoyances, like who does the washing up, the cleaning or the social calendar. In my case I seemed to attract men looking for a mother who would pay the bills on *top* of doing everything else. What I dread in a relationship, at the age I am now, is meeting a man with children and his expecting me to be a babysitter, cook, bottle washer and taxi driver… Because you can discuss your “boundaries” as much as you like, and have them acknowledged in theory before you move in, but it doesn’t stop anyone from changing the rules once you’ve given up your lease and they can throw you out on the street at will. (I know in the province where I live, if your name isn’t on the lease or mortgage, the tenancy act doesn’t apply and you have no protection. I was once given only two weeks notice because I shared a kitchen with my landlady and she threw me out because she wanted to walk about in her underwear and decided she felt uncomfortable with someone in the house).

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