I never thought of being single as a disease. But I started to analyze the scene and realized the following:
- There are support groups for those who are similarly afflicted.
- There are seminars where you can learn about the singles crises.
- Only people who are married (aka cured) are 'qualified' to set people up or be offered as a dating reference.
|It's ok to be single!|
And the longer you are 'afflicted' the worse people feel for you. I have a friend in her mid-30s, and if she tells people her actual age, they reassure that it's "ok" to be 35. Like she had a choice otherwise? After she told me that I began to realize why some women feel pressured to lie about their age.
While concern for being older (than college age) and single afflicts more women than men, guys of a certain age (the consensus is around 35) are assessed that there is something wrong with them, and not they just haven't met the right person yet.
This pressure is especially strong in the Jewish community, and all the more so here in Israel. Another friend of mine, a guy in his early 30s so in the safe zone, was taken aback when he met the Israeli mother of one of his friends. The minute she asked him if he was seeing anyone and he said he was single, he told me she looked at him, "like he had cancer." She then immediately started telling him what he needs to change about himself in order to get married.
And heaven forbid if you say that you just aren't interested in getting married at this point. One of my friends knows herself very well, and has had a few discussions with me about the fact she's not sure if she ever wants to get married. At the very least she is for sure not currently ready. I asked her what the typical response was when people find out she is single, try to set her up, and she stops them. She said it ranges from people angrily telling her, "You can't do this!" to being anxiously asked, "You poor thing, are you sure you want to be alone forever?"
These interactions remind me of an episode of The Simpsons, where Marge gets anxious about something. She is very adamant that everyone must be part of a couple and starts putting together 'couples' first pushing the salt and pepper shakers together, then the dog and cat. As we discussed last week, having patience is very valuable while dating. You don't want to give up or cave into pressure to just pick someone already, and then end up as incompatible as a cat and dog.
Personally, I don't have a problem with my age (for the record, I'm 30). I was thinking, if I don't have a problem...maybe there really isn't a problem being single. It's not a condition that needs to be treated, or apologized for. It doesn't mean you are being too picky or not putting yourself out there enough. It is what it is, and that's ok.