The fact that I am currently a Singleton, and most likely will remain a Singleton has probably the largest impact on all my decisions, both financial and non-financial than anything else in my life. However, I have never been able to explain quite well to people who ask me about my singlehood, the reasons for it. Given that this blog is titled “The Singleton Files”, I thought I would try and make an effort for my readers (whoever is out there).
I am a heterosexual Asian woman brought up in a pretty traditional household, so eventual singlehood never even crossed my mind in my youth. I had my crushes like other girls and expected to eventually get married, have kids and do all the things that are expected of a modern day middle class married woman. To be honest, I was never quite sure about the kiddies part, because I have never been able to scrounge up the least bit of interest in them, and feel no maternal feelings at all, but I figured it was something that would straighten out by itself when the time came.
My parents are traditional Asian Chinese, so I was expected to do well in school and be a good girl until marriageable age. I was homely and nerdy, shy and a little awkward (still pretty much am actually), so romance kind of evaded me. Once I reached the threshold age and didn’t settle down with a steady partner, my parents changed tack and gently encouraged me to be a little more forward. But I had no idea how to go after it on my own after being a wall flower all this time. I still don’t. I get along pretty well with guys, but it has always been a friend thing. By my late twenties, I was kind of resigned to singlehood.
In my early thirties, things at work were going pretty well (since I had nothing else to do but work), and I was earning more, and more. My introvert nature had gotten more entrenched all this time and I am pretty self sufficient and self entertaining. My maternal instincts never developed and I knew for a fact that even if I got married eventually, I didn’t want children. All of which meant I was not in any need for a man in my life:
1) To take care of me financially and physically
2) For companionship
3) For biological reasons – kids
By this time, I was also getting more settled and entrenched in my single lifestyle. I knew various aspects of singlehood which had become critically important to me (such as control of my own finances, certain day-to-day habits etc) would need compromise if I had a partner, and I began questioning whether I would be willing to change. Marriage began to lose its luster for me once I started considering all these points.
I made a last ditch effort to try and enlarge my social circle and snag a boyfriend/husband when I hit the big 3-0. Perhaps I went about it in a too extreme way, but I ended that 3 months of social whirl terribly exhausted, both physically and mentally.
It didn’t help that my father is a chauvinist, and can be pretty mean to my mother at times, even though he was always doting on us girls. He got even more chauvinistic and mean to my mother as the years pass. My mother isn’t exactly oppressed and miserable, but I felt that she could have had a much better quality of life without my Dad. She has come to terms with the character of the man she married, and deals with it in an optimistic manner that I really admire, but wonder if I could emulate if I ended up in the same situation.
Not sure whether it is serendipity, but in the last few years, quite a number of marriages among my parents’ friends and peers broke up, mostly because of husbandly infidelity. Those marriages which endured had obvious cracks – wives who had to put up with cranky husbands with retirement blues, suspected infidelity etc. This doesn’t do much for my deteriorating views of marriage.
I am 34 years old as of today and I can truly say I have transitioned from resignation at my singlehood to true acceptance. I have no idea if I will feel the same in another 10, or 20 years, but today, I am happy with my singlehood.