If you’re over 30 and single, people have a lot of opinions on the matter. Everyone in your life can be on the case of solving why you’re single and what to do about it. Because, naturally, something must be done about it. People cannot just…let you be. You aren’t complaining. In fact, you’re quite happy. Nonetheless, you greet your friends and family with a big smile on your face and their first comment isn’t about how great you look or how good it is to see you—it’s, “So, are you seeing anyone?” Or, it may be the backhanded compliment of, “You’re so pretty—I can’t believe you’re still single.” They couldn’t have just left it at, “You’re so pretty”—huh? In my experience, people worry more about the fate of single women than of single men. Maybe it’s because they worry most men want someone young (but you’re not interested in those cradle robbers anyways). Nonetheless, here are things people say about single women versus single men.
Her time’s running out
When a woman is single, people talk about her time running out—the older she gets, the more she moves out of the category of “young and plucky” that men apparently desire. Yes, even men in their fifties.
He’s in his prime
A man is only called more desirable as he ages. While a woman in her forties is considered too old to start a family, a man of that age is considered in his prime to procreate—he’s finally done playing around, and he’s established in his career.
She should change
Maybe the single woman in question needs to cut her hair, lose weight, lighten up, tighten up, loosen up, or in some way change.
He’s too picky
The single man doesn’t need to change—he’s just too picky. The issue, of course, is not in his demeanor or appearance but rather what sort of demeanor or appearance he goes after in women. Yup. No need to self reflect on his part.
She should settle for a nice guy
A single woman needs to stop chasing bad boys and settle for a nice man. She needs to give up the idea of someone who excites her and just find someone reliable and solid.
He needs someone who can keep up with him
The single man, of course, just needs to find someone who excites him! Should he learn to like calm, stable women? No, no. He is allowed to find an unstable firecracker who keeps things interesting but also maxes out his credit cards. It’s just, you know, “cute.”
She’s not putting herself out there
Single women are often accused of being hermits who don’t put themselves out there enough. Or when they do put themselves out there, they are apparently not making themselves approachable.
His approach is all wrong
People focus more on a single man’s approach, rather than whether he’s putting himself out there or where he is putting himself out there. I can almost guarantee for every man at a tequila bar hoping to find someone, there is a nice woman at a meetup group who is being criticized for not putting herself out there.
Maybe she gets clingy
Ah, but of course. The single woman must just be clingy or crazy. She must exhibit behaviors that drive men away. Her friends must investigate that.
Maybe he’s emotionally unavailable
The single man must just be emotionally unavailable. No chance that he is the one who is clingy, unstable, and could really use some therapy before dating, right? Nah. Men don’t have emotional problems.
She’s got too much baggage
If a woman has a few failed relationships, she’s damaged goods. She has too much baggage. What is wrong with her, that none of those relationships worked out?
His past gave him experience
A man’s past relationships don’t count against him. Heck, he gets credit for remaining loyal to one person, for more than three months. Signs of his emotional baggage can be completely overlooked.
She should withhold sex
The single woman is told to withhold sex. She’s told that if a man is going to take her seriously, that she needs to make him wait to have sex.
He should date more conservative women
The single man is told to stop dating women who give up it up too early. The responsibility to put a stop to sex is not on him, of course. No, no. It’s on the women he dates.
She’s just selfish
A single woman is called difficult, stubborn, hard to be with, selfish, not nurturing, and other such terms that imply she’s just cold and incorrigible.
He needs someone to care for him
People just worry about there being someone to care for the single man. They don’t ask what sort of caretaker he’d make in return.