A year ago, Camille, DeDe and I decided that we were tired of having conversations with our girlfriends about being single and instead we wanted to change the conversation about what it means to be single in your thirties and forties. We created this blog with the tagline, “Happily ever after begins now” because we want to encourage women to live their best lives now, not when they have the perfect job, are at their perfect weight, or when they meet their Mr. Right.
I admit this way of thinking is not easy and didn’t come easy for me. A year ago, I was really unhappy about being single. I felt stuck in my singleness. I longed to be in a relationship and eventually get married and have a family. I was a bit hopeless about both prospects.
When we came up with the name for our blog the feminist in me cheered, but the romantic in me worried. After we published our first post, I thought, “Did I just doom myself to being a spinster forever?” We chose the term spinster because the original meaning for the word “was a woman who could spin wool [who] … could earn her own money. It meant she didn’t have to marry if she didn’t want to because she didn’t need the financial support only a man could bring.” Though I could rationally delineate the ways in which using “spinster” could be seen as empowering, I was not immune to the stereotypes that society places on single women — desperate, unlucky and sad. Who hasn’t watched a romantic comedy in which the woman’s life becomes exponentially better once she’s in a relationship?
When I wrote my first post, Holding Space, I vowed to be open about being single, the good, the bad, and the ugly. They say, “What you resist persists” and the more I resisted accepting that I am a single woman of a certain age, a spinster if you will, the more shame I felt. I bought into society’s BS that there was something wrong with me and that I was incomplete without a husband and a child.
Brene Brown, author of Daring Greatly, says, “Loving ourselves through the process of owning our story is the bravest thing we’ll ever do.” I owned my single story in that first post and have ever since. By embracing the label of spinster I was able to let go of the shame I felt. Shame didn’t bring out the best in me, but bravery did. Letting go of my shame for being single has allowed me to be more fully expressed, to love myself more and to be open to more love in my life, whether that’s through family, friends or in a romantic relationship.
I still want to get married and have a family and believe that those things will happen, but for now, I’m unmarried and childless and happy.
Camille, DeDe and I hope that our blog, The Spinsters Union, has helped you to accept and love where you are in life. Here’s to another year of loving the one you’re with — You!