“I can safely conclude that we are single because we want to be.”
― Candace Bushnell
Being single is a stage every woman – every respectable woman at least – must go through. Like a rite of passage, a woman needs to spend time alone, cultivating herself and her wants, before entering the world. Like army training, this rite of passage is difficult; full of doubt, fear, and the constant barrage of family members. Instead of a drill sergeant’s cries of “Do you understand me private?!” it’s “Where’s your significant other, young lady?!”
Alas, the plight of the single woman is a difficult one. She must withstand questioning, the loss of friends to partners as dull as death, and when she does enter the dating field, avoid the mines of creepy, obnoxious, and sometimes just absolutely bizarre people.
Many women do not make it through basic training. They quit, run away or marry the first person who promises her a warm bed. Of course, every woman is tempted by it. It’s easy to desert. To leave behind the nights of dinner for one, sad looks from couple friends, and the shitty apartments that could be twice as nice with twice the income. But the wise women know that compromise is the kiss of death. That choosing a significant other because you’re uncomfortable or lonely is just choosing a different type of pain…a pain that will outlast this momentary one.
Because where she is now isn’t that bad when she realizes the liberating truth: being single is a choice. Because she could leave, whenever she wanted. She had chances to leave, but didn’t take them. Because she wasn’t going to settle. Nor compromise her morals. Like all brilliant women who have endured the ‘plight’ of being single, she knows what she wants and will not surrender until she finds it.
Yes, some nights will feel lonely. Sometimes she’ll crave the heat from another body, which she may or may not find to alleviate the ache. And maybe she’ll even date that warm body for awhile. Giving them a shot. But she knows what she’s doing and she most certainly knows when someone is the ‘one’ and when someone is just another one she’ll have to say goodbye to. Being single is hard but not as hard as living with someone who isn’t worthy.
But if you’re feeling that pang of loneliness or fear or doubt we all have from time to time, just remember that it’s not easy to find your person. Most brilliant women are the ones left standing because they have needs and desires they refuse to compromise.
“I have my own peculiar yardstick for measuring a man: Does he have the courage to cry in a moment of grief? Does he have the compassion not to hunt an animal? In his relationship with a woman, is he gentle? Real manliness is nurtured in kindness and gentleness, which I associate with intelligence, comprehension, tolerance, justice, education, and high morality. If only men realized how easy it is to open a woman’s heart with kindness, and how many women close their hearts to the assaults of the Don Juans.”
— Sophia Loren
“I’ll only marry the man who can guess which is my favourite stone on the whole sea-shore.”
— Marina Tsvetaeva
“I don’t want worship. I want understanding”
— Anais Nin
“But just when I’ve managed to harden my heart, he’ll turn around and be so sweet. I always fall for it. I don’t know why.”
— Donna Tartt
“Sometimes I think all I want to find is a mean guy and make him be nice to me. Or maybe a nice guy who’s a little bit mean to me. But they’re usually too nice too soon or too mean too long.”
― Carrie Fisher
“If you’re a woman, it’s almost impossible to establish a relationship. You’re too much for everybody. It’s too much. The woman always has to play this role of being fragile and dependent. And if you’re not, they are fascinated by you, but only for a little while. And then they want to change you and crush you. And then they leave. So, lots of lonely hotel rooms, my dear.”
― Marina Abramović
“I dream to have this perfect man, who does not want to change me.”
— Marina Abramović
“I am a woman meant for a man, but I never found a man who could compete.”
— Bette Davis
Once the love bug wears off, as it inevitably does, you are shocked to discover that you really didn’t know the object of your affections at all. We know this to be so, even as we repeat the same mistake over and over and over.”
— Bette Davis
“It’s a rare man who can stand being around an intelligent woman, let alone married to her.”
— Bette Davis
“I am too intelligent, too demanding, and too resourceful for anyone to be able to take charge of me entirely. No one knows me or loves me completely. I have only myself.”
― Simone de Beauvoir
“A man attaches himself to woman — not to enjoy her, but to enjoy himself.”
― Simone de Beauvoir
“Alone. That’s the only way. [Alone.]”
— Virginia Woolf
“I wish men could understand we’re not here auditioning to be your girl.”
— Dream Hampton
“I wouldn’t be in shallow relationships, so I do nothing.”
— Candace Bushnell
I’d rather live on my own than live with a face that looks at me with the wrong eyes.
“Why haven’t I got a husband and children?” mused Greta Garbo to the Dutchess of Windsor, “I never met a man I could marry.”