Tuesday, October 19, 2010

What's with all the single women?

I am thinking about single women.

There are a lot of them I am meeting, in this socially-conscious-sustainability-progressive community I am in.

Amazing women.

Powerful, smart, courageous, clever, sassy, attractive.

And all of them single!

I keep thinking about them, because I was one of them for a long time. Friends told me that my standards were too high, that I’d never meet someone who met them, that perhaps I wasn’t cut out to be in a relationship. My mother told me that I should pretend to be less smart so a man wouldn’t be threatened. I ignored her. I ignored them. And I ended up being together now fifteen years with the most amazing man I’ve ever met. Who, incidentally, surpassed my standards. By quite a bit.

So why me, and not these other women?

Or more importantly, perhaps: what the heck is going on that these amazing women are all single?! 

I put this together with what the Dalai Lama said: “The world will be saved by western women.”

But if all these women are coping with life/rent/mortgage/laundry/hangovers/illnesses just with the support of their friends but no mate –

 - then how the heck are we gonna save the world?!?

So what’s going on?

Because what these women are needing – assuming they want a partner, which I’m pretty sure they do – is support. A friend once described it as “having someone else to hold up the sky sometimes”, which I think is an apt description.  Someone to come home to at the end of the day, who still loves you even when you collapse into a ball of pathetic-ness because you used up all your energy being incredibly brave at your job all day, changing the world and generally being a super-heroine (as these women all are! I mean, truly, these women ROCK and you know who you are).

We women have had decades now of liberation, movements, therapy, support groups, feminist theory, etc. etc. etc. We have been evolving out of our former allotted roles at a rate that would be envied by viruses. We have been part of a movement of change for several generations now. As I told my daughter this morning, grandma didn’t have nearly as many choices as you or I about who she could be or what she could do.

One way Ian evolves... (Photo Joe Menth)

But men. Who’s been helping them evolve? I mean, really, they’ve been blamed quite a bit, as a gender. Not without reason, historically. But they’ve been left kind of high and dry on the evolve-into-a-new-kind-of-being support scale. You only have to look at the nearest playground to see boys being peer-pressured into the same limited behaviours as they have been forever.

Lately I have been meeting some great men who are completely giving me hope for the future of man-kind. (You know who you are).  So I can see that things are starting to change.


I think it’s because the old stereotypes live on underneath.

It used to be: the powerful man had the supportive woman.

Most women are still, underneath, looking for a man to be stronger, protective, ambitious, bigger.

Most men are still, underneath – no matter how evolved they think they are – still really looking for the little woman, in some way. Are threatened by a woman fully in her own power. (Sorry guys, I see this a lot still).

It’s nobody’s fault. It comes from thousands, millions of years of enculturation. And this amazing-single-woman thing is a trend, a symptom of being in the middle of the process of change. One day, the guys will catch up.

In the meantime? I hope men will start letting go of needing to be the Big Important One in the relationship with a Little Lady, and honour the awesomeness of powerful women.

And I hope women will start looking for someone who’s going to support them in their amazingess.

What do you think?


  1. Really good points! I especially love "We have been evolving out of our former allotted roles at a rate that would be envied by viruses. " LOL!

    It does sound ever so slightly like you're implying men should have someone to help them evolve.... But they can only do it for themselves, like women have. Besides which, women have actually been trying to help men evolve for centuries, and I think it's pretty clear they aren't interested in the help.

    Men have to do it for themselves. I think the hard part is, while women evolve and then reach out to help other women evolve, every man seems to have to do it for himself. The men don't seem to be helping each other in the same way women did.

    Of course, put that down to the cultural and biological evolution of millenia, as well.

    Still, I think they'll make it some day....

  2. Hmm. interesting points! I say, of course men should have help to evolve (I'm even meditating upon what role I might have in that). Everyone should have help to evolve!

  3. Vanessa, the more I get to know you, the more I love you. Keep on keeping on. Michael G,
    New Westminster. Ps, that Ian is pretty incredible as well.

  4. I love you and you make my heart sing and I'm doing the happy dance. Anything more intelligent than this is just not coming through at this moment. but darling, you are awesome!