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Strange attitude towards single people

(55 Posts)
Vintagejazz Mon 01-Aug-22 08:43:39

Blimey. I've just been reading a thread on Mumsnet (where I lurk but don't post) about celebrating engagements and marriages. A poster opined that getting through life single is an achievement as society tends to be constructed around couples

One poster responded that single people were just people that didn't try hard enough or were the sort of people no one wanted shock

I can imagine a couple of my elderly Lady Bracknell type aunts coming out with that, but a younger woman?? Good Lord.

Baggs Mon 01-Aug-22 08:52:24

Someone in a grumpy mood 🙄.

M0nica Mon 01-Aug-22 09:16:48

DD decided when she was about 4 that children did not play a part in her future and at about 20 that she was too uncompromising to ever live with anyone. Each a good decision and, heading for 50, she has never wavered or changed her mind.

Her single blessedness is a the result of a conscious decision by her. It certainly wasn't because no one was interested in her and she has always had close friends, both male and female.

Why do people always make this stupid prejudiced comments. If SHE is single, it is because no one wants her. If HE is single, he is gay.

Vintagejazz Mon 01-Aug-22 09:26:54

I know some people who are single because they were holding out for the love of their life and it didn't happen.

I know some people who are married because they 'settled' for someone at a time when they felt it was time to get married, or because they wanted a child.

There are many reasons why people chose the path they did. I would have stayed single if I hadn't fallen genuinely in love.

GagaJo Mon 01-Aug-22 09:32:18

Speaking personally, I found it was hard avoiding societal expectations of being a wife and mother. I gave in to them, despite knowing it wasn't really what I wanted, only to regret both choices later. I'm not the marrying kind. Having escaped it, I'm never going down that route again.

If others want to see me as a failure, let them. Happy spinster of the parish!

M0nica Mon 01-Aug-22 09:44:56

GagaJo I am surprised what you say about societal pressures. I think you said somewhere you were in your 50s, well DD is 50 in less than a year and through life my closest friends have mainly been single women of my age (80 next year) +/- a decade and, very occasionally, the subject has come up, and while their reasons for being single are various, and some would have liked to have married, they have never felt ander any pressure to marry from societal expectations.

Galaxy Mon 01-Aug-22 09:52:01

I think there is a pressure, even if it's what you place on yourself. I think it can take quite a lot to understand yourself, despite my longish marriage I am really not a natural wife and not good at sharing space except with my children. I am in my fifties.

Davida1968 Mon 01-Aug-22 10:07:47

I agree fully with vintagejazz. I didn't expect to meet & marry my wonderful DH. I knew I'd rather stay single than "settle" for life with someone I didn't really love & who didn't care for me. From what I've seen, the single life can most definitely be a full one, and some marriages are hellish!

henetha Mon 01-Aug-22 10:28:33

For my generation (I'm in my 80's) I think there was quite a lot of pressure to marry and have children, but it's very different now, hopefully, isn't it? I know of singletons who lead happy and fulfilled lives. What I like about the present is that women seem to have far more choices than I did when I was young.
If I could go back in time I would not have married as young as I did. And possibly not married at all.

Vintagejazz Mon 01-Aug-22 10:39:29

It was just such a sad thing to read:

"They didn't try hard enough"

"They were the sort of person no-one wanted"

Is this how the poster would have viewed herself if she had remained single?

How desperate was she in her single days to find a man who would marry her?

I hope she made a good choice and didn't just rush down the aisle in order to 'be married'.

Chestnut Mon 01-Aug-22 10:59:39

People who find someone they can love forever and who loves them back are very lucky. Others simply cannot sustain a relationship for more than a few years (seven year itch?) and it's just in their nature. If they stay with the same person it's a struggle but they often do so for the children.

Basically, there is always a price to pay for everything in life. Being married can be dull and demanding but has many wonderful benefits in return. Being single can be fun and exciting but has a risk of loneliness especially in old age.

GagaJo Mon 01-Aug-22 11:17:20

M0nica

GagaJo I am surprised what you say about societal pressures. I think you said somewhere you were in your 50s, well DD is 50 in less than a year and through life my closest friends have mainly been single women of my age (80 next year) +/- a decade and, very occasionally, the subject has come up, and while their reasons for being single are various, and some would have liked to have married, they have never felt ander any pressure to marry from societal expectations.

I definitely felt pressure. Maybe because I was working-class and any work I had was seen as just a job, rather than a career. Following the pattern of marriage/babies was expected. My family still expect this current generation of girls to do that. Questions are asked about each of the 4 girls (Any boyfriend? No engagement ring yet? Do you want children?)

My SiL wanted to join the Navy and be a nurse, but everyone was horrified. 'What about your husband?' No suggestion at all that he could follow her career, rather than her supporting him.

Whereas, I was definitely a career woman. Which was then resented by my husband. To a certain extent, even as my ex he is snippy about it, because I've out achieved him.

M0nica Mon 01-Aug-22 11:36:12

I am not sure it is a class thing. Some of my friends had impeccable working class backgrounds. My grandparents started life working class.

But I can see that those from working class backgrounds came from struggling backgrounds. My grandmother and GGM were both left widows with families in their mid 30s, with no provision apart from what they could earn or, in one case, a small war pension. Another friend was illegitimate, grew up with her mother, but life was a struggle. Plus, of course we are attracted to people like us, and even those of my friends who are married, have always been very independent and not traditional wives and mothers.

Both DH and myself had working mothers and DH's mother was the main wage earner, so he was not expecting a traditional wife. I think the idea quite frightened him!

Millie22 Mon 01-Aug-22 11:40:38

There is a lot of nonsense on MN just lately.

Lots of people are single through choice and are happy to be so.

Vintagejazz Mon 01-Aug-22 13:29:42

Chestnut

People who find someone they can love forever and who loves them back are very lucky. Others simply cannot sustain a relationship for more than a few years (seven year itch?) and it's just in their nature. If they stay with the same person it's a struggle but they often do so for the children.

Basically, there is always a price to pay for everything in life. Being married can be dull and demanding but has many wonderful benefits in return. Being single can be fun and exciting but has a risk of loneliness especially in old age.

I think married people are just as likely to be lonely in old age. Children move away, your spouse dies and then you're alone.
Some married couples do everything together and don't feel the same need to make friends as single people. Some women live through their children and are bereft when they grow up and start living their own lives.

Old age can be lonely no matter what your marital status.

VioletSky Mon 01-Aug-22 13:38:19

That's a horrible thing to think, let alone say!

I agree we should celebrate single people. Everything may not be set up for couples but it must seem that way.

1 bedroom home splitting all bills 2 ways is much easier than having much to do that alone.

Vintagejazz Tue 02-Aug-22 07:23:20

Yes this myth that single people are having a great time, going on non stop holidays and enjoying a brilliant social life must be very irritating for many people.
They have to work and pay the bills too, often paying a mortgage on their own.

BlueBelle Tue 02-Aug-22 07:30:22

Single people come in as many shades of happiness as married people and the poster was not only judgemental but thoughtless not a nice combination
I d rather be single and reasonably happy than in a relationship and unhappy
I ve experienced both

Juliet27 Tue 02-Aug-22 07:38:39

If I could go back in time I would not have married as young as I did. And possibly not married at all
I feel the same henetha but maybe we just made the wrong choice.

Katie59 Tue 02-Aug-22 07:50:39

The world is full of couples, I’ve travelled as a single on group holidays, about half would be single, but it’s not been easy to “bond”, even if I’ve been sharing a room for a couple of weeks. Given the chance most will have a single room, although Im happy to share and save the money.
Couples on the same trip are chatty enough but I always feel the gooseberry.
Often women on the trips are with a “travel buddy”a friend they only meet to travel with

halfpint1 Tue 02-Aug-22 10:03:12

BlueBelle

Single people come in as many shades of happiness as married people and the poster was not only judgemental but thoughtless not a nice combination
I d rather be single and reasonably happy than in a relationship and unhappy
I ve experienced both

My sentiments entirely

M0nica Tue 02-Aug-22 10:10:46

My mother always said that the best way of life was a happy marriage, but better happily single than unhappily married. Since, for her time, she married late, her sister only married in her late 40s, as did my sister and my other sister never married at all. By family standards, 24, I was a child bride.

None of us has had marriage as a be all and end all, and always opted for the 'better happily single than unhappily married'. With DD it was a cosncious choice at a young age.

Callistemon21 Tue 02-Aug-22 10:43:32

Vintagejazz

It was just such a sad thing to read:

"They didn't try hard enough"

"They were the sort of person no-one wanted"

Is this how the poster would have viewed herself if she had remained single?

How desperate was she in her single days to find a man who would marry her?

I hope she made a good choice and didn't just rush down the aisle in order to 'be married'.

"They were the sort of person no-one wanted"

That's a daft and judgemental statement.

Perhaps they are just rather particular about whom they would choose to share their life with.

henetha Tue 02-Aug-22 10:55:50

I certainly did Juliet. And I think I understand the reasons why I did.
But I did stick at it for 32 years. I'm not sure if that was wise or not. How about you?

Shinamae Tue 02-Aug-22 11:01:55

Married twice, first one lasted 10 months, second one lasted five years, been on my own for over 30 years now and have decided I am not the marrying kind it doesn’t suit me, I don’t do well in an institution…