She’s Just Desperate (for Something Normal)

gil-005bKittens, 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!

– Grace

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17 thoughts on “She’s Just Desperate (for Something Normal)

  1. Reblogged this on thisbloggingbitch and commented:
    I am single.

    I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve said that to someone, or something along those lines after being asked of my dating situation, and felt like the person I was saying it too immediately made me feel like I needed to follow that declaration up with, “but I’m SO happy about it!” because, God forbid I don’t and the person I’m talking to be made aware of the fact that I’d like to not be single. How embarrassing for me to want for something! And especially something that makes me seem so sad and lonely. Many times, when I don’t provide a “Single and lovin’ it!” response, the person discussing my lack of romantic relationship with me gives me one of those ‘Poor girl, she must be so desperate to meet someone’ looks. I’m not saying everyone does this, but I’ve gotten responses, both verbally and sad-pitying-eyes non-verbally, similar to this often enough when expressing my desire to find someone (and not in a desperate ‘please, just let me find anyone!’ way, in a ‘I’d like to meet a specific one’ type way) that by now I’ve become almost ashamed to admit that yes, I am single, but I’d really like not to be. Frankly, that’s probably one of the reasons it took me so long to give online dating a try. How dare I actively pursue such a desire for non-singleness! To be honest, I thought this was just a me problem. I didn’t think a lot of other women out there were experiencing similar feelings. So reading this entry has been a revelation. It’s captured so many of the things I’ve dealt with during my “single, but not necessarily lovin’ it” time, and it makes me feel confident in saying this…

    I want to find love. Specifically, I’d like to find read on the couch on Sunday mornings, occassionally eat cereal for dinner, fight for things that really matter to us, hold my hand when we’re in a dark room so I don’t get scared, always tell me goodnight, type love. What I don’t want is your pitying looks because I have yet to find this type of love. Yes, I happen to be a woman, and I happen to want love, but an old, sad maiden that does not make! I don’t want you to think me desperate and feel the need to throw me on any living man that isn’t wearing a ring even though they have no desire for the type of love I seek.

    Once again, The Spinsters are right on point, so reader on, y’all. Read on…

  2. that is so true! and now imagine you’re 40… (I am) and single for quite a while
    my friend’s friend has a saying I love: I’m desperate but still picky
    I really want to be with someone special, to love and be loved, I want it very very very much but it does not mean I will go for just anybody, or that I will try to steal your husband/boyfriend (as many coupled women seem to think of singles)
    I am not THAT desperate
    I’m desperate for life, for passion, for love IN GENERAL and being in a relationship is part of it-the part that is missing now
    ( I was in long term relationships, I was married, I remember how good it feels and I MISS IT, it’s normal and natural)
    what’s wrong in trying? in looking online?
    well..I know what’s wrong for me, I have to pay for it online, with credit card THAT I DON’T HAVE, hehehe, so I’ve joined a portal that suits my needs but…ekhem free option is not an option
    and that’s about it for online dating for me ;p

  3. I cannot stand the whole double standard where society can say that a single woman will of course have to settle done one day, but at the same time said woman is ‘desperate’ if she says something similar regarding herself! It’s ludicrous! I would say make up your mind on what you want from women, but then again I wouldn’t really care what you wanted from us anyway!
    All that frustration aside, wonderful post! I love this blog… And now I’m going to go pick up a Jane Austen novel and read that while being happily single because my culture can just get over it’s ‘desperate women’ stereotypes!

  4. If I hadn’t admitted that I wanted to find love (vs. parents finding prospective grooms, read: arranged marriage) I would have never found my Love that too on a dating site!

  5. Good post! I’m thinking of trying online dating…I just have to get over being a chicken first. 🙂 But if people are interested in finding love, why not use every tool at their disposal, including the Internet?

    Also, a small quibble: some of us sit at home eating ice cream and reading Jane Austen quite happily! 🙂

  6. Pingback: Haters, They Gonna Date | Psycho Girl Self Help

  7. Yes to all of this. Why on Earth is it commonly seen for a woman to be actively seeking love to be a bad thing? She’s doing something about something she wants? It makes sense to me! I equate it to my personal choice of sometimes going to the cinema on my own. There’s a film I desperately want to see. Do I miss out on the opportunity to see it because no one will come with me? No, I bloody well just go on my own, thereby not missing out!

    This coming from someone who was online dating for an unbelievable amount of time because I didn’t believe that I’d just “bump” into Mr. Right. The cynical part of me believes that will never happen and if I want something to happen I have to make it happen. And hey…. it did.

  8. What I hate about this is that it goes both ways: Do not seem too desparate to find a man, but you MUST want to find a man.
    I’m currently in the situation where I don’t know if I want to settle for a classic relationship, get married and all that. I get the same looks I used to get when I was desparately looking for a man.
    Only back then they meant: “You seem too desparate and will never find a man this way”. Now they mean: “You think this is a good idea today, but you will be very desparate one day and want to find a man and then it’s too late because you’ll be old and ugly.” Or something along those lines.
    Guess what? It’s my life and I live it my way. 🙂

  9. Very interesting. I have been single for a couple of years now (apart from a couple of flings I don’t even count) and people have begun to form more and more opinions about my single state. I’ve even heard that the guy who told me he just wanted to be friends after a date, that I should perhaps start spending time with him because a relationship might evolve. When I said that was a bad idea and I didn’t want to spend time with someone who had clearly stated he didn’t want a relationship with me, when that’s what I am searching for, that I had strange views on the whole dating concept.

    So I cannot be unhappy being single but if I refuse to settle for anyone I have strange views…

  10. I’m single. I like my life. I have to admit, I enjoy eating ice cream and watching “Persuasion”. I also enjoy coming home after a hard day and having the freedom to crash on the couch (or go to bed). I admit that not having a man in my life means I have to fend for myself. There’s no one to kill spiders or fix the washer or protect me from danger. I have to kill my own spiders, I have a plumber on speed dial and I have my concealed carry permit. It’s a trade off. My biggest peeve, if you can call it that, are the women who chatter about husbands and children and then look at me with that pitying look and say “you don’t know how lucky you are not to have to deal with all this”. Guess what, not only do I know that I’m lucky in my life but I think if you are happy in your life choices you should shout it from the rooftops. If your marriage and children are fabulous, be proud. I don’t mind listening to you gush. I’m generous enough to be happy for you. As I said, I’m single and I like my life.

  11. Your so right Grace. I’m only 22 yrs old but in the past when I was single my friends would look at me strange and say odd things suggesting that I was “off” because I couldn’t attract a guy. I think its how society grooms us and expects us to think. I recently ended a relationship because I was unhappy with how the relationship was turning out. And guess what? I was comfortable in voicing this out but I got no judgement for doing so. Its a strange world we live in. If you want something then just say it.

  12. Thank you for saying this. I am just as much of a strong independant woman as the next but I do want a relationship, I want to get married and I want to (eventually) have kids.

    I should not be made to feel sad and desperate because of this!

    The thing that annoys me most is my happily partnered or married friends telling me to ‘take it slow’ or ‘enjoy being single for a while’ if i embark on a relationship or if I have just come out of one. I really want to tell them to f@%k off and that they should try ‘enjoying being single’

  13. Reblogged this on Thought ex(in)press and commented:
    I could relate with this one. I’ve never been into a committed relationship. Just had a few flings but nothing serious, well I guess this is explicable since I’m fairly 19. But there was a moment wherein I felt like, Hey! I want a partner too. A real one? Someone who’ll hold my hand while taking me home, or have a lunch buddy that makes my heart and tummy flutter at the same time. ♥ Anyways, there I somehow became “desperate”, like believing a gay likes me, and he would be able to love a girl like me in a romantic way? I’m not assuming things with this gay since he/she was the one who told me that he likes me. He even told me where he usually hang-out that he seemingly tells me; “Let’s hang-out sometime, just see me here!” And there I was a total fool. Next thing I knew, he has a boyfriend! What the hell?! He’s a flirt. Thinking about it, I felt life is unfair! Why does he have a boyfriend while I don’t have? He’s a gay man, and I’m a girl and BOYfriend is for GIRLfriend. (I don’t mean to offend anyone but that was just me ranting before because I was jealous of what he has that I don’t. And I was just a little bit narrow- minded that time, and I’m sorry if I’ve offended anyone with this rantings of mine.) So back to the issue. I was distraught, I felt unpretty. But you know what? After some time, I realize up until now that maybe, just maybe I’m not ready for something as big as commitment. I’m still immature. And I don’t know if I can handle the challenges of being in a relationship, a serious one. At the same time, when you go in to that relationship, it’s much better if you decided to have that partnership feeling complete. NOT just for the sake of “you’re my other half, the one that completes me” but rather, “I’m SHARING you all of me, and I CHERISH every piece of you.” I know it’s cheesy but I guess you get my point. Right? Well that’s all I can say since ’til now I’m still single, but not desperate now. 🙂

  14. I feel that this notion is also similar to the idea that women should be “sexy”, but not “sexual”. In other words, it’s attractive when a woman is sexually appealing to others, but doesn’t engage too liberally in sex acts herself.

    Both of these notions contribute to the sadistic part of society’s idea that women only exist to be objects of desire, but can’t desire things themselves. Some guys get threatened at the idea of women having their own standards and choice in a partner. They want to be the only ones who the beautiful girl has ever “been with.” If I never went after what I wanted, I would only be stuck with the ones who approached me, and thank goodness that didn’t happen!

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