Christmas can be tough when you’re single. After all, it is the season of joy, generosity, and, of course, love. You probably just attended a party or a family reunion over the Christmas break, where you inevitably experienced some awkward moments with all the innocent yet incessant teasing, insensitive remarks, and downright offensive comments about your relationship status –or lack thereof.
“Another cold Christmas for you? That’s too bad.”
“You look attractive enough. I don’t understand why you can’t find a man to marry you.”
“Don’t worry. I’m sure the perfect man is right around the corner.”
“Maybe you should lower your standards.”
“Your biological clock is ticking. Your career won’t keep you warm on cold nights, you know. Neither will it keep you company when you grow old and gray.”
“Your father and I are already old. When are you going to give us grandchildren?”
All the single men and women I know are eerily familiar with these thinly veiled criticisms, and all too often, these never fail to annoy and exasperate them.
That, however, is not the case with Techie Buenaventura.
Yes, Techie is no stranger to that entire affair. But, unlike when she was younger, she no longer allows herself get affected. With age and stature comes self-confidence, I suppose, and as a 43-year-old bank executive, she is assured of her place in the sun. Nothing much can ruffle her feathers.
Techie spends her workdays attending meetings and conferences, conducting client calls, and ensuring the smooth operation of the bank branches she handles. Her spare time, on the other hand, is devoted to bonding with her family, going out with friends, mountain climbing or wakeboarding with her more adventurous colleagues, or exploring new destinations with her travel buddies. Her Christian duties usually occupy her Sundays as she serves as a lector-commentator in their parish church. She also lends support to community-based missions and other worthy causes. In short, she is having the time of her life! Thus, she is completely immune to other people’s reactions of regret, disappointment, or pity that she gets when they learn that she is still single.
Like Techie, many of today’s women (and men), especially millennials, decide to put off marriage or not get married at all for various reasons.
A great majority consider themselves too ambitious and career-driven to ever contemplate marriage. Some have already been married once in their lives but, due to different circumstances, now live in solitude. Others, who are in “complicated” relationships, cannot marry because of legal, religious or cultural considerations and impediments. An increasing number are in happy, long-term relationships yet rather opt to live with their partners without the benefit of either a marriage contract or the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony. And, still, there is a handful who have never been in a serious, committed relationship since, well, time immemorial because they are either pining for their “one that got away” or still waiting for their “Mr. Right.”
The world used to adhere to the feudal view that the women’s rightful place is at home – that while men are busy working outside to support the family financially, women should spend their days (and nights!) painstakingly tending to their brood. The world, however, has changed tremendously over time – and with it, our collective belief of women’s role both in the family and in society.
I, for one, have come to realize that marriage is not the be-all-end-all for everyone. Women should have the freedom to choose their own path and the equal opportunities afforded to men to pursue their dreams. In fact, I have a lot of contemporaries, mostly friends and acquaintances from college, who have remained single to this day, and contentedly so. It is actually these single men and women who seem to have acquired total control of their lives.
They can pursue their dreams and further their careers with an enviable ferociousness and singlemindedness that married people like me, with our tons of extra baggage, cannot afford to do. Time is a commodity that they can avail and dispose of on a whim. They can socialize with friends, pay relatives frequent visits, explore new hobbies, travel to any place that strikes their fancy – all without the need to secure someone else’s approval or permission. They have gained adequate financial independence that allows them to spend on things that could make any girl’s heart sing. They have the freedom to go out with different guys and have noncommittal fun, guilt-free. They look a lot younger than people their age who are perennially burdened with issues about their flailing careers AND inadequate finances, less-than-perfect marriages, nonexistent time for themselves, strained relationship with their in-laws, and/or a whole slew of worries and concerns with regard to the kids. They don’t need to constantly compromise with someone whose set of needs, wants, beliefs or habits may be totally conflicting with their own. Also, with today’s dismal and staggering rate of marital separations all over the world, this growing bunch is spared from the potential of becoming just another statistic. And if they are observant enough, they could learn many lessons just by watching other people’s lives unfolding before them. Valuable, free, painless lessons.
These “men/women of the world” are invariably oozing with boundless confidence. They are used to wielding power, authority and influence. They are comfortable in their own skin. They have no qualms using whatever is at their disposal to get what they want and, believe me, they do know what they want. And they never fail to command rapt attention and admiration from the people around them.
So, the next time people ask why you’re still single, or treat you condescendingly, just because you decide not to settle down – just yet or permanently –, say “I’m fabulous and I haven’t found anyone equally as fabulous, that’s why!”
*For more Brilliant Responses For When Someone Asks You Why You’re Still Single, click https://www.elitedaily.com/life/culture/brilliant-responses-when-single/1340902