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.”
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.”