Ode to Guilt & Shame: The Stigma of Solo

You’re alone! You’ll always be alone! You suck!

For those of us who have ever experienced an unusually long dry spell in between Mr. Rights, the humming and tapping of our feet, waiting for that special someone to trip over us can feel like an entire decade.

Millions of women each year, in a fit of post-New Year’s resolution fervor, vow to get healthy, lose weight, etc., but what they really crave is to be in a fulfilling relationship―despite their insistence that they’re never lonely, they love their life, the only fulfilling relationship they need is the one with their friends, and if romance happens to come along, well, great, but they weren’t holding their breath.

“Oh, bullshit,” I say to that! Just makes you want to slap them, doesn’t it? They can’t be serious?

We can all think back to a time in our lives, preferably in another galaxy, when we felt empty without a man. Add in the reptilian need to get laid, and this made our desperation for a steady boyfriend that much more agonizing. The shame of being solo would push us to our lowest.

Those damn voices in our heads, which lacked even the most elementary self esteem, would do a real number on us, convincing us that we weren’t good enough. Nothing was worse than emitting a stench of shame when there was nothing to be ashamed of.

You would have this unexplainable hatred towards someone, for no reason, other than the fact that deep down, she reminded you of an aspect of yourself that you abhor. You would harbor jealous resentment of anyone in a relationship, or that was happy for that matter―especially friends with mates, who would smugly smile at you, damn them!
And you knew what the smile meant. I’m getting’ laid and you’re not. You knew the smile because you yourself were guilty of the same smugness, on the occasions you had a boyfriend.

“Why don’t I have a boyfriend…why can’t I be fabulous like everyone else?”

Sadly, it’s a common trait among us. Many of us wear our men as proudly as badges. It all comes back to social acceptance.  When one girl chimes, “Oh, my boyfriend this,” the others chime back, “Oh, well my husband that…my husband…my old man…my sweetie…my honey..” It’s enough to push you deeper into the shit hole of shame when you’re alone.

Now, maybe I’m being a bit harsh here, but too many of us who are alone, feel so absurdly bleak and covert about our loneliness. We’re all secretive and tight-lipped because the media presents singlehood as an illness that needs to be overcome. If you’re alone, you’re miserable and and your life is tragic. If you don’t have anyone, you don’t have a life. “Bah, humbug!

And then there are those annoying “Ah, the joys of singlehood”- type pieces. These are the stories that inevitably end up with the writer having some sort of revelation that she used to feel disgustingly desperate about being alone, but hey, it actually wasn’t all that bad! Now she was all spiritual and had become one with the Earth Mother, the sun and moon were aligned, peace was guiding the planet and love was steering the stars!

Oh! For cryin’ out loud! It’s these passive-aggressive stories that induce enough worriment and angst to force you into therapy, or at the very least, self-medicating. When they’re not torturing you with articles meant to make you feel like a lifeless bum, these magazines and their, “Lonely But Not Desperate!” or “I’d Rather Be Alone Than Be…” pieces, are overtly shaming you. It’s just another way for these huge corporations to make money off our misery―traumatize us into buying shit that promises to make us look younger, thinner, hotter, smarter―hell, even emit pheromones and become irresistible to all feasible sex partners.

As if it weren’t bad enough that we’re forced into panic and anxiety by reminders that our biological clocks are (stampin’ foot three times) tickin’ like this, you can count on the media to finish us off with their blatant messages that women, if they’re not attached to a big strong man (translation, have a resident penis on hand), they must off themselves immediately.

Granted, that may have been more ten years ago than now, but clearly the shame of being solo still remains.  Just look at the size of bridal magazines, with their BIGGER is BETTER advertising. Clearly, this propaganda is working overtime to keep girls half my age panting after the matrimonial state.

Maybe it’s time we threw off this stigma of solo. Any hindrances that once were, are now gone, and singlehood is a valid lifestyle choice. So, it would be apropos given the New Year, for us to point the finger and poke back at those bastards who imply that we are less than if we don’t have men in our lives. Maybe it’s time we look shame squarely in the eyeball, and say:

“FUCK OFF! (or “PISS OFF” if you’re English) There is NO shame in being alone, nor is their shame in being lonely. It is okay to want a mate. A mate is a good thing. Mating is a good thing.

I’m lonely, I’m horny and I’m proud!

It’s that overriding feeling of shame that will destroy you―make you sick and full of self-loathing. So ward off the bad mojo. Own your loneliness. Laugh in your loneliness, and share your loneliness with others.

The truth will set you free.

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2 Responses to Ode to Guilt & Shame: The Stigma of Solo

  1. I think it has to do with self – acceptance, esteem, realization, love – using my time alone to learn about me, so I could arrive at a place where I could articulate exactly who it is that would compliment me best and I compliment them in the same way. I was never willing to spend time with someone who I felt wasn’t someone I wanted to spend my life with.

    For me, my singleness has lasted for 13 years and for the most part, I’ve been truly happy. For me, being in a temporary or bad relationship is far worse than not being in one at all. I simply haven’t found the person who I believe is my perfect other half.
    Do I want it? Yes.
    But it has taken me years to learn and love ME enough to bring to the table the very best I have to offer.

  2. LatinaLizard says:

    Ah hear ya sista. Nothing wrong with feeling or being lonely. What I do find bothersome though, is feeling or being lonely while in a relationship. Thats when its time to clean house, getting rid of old baggage.

    Lyn (twisted lizard)

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