Well said. I recognize this is issue is a lot (understatement)more fraught with complications and judgement for women than men but we still feel it too, at least some of us do. I did not get married until well into my late thirties. I was successful, Ph.D. degree, great job, decent looking (I guess), owned a house, etc., etc. And what do you suppose was my families take on all this? Congratulations Danny (I fucking hate being called Danny by the way but my mom gets a pass), we are so proud of you, we are so happy for you. Nope, topic number one of virtually every phone call or visit. When are you going to “settle down?”, do you have a girlfriend?

Truth be told I had many, too many, but I really do not want to talk to my family about it. But heaven forbid I say no. “Why not Danny?, you work too much, you should try that computer dating thingie.” The great unspoken fear in my family. What if Danny is..gasp…Gay!

Don’t even get me started on the subtle “we want to be grandparents” digs. These usually came in the form of, “we were just at the neighbors house and their son/daughter was visiting and brought their children. They were so adorable….” Alternatively I got the classic “you know we are getting older son and your sister is probably never going to have children….” Leave aside the implied diss of my sister for actually choosing to not have a family, the whole conversation was always so gross and distasteful.

Don’t get me wrong I love my mom and dad more than life itself. They are truly wonderful people in most ways. In this one really annoying and, frankly hurtful way they were not.

I finally did get married at the ripe old age of 39. Victoria had been the love of my life for almost 15 years at that point. Our career/life paths had diverged but we always remained close friend. I did not think we would ever really end up together. But then we did and it was great.

Then tragedy. This is not the place to talk about it but I am single again. A widow at age 42. There is no family pressure anymore to have a girlfriend or get married. Honestly I wish there was. Anything would be preferable to the sadness, the disbelief, the discomfort I now feel whenever conversation with my parents ventures into that realm. I feel it and so do they. I hate it. For me it is grief, pain, agony. For them those things tinged with sorrow for their son. They are forced to take on a little of my pain every time we interact now. It is so damn unfair to them. I am hurting so bad already from my loss and now I have the added guilt of putting a portion of that on them. They have been so supportive and loving. I can only repay them with sadness.

Well fuck. That got way off topic. In summary, women, particularly “older” women judged and shamed unfairly and harshly for being single. Some men have similar, though much less shitty problem. Fucking world.

Stay strong Ezinne. I am confident you will not marry an asshole. I can also say with near certainty that single, married, gay married, polyamorous, none, whatever lifestyle you choose will be the right one for you. The one that makes you happy. Wanna go out. Lol!

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Research scientist (Ph.D. micro/mol biology), Thought middle manager, Everyday junglist, Selecta (Ret.), Boulderer, Cat lover, Fish hater

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