Kittens, have you heard about Prunella? She’s signed up for one of those online dating sites. Clutch your pearls! It’s so unseemly, admitting that you’d like to find someone to love and share your life with. Women should get married, of course, but they shouldn’t admit that they want a romantic partner. That’s how you scare the men off! Everyone knows that. Men are attracted to the unattainable, not the open and friendly. What Prunella should do, obviously, is wait for some nice man to decide he wants to settle down, then pose outside his door in a short dress, with a basket of bread she baked and a three-legged puppy she’s nursed back to health, hoping he’ll notice her. She should not approach or—Mary Tyler Moore forbid!—talk to him. Just smile and wait. A true woman never looks desperate.
Pardon me for a moment, lieblings. I have to go beat society senseless with a potted plant. I shall smite your ignorance with a ficus!
Alright, I feel mildly better, if still excessively annoyed. Have you ever noticed that the only thing worse than being a single woman is being a desperate single woman? In men, a desire for a relationship is called “settling down,” but in women it’s sad desperation. As soon as a single woman admits to wanting love, people pull out the pitying looks and sharpen their old maid lampoons. You shouldn’t be single, society insists, but if you do find yourself in that “unfortunate” state, pretend to be outrageously happy about it. Remember how sad Jennifer Aniston looked for all those years, dating man after man trying to find a loving relationship? You don’t want to be like her, do you? She’s only gorgeous and successful and widely beloved.
Look, sometimes people are single. For many women, it’s a conscious choice that they’re happy about, but for others it’s not something they want. That’s totally okay, y’all. Why shouldn’t Prunella want to find a loving, committed relationship? Being in love is lovely! Meeting Professor McGregor was one of the best things that’s ever happened to me, personally. Not only do I have someone snuggle up to at night, but also someone to watch all the Star Trek movies with and send lewd greeting cards to. That’s fucking awesome. And if such a thing sounds similarly awesome to you, say so!
It’s not pitiful to want love. It’s not embarrassing to admit you want to eventually get married. Should it be everything you want from life and the thing that drives your every thought? Uh, no. But obsessive thoughts about anything are detrimental, be they regarding romance or flamingos. We seem to think that a woman who actively seeks a relationship is sad, sitting at home eating ice cream and reading Jane Austen. That’s ludicrous. Not only are Persuasion ice cream nights awesome, but such stereotypes are hurting us all. Everyone wants things in life that they don’t yet have. I’m not a bestselling author yet, but it doesn’t make me a tragic figure. It makes me someone who knows herself and her goals.
If you want to find love, why not shout it to the world? Or, at least, feel comfortable enough to admit it to your family and friends? In a society that so values coupling up, it seems odd to insist that a single woman has to be happy with her state. If she is, that’s wonderful, but if she isn’t, we shouldn’t cast judgment. We applaud people who actively pursue other goals, so why not this one? It’s not that I think a man completes you or that you should throw yourself at all available specimens, but only that emotional honesty is good for us all.
I’m desperate for a trip to Paris and a giant book contract. If you’re desperate for a life partner and a pilot’s license, that’s wonderful. Good luck to us both!