Earlier this week I ran into someone I haven’t seen in years. He and his wife knew me from when I was a teenager. While we weren’t particularly close back then, we would always exchange casual hellos and general updates when we’d see each other. But earlier this week, that wasn’t the case.
He had stopped by the house to speak with my father and as I exited the house to get into my car, I stopped to say hello. He asked how I was and I said, “I’m great. How have you guys been?” to which he replied that they were doing okay.
THE VERY NEXT QUESTION OUT OF HIS MOUTH WAS….
Now, keep in mind that we hadn’t seen each other in years and this was the first question out of his mouth. I was silent for a moment as I decided how I wanted to respond. Part of me was furious and wanted to yell, “Really? I’m a successful businesswoman with multiple investments and I’m doing pretty darn well for myself. I’m a foster sister, world traveler, and deep thinker. Yet, you don’t care enough to ask about any of that.”
And then, I took a breath and responded, “I’m even better than the boyfriend.”
Okay Amanda…probably not the best reply. But I hadn’t even had my coffee yet. Cut a girl a break?
To which he stuck his foot even further into his mouth by replying, “Engaged?”
And that was when I smiled and said, “No.” and walked to my car to leave for work.
I. was. fuming.
What is it with adults who feel so free to ask these questions of women? Never in my life have I heard adults ask men if they have a girlfriend yet. So why is it so societally acceptable to ask me about my love life?
Forgive me, but I do not (and never will) understand the carelessness and quite honestly, sexism, that’s displayed by people who ask this question with such eagerness. You don’t ask married couples if they’re pregnant yet, you don’t walk around asking people who are dating when they’re getting engaged, etc. You just don’t. It’s inappropriate and quite frankly, none of your business.
Why then do people feel so liberated to ask single adult women where their boyfriend is? I’ll tell you where he is.
He is out there, doing amazing things and growing into the best version of himself he can be before coming to find me. He’s changing his part of the world and investing in himself and others to make the world a better place. He’s growing closer to God, loving his family, and seeking out God’s perfect plan for his life. Likewise, I’m confidently moving forward in my career. I’m changing my part of the world by volunteering for causes that I’m passionate about. I’m spending time with my family and friends, investing in myself, and also seeking God’s perfect will for my life.
I am complete.
I am complete and I am also contently anticipating. I look forward to the day I’ll get to introduce my boyfriend to my closest friends. I look forward to coming home from a surprise date with a beautiful ring on my finger, announcing to the world that I’ve said yes to my lifetime partner. But can’t we look forward to that and still remain whole in the process?
Society seems to preach that bachelors are fine on their own, yet women who aren’t married by 25 are some kind of damaged good. They portray on shows, movies, and magazines that if you’re not married by 30, it’s hopeless and no one could ever love you. (Extreme? Maybe. But there are days when those messages are so strong. I guarantee if you asked my friends, they would wholeheartedly agree.)
Worse yet! Even in Christian circles, Christian colleges tout “Ring by spring, or your money back.” Churches try to set up women with any of the few remaining single men in their congregation. Organizations host 20’s and 30’s conferences with the sole goal of getting people matched up. Singleness is not a disease and we don’t need to be fixed.
And while I’m grateful for people who think it’d be nice for me meet their brother, nephew, grandson, etc. just because he’s single does not mean we’d be a good match. There is SO MUCH MORE I’m looking for in someone, in addition to him being single.
If we stopped and thought about this, maybe we’d see what a warped perspective society has. Maybe there are so many women walking around with the weight of the world on their shoulders because society teaches such lies. It’s time we stopped dismissing women who’ve become successful on their own. Maybe more women would be confident in their own abilities if you didn’t shove their “need for a man” down their throats every chance you got.
Women and men were created to be partners. We both need each other, but we don’t need each other to be complete. We need because we both have something to offer. Men have a logical outlook and sturdiness to them that women often don’t. Likewise, women are nurturing, caring, and typically more perceptive than men.
Together, we make incredible teams who literally can do almost anything when that team is strong.
But having a life partner doesn’t make you any more complete than you already are. Having a life partner simply makes you an even better version of who you’ve become.
And I guarantee when that time comes, all the single ladies will gladly share when he decides to put a ring on it. But until then, do us all a favor and keep that question to yourself. Trust me, if we have something to tell you, we will.