I generally don’t read first-person pieces from Elephant Journal or TheFrisky or XOJane or The Good Men Project. I’m not sure why. They’re widely shared on Facebook, but they tend to make me a little uncomfortable. Sometimes, it’s TMI. Sometimes, it’s a half-baked idea from an astoundingly unaware human being. Sometimes, it’s intentionally controversial. Sometimes, it’s been written by someone who was born in 1994, when I was graduating college. But I see why these pieces are alluring. Like reality TV, it allows us to get a glimpse of our own humanity, and usually feel somewhat superior.
That was not the emotion that was invoked in Briony Smith’s Flare article on “Why Being Single Sucks.”
Most people are adept at defending their own worldview, but somewhat deficient in empathizing with others’ emotions.
If anything, I found myself sympathetic to her, the same way I was sympathetic to Lori Gottlieb when she was writing, “Marry Him” in 2010. Others may vilify women who nakedly state that they want to fall in love, get married and start families, but I think that’s unfair. Just as no one should ever say that all single people should get married or all married people should have children, it’s equally disrespectful when the proud-to-be-single crowd makes a woman feel bad because she’d be happier in a partnership.
Most people are adept at defending their own worldview, but somewhat deficient in empathizing with others’ emotions. And I see a lot of that from the Kate Bolick/Meghan Daum/Bella DePaulo crowd. Entire tomes are written – in a somewhat defensive tone – about how happy they are to be single and how being single is superior and how weak people are for wanting companionship. God bless them all. Whatever makes you happy. But it is interesting to me that someone can be excoriated just for admitting that, yeah, it would be really nice to have someone to wake up with every day, someone to go to the movies with, someone to travel with, someone to share life’s ups and downs, and build family and memories every day until death do you part.
Anyway, instead of giving you excerpts from Ms. Smith’s piece, click here to read it and please share what you think of her take on things.