Why Do I Have To Keep Explaining That I’m Under 30, Single, And Still Fabulous?

31 comments
October 20, 2013 ‐ By Madame Noire

 

Source: Shutterstock

Source: Shutterstock

By Ashley Caprice

I called my grandpa recently to wish him a happy birthday and during the course of our hour-long conversation he managed to slip in the never-ending question, “So…do you have a boyfriend yet?” Dang! I thought we would be able to talk about sports, social issues, and family without bringing up that question…again. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case as he went on to say, “You’re approaching 30…You have to get a man.”

Sigh.

I understand my grandpa is older and that back in his day dating and marrying at a young age was common. But fast forward some decades and we’re now in an era where women are more independent. Men are not the sole providers and the only onesm“bringing home the bacon.”  Women are advancing in their careers, making their own money, and supporting themselves. So we’re not necessarily in a rush to get married because we’re still living our own life. Though we will need our man…eventually. *Cues Jill Scott –The Fact Is “I need you…We need you.”

Of course I don’t always want to fall into the “Single, Educated Career Woman” category, but for now, I don’t mind being labeled as such. It’s not as though I’m dodging guys; I date. I’m completely aware that my job isn’t going to keep me warm at night, but right now I’m content. Wale said it best in his song,  Ambitious Girl, “You just wanna win, and you’d rather chase your dreams, than to try to chase these men.”

Finally someone understands!

People ask about your relationship status and act as though you have a disease when you say, “I’m single.” It’s not that serious. I’ve been described as a career-driven woman so my focus is on growing and excelling in my industry first. Besides, I’m only in my twenties! And I believe my 20s is a time for me to date around. It’s my time to figure out what I want and what I do not want in a man. I’m also learning and understanding who I am. I’m recognizing my flaws and working to improve them. I’m building my career.  I’m giving myself time to grow and mature mentally, emotionally and spiritually before I open my heart completely to a man.

Even married actress Paula Patton understands the conundrum that is women’s singleness. While speaking on a panel about her latest movie, Baggage Claim, she said, “People are very tough on women. It doesn’t matter that you have a successful career, you volunteer, hang with your nieces and nephews…it’s always ‘do you have a man and kids?’ as if everything else doesn’t matter.” I, along with many others, could totally relate to that statement. I do all of those things and people still ask about my invisible man. People always preach, “A man should not complete you, he should complement you,” but when people ask “do you have a boyfriend yet?” it implies that a woman is, in fact, not complete if she doesn’t have a man. Being in a relationship and having children does not define a woman’s whole existence.  We are much more than that.

Once I’m in a relationship and married, I will spend the rest of my life building a foundation, a family and bond with someone else. But for now, I’m living for myself.  So I’m speaking for the under 30, single, fabulous, working woman: do what’s best for you. Let life happen and don’t let others dictate what you should have in your life. One day my grandpa will be happy and see me with a great guy, but not now. As far as me getting in a relationship before I’m 30, I replied, “Well that gives me about 36 months, which is over 1,000 days, so I have plenty of time.”

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  • prii_tay 85

    Great read Ashley Caprice! :-)

  • Kristen

    Yeah, I had some lame family members visit from out of state and all they cared about was if my sister and I had any children/married yet. I shot back “we’re more focused on our education and careers” two things that none of them have. The way they think reminds me of caveman days: your man/womanhood is dependent on how many children you create. As for women, we get asked this more than men. People don’t ask men as much when are they going to settle down and date. Since ppl continue to ask this and come hard on you, then come even harder back on them. Because most of the time the people that wonder why you’re single never had high goals themselves.

    As a community I think we need to focus on getting the [Black] family back together instead of asking single women why they’re single.

  • coolyfett

    As a man, I always wonder why single women get the most angry and defensive about being alone versus women who are married who seem proud to display their marriage with a smile. It kinda seems like marriage to a quality man is seen as success and the inability to capture a quality man is seen as a failure. That is the perception I get from this sort of angry defensiveness.

  • Sarah Moore

    Yeah, I didn’t get married until I was in my mid thirties and I never thought I’d hear the end of it. And people don’t seem to understand how rude it is to ask someone why they’re not married!! I’ll never understand that. Here’s to being comfortable with whatever is going on in life, and not bowing to the pressure of society to make bad decisions just for the sake of making them!

    • Dana

      Sarah: Imagine being my age 47 and still NOT married and no kids!! It wasn’t my choice to be this age and still unmarried!! I just haven’t found THE ONE!! People have said to me that I should have just had a kid out of wedlock; because now it is just too late!! But I didn’t want to do that!! I am a firm believer that one shoud be married first, have stable jobs and finances before bringing a child into the world!! It just never worked out that way for me!! Diddo I want to be married with a husband and family of my own? OF COURSE!! I just have to keep it moving and praying that maybe one day Mr.Right will come along!!

      • Just a guest

        You use exclamation points a lot. LOL

  • Bsquared86

    I. Feel. This.

    Though this is an all too often covered topic, I still think the message bears repeating because too many people need to be reminded that if you’re single, you’re okay. You are not somehow damaged or incomplete solely because you don’t have a significant other. You can hope to be in a committed relationship one day and still be happy in your current situation. Yes, yes, yes.

    And family and friends’ constant inquiries are no fun.
    Even from the sweetest grandpas LOL.

    Thank you for this!

  • Krystal

    I am living this article. I totally agree. There is definitely a double standard with men and women in the dating arena. Men are allowed to be single and play the field, they just haven’t found the right woman, yet. Women are missing the other piece of them if they are not linked up. People, mainly men, think I’m going to expire by 30 if I don’t hurry up and attach myself to another man. I work with an all male crew and they have unknowingly showed me why I shouldn’t be in a rush to get in a relationship even while they words encourage me to hurry and find someone. Some of the same people who will tell you to hurry up and find someone are the same ones that wish they didn’t rush into their relationships. Take your time ladies, if you want something you’ll get it. Hurrying never helps in these types of situations.

    • Nope

      Ehhh, IMO the main difference is that most women conscientiously seek out relationships and some wind up empty handed, whereas men just wind up there and can take it or leave it. To use an analogy, a lot of women take the shot and miss, so that’s why it’s more apparent. And in terms of age, a man’s shelf life is much longer.

      • Nope

        consciously

  • M

    My grandparents were 17 and 18 when they got married back in 1942, 71 years later they’re still married and in their late 80s and early 90s now. I’m 32, not married and have no kids myself and I’ve been to busy going to medical school to find love, I want to have a career first and I’m glad that my grandparents are understanding of my goals, as long as I’m happy, that’s all it matters.

  • Keland

    You don’t have to explain anything.

  • Diva

    I remember hearing this a lot. It always offended me because it would make me feel like all of my accomplishments meant absolutely nothing unless I had a man to “complete” the picture, no matter how much the person saying was just expressing concern. I used to respond with statements like, “Just because I’m alone, does not mean I’m lonely.” or “I’m not willing to settle for just anyone just to say I have someone.” I am glad that I held out because I was eventually introduced to my fiance, and we are great together. Its really hard not to take it personally, even if you know they mean well. Its almost as if you are stigmatized for taking a little longer to get married/start a family. What if a woman doesn’t want those things? What if they don’t want to settle??

  • louvres

    The author wants to search for a man with 30 and then she will complain that all good men are taken..smh!! story over and over again!

  • smoinpour

    hahah i feel like so many young women can agree with this

  • Machone

    If our grandparents were in their 20s this day and age, the wouldn’t be married either! The men wouldn’t because they would be too busy spreading their seeds around (if they weren’t dead or locked up). And the women would have difficulty founding a suitable mate that actually wants to make a commitment to her……

  • hollyw

    As a single woman in NYC, where both women and men will delay a family til the last possible moment, I find I haven’t felt much pressure.

    … until I head back home, and get the “When are you gonna have a baby??” Even BEFORE are you seeing someone/dating/getting married/we don’t care. Ratchetness at its best.

    • Girls just want to have fun

      That’s so true. Being a fellow New Yorker marriage isn’t that big here. Only when I go back home to Smalltown, USA. I am bombarded with relationship questions.. even questions about my sexuality! SMH! I will have plenty of time to be “barefoot and in pregnant in the kitchen” when I am older for now, I want to have fun!

  • Gigi

    I find the author’s need to pen this article after the phone conversation with her grandfather rather amusing when (and I would bet money) he asked purely out of concern for her. He just wants to make sure she has some one to take care of her in the long term. I have personally come to find that when loved ones ask about your relationship status, it’s more out of concern for your welfare than it is judgement against you. So the defensiveness and lengthy explanations about your fabulous-ness without a man are unnecessary. They just want to make sure you aren’t alone and have somebody when you need somebody. No man or woman is an island, no matter how great the job.

    • Lola

      Agree 100% “No man or woman is an island, no matter how great the job”.

    • Just saying!!

      You completely missed the point. If someone is asking if you’re single out of “concern” then they’re implying that it isn’t a good thing that they are single. The author is saying that being single shouldn’t be concerning to anyone.

      • hollyw

        I just said the same thing; why would someone be concerned to begin with, esp. in your 20s..?

      • Gigi

        No, I got her point. And yes, they may be implying such a thing. But my point is that her grandfather with all his years and wisdom probably wants her to have some one so that she never has to worry about anything. In other words, it may have just been a patriarchal thing, like a father making sure his daughter gets good man. He may be the type of man that took care of all of his wife’s needs (and he may not have been) and wants to have some one like that as well. All I’m saying is that a woman doesn’t ALWAYS need to be defensive about her decision to be single.

        • staygolden

          I get what you’re saying, but I’m still like, girl bye. Let me ask all my married friends if they don’t have any worries. Same way you don’t think we need to be defensive about the decision to be single, people don’t need to be so aggressive about our decision to be single.

  • Megbabe

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    Love a loyal reader….

    • Ashley

      Yes, all the advertisements are the main reason I don’t read this site more. I must always remember to turn my computer down to mute, lest some annoying video or advertisement that I care nothing about begins blaring at the worst possible moment.

      Also, clicking through all the pages on some articles? So annoying.

      Signed,
      A not-so loyal reader

    • staygolden

      If you’re on Chrome get AdBlocker Plus. It does a good job because (thankfully) I don’t even know what you’re talking about.

    • me

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  • Let It Be

    *sigh*
    How many times are we going to recycle the same topic? We get it! You’re single. You don’t like for people to ask about your relationship status (having a conversation). It happens. You don’t like for people to react in a weird way about your single status. That happens too. Life happens.

  • Bgirl

    Great article. It’s almost like single has become an insult. Oh, you’re attractive, smart, and have yourself together? That doesnt matter bish, where yo man at? *rolls eyes* I dont necessarily want children, but I do hope to get married someday. All these “you’re single cuz you aint ish” articles will make you feel bad about being single.

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