This was written by Chelsea Handler, actor, comedian and host of Chelsea on Netflix. It appeared in Time magazine.
We should laud singledom, not lament it
Here I am, a humble single girl trying to make it on my own — just like Mary Tyler Moore was in her 1970s hit TV show — and yet still people reflexively ask me all the time: “Who are you dating?” “Will you ever get married?” “Don’t you ever get lonely?”
I come from a big, loving family. I’ve had plenty of boyfriends, one or two marriage proposals and deep and intense human intimacy in my time on this Big Blue Marble. And after experiencing all that and seriously thinking about marriage, I respectfully reserve a table for one in the restaurant of life.
“They” — the amorphous community of married couples and the often patriarchal or religious masses of the world — “just want us to be happy” by forcing us to pair off. They’re apparently uncomfortable with the solitary splendor of people like me who are single and pretty goddamned comfortable about it.
“They” — the married people — want me to join their happy kingdom where about 50 percent of first marriages and even more second marriages end up in the divorce incinerator.
And of course, as is the tradition in what is still mostly a man’s world, single females still bear the brunt of single shaming and single-bewilderment syndrome, while men tend to receive an understanding wink and a nod regarding their bachelor achievements, bedroom conquests and beer breakfasts.
Why not once and for all shed our Victorian social straitjackets and celebrate single and unattached females of the world, rather than wonder “what the problem is”?
It’s not just O.K. to be single for both men and women — it’s wonderful to be single, and society needs to embrace singlehood in all its splendiferous, solitary glory.