Thursday, June 19, 2014

Being Single Does Not Mean Desperate

Full disclaimer.  I am a single woman looking for a man. But I do not want yours. There seems to be this prevailing notion that non-attached women, especially Black women--given the statistics on our potential to find mates—want any man that we can get.As an available woman, I can't tell you how many times and how many ways this scenario has unfolded in the lives of single sisters.  If I'm not defending myself, I'm defending other women because there is this myth that we ALL want a man so badly that we will stop at nothing to get him even if he’s with someone else. While I understand that there are some unscrupulous women in the world, uncoupled women do not hold the title for immoral behavior. There is enough bad behavior on the part of women attached or not to go around. But too often single women are singled out because our status.

I remember talking on the phone to a friend when she dropped a bomb that exploded in my ears. I was initially too stunned to reply to the seed of information planted by her mother.  For whatever reason, my friend’s mother said that I liked my friend’s husband. I had very little interaction with neither the mother nor the husband. And I can only remember being in the company of the both of them probably twice. So, I didn’t know why the mother would say something like that. When I was able to recover my tongue, I asked my friend how her mother came to that conclusion, and she said that her mother said it was the way I looked at him.The situation was so pathetic to me that I almost laughed. But I couldn’t because it was disturbing.  

My friend explained that she assured her mother that I didn’t want him because I knew his dirt. Not to mention that I was not the least bit attracted to him! She was married with a son, and I had neither husband nor children, so we didn’t hang out much. We had been friends as teens and had drifted apart and back together over the years, so it’s not like we were always around each other, but we could always pick up where we left off when we got reacquainted.The scenario didn’t sit well with me. My friend's mother accused me of liking her husband. If my friend wasn’t concerned, then why bring it up at all? This was her mother and her husband, and I was her friend? So, where did that leave me? We lost contact again shortly after that conversation, and I didn’t bother trying to reconnect. I just didn’t like the weirdness of it all.

 When I worked in the hospital my married co-worker always thought her husband was cheating, and would confront the women she thought he was seeing. One day my co-worker shared that she accused her husband and her cousin of having an affair. The cousin denied the accusation, but my co-worker thought her cousin was guilty because she had been acting distant since being confronted. So, I offered my perspective. I told her that if someone close to me believed I was having an affair with her husband, I would pull away, too.  There is a lack of trust there, so what else is a woman in that situation supposed to do?We had numerous conversations around cheating, and I was always trying to explain to her that not every single woman was so frantic for a man that she wanted a married one. I’ve heard women say that a piece of man is better than no man at all. Some women are single by choice; some are waiting for their good guy. Whatever the reason, not all women are running around trying to hook up with every Tom, Dick and Harry they meet. We may be alone, and yes, some of us maybe lonely, but not so lonely that we want someone else’s leftovers. We do have standards for the type of men we want. I live by the words if they’ll do it with you, they’ll do it to you. So, why chase a cheater?

I recently had a taste for Hibachi style food, so I stopped off at the restaurant on my way home. I took a book because as much as I like the food, I have seen the chef's show far too many times for it to continue to entertain me. Dining alone gives me time to just enjoy being with myself and exploring the world of literature without interruption.I was seated at the table with a couple. Because I entered into an already occupied space, I made eye contact and greeted them both before taking my seat. He acknowledged me with a nod of his head; she ignored me. I sat down and the waiter took my order. Shrimp comes with dinner, and I have a shell fish allergy, so I asked the couple, would they like my shrimp. She looked at me and hunched her shoulders. He said, Thanks, I'll take them." I went back to reading my book.As the chef spooned the food onto our plates, I heard him tell them the shrimp were from me. He said thank you; she said nothing.  But she didn’t refuse the food. Even though we were at opposite ends of the table, I felt like the third wheel on their bicycle of love. I have dined alone at a Hibachi restaurant before, but this was the first time I felt like my presence was an intrusion. It was annoying because she kept talking loud about things that let anyone within earshot know that they were a couple.

There are women who feel the need to piss on the fire hydrant and mark their territory. I see it all the time. Women out with their guys become extra touchy-touchy, feely-feely when unattached women come into the same space. It would be amusing to me if it weren’t so sad that we have to be so territorial.

I’m not a man thief. I’m single, but I ain’t desperate.


  1. I love your work and I am so glad to have known and learned from you. You are right on point with this piece.

  2. Well written and informative, as usual, thank you!

  3. You're right. There does tend to be a non-welcoming vibe when a single woman enters a room. I find myself tip-toeing around married couples because of the very stigma you've discussed. I have a 'friend' who accused me of wanting her husband. Not only could she have been further from the truth, but I didn't have the heart to tell her that her husband hardly met my standards. He is a seasonally-employed blue-collar worker with a former drug habit. I'm tempted to label my female colleagues as insecure, but I offer them the benefit of the doubt instead. I suppose I won't understand until I'm married. I pray to God that marriage doesn't cause me to be so offensive though.

    Nice article : )

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