Cherishing Singlehood

Daniella Cressman

Here’s the thing: I’m French, and I’m a romantic at heart. I’ve written two romance novels — albeit unconventional ones! — and a multitude of short stories about women finding their Prince Charming.

I’ve even daydreamed about floating down the canals on a gondola with a handsome stranger in Venice, without considering the very real risk that might be involved I should add.

I’ve idealized the idea of the southern gentleman too many times to count and have been deeply disappointed.

I’ve dated some wonderful men: I’ve had three relationships, the longest of which lasted three months.

Two out of three ended horribly.

The other one ended because I didn’t enjoy being considered inferior intellectually and I also didn’t want to have children.

Also, there are so many ways to manipulate a woman these days: “I love you but I am leaving in a week,” “I want you to know we’re exclusive,” etc…

The thing is, exclusivity does not necessarily correlate with that coveted title of girlfriend.

In addition to this, any man I’ve actually enjoyed being around is:

  1. Far too free-spirited to want to be in a long-term relationship
  2. Polygamous (and often has very controlling views about the women he’s married to as a result)
  3. The type of traditional Christian dude who wants to settle down with a good little women and have her birth five children: He’s committed, but oppressive…I can enjoy these men as friends, but I could never be married to them, tend to the children, cook and clean constantly, give up my dreams and goals, and constantly be paraded around, expected to wear makeup and fancy clothes at all times and get the laundry done by 5 p.m. That feels like a trap.
  4. They want kids. I do not want children, but they seem to think they can convince me otherwise or I will change my mind eventually. I won’t.
  5. Very controlling.

Honestly, the first one is the one I can manage and actually enjoy about a person, but, sadly, is also a trait that I share, and one that means we’ll probably both be off on our next adventure in a few months’ time and won’t see each other again.

It can also mean the guy’s a closeted chauvinist and wants to build a cabin in the woods so he can live out his life oppressing women, or even abusing them, when no one is watching without being questioned about it…

That’s happened more often than not.

The cabin in the woods went from romantic to creepy real fast!

Anyway, aside from these experiences, which haven’t been completely awful, I’m just not sure I really want a relationship or would be happy in one.

I’m not the easiest person to date: I can get very controlling at times, and I can also get extremely anxious in social settings. I sort of resent and appreciate a man paying for things and opening doors for me simultaneously, but at the same time I am not one of those women who refuses to walk through a door he holds open for me: I actually enjoy it to an extent.

What I don’t enjoy is being around men who believe I’m inferior and can’t open a door by myself because apparently I’m too physically fragile to do so…

Did you know that men don’t open doors for women in places like Denmark and Iceland because they believe in the equality of the sexes?!

True story!

I am very opinionated about politics, which can rub certain dudes the wrong way, and I resent cooking and cleaning for a man.

I also don’t always get dressed up or wear jewelry, and I am not a major outdoor enthusiast, but I enjoy a solid hike occasionally.

I really don’t like being talked down to: I get extremely frustrated with jokes or implications that I’m somehow inferior intellectually to a man, and, by nature, I’m just an extremely independent woman who enjoys being doted on occasionally but refuses to compromise in pretty much every area of life…

I’m also quite stubborn and, although I do make an effort, I’m not exactly the tidiest person in the world.

I resent the way women are portrayed in the Christian religion, particularly in the United States, and I honestly refuse to submit to anyone: It just feels like a trap.

That paired with my intense passion for writing, art, politics, and learning that takes up the majority of my time and my yearning to travel, along with my very strong stance about minimalism — I don’t have a TV! — honestly makes the whole idea of settling down not only scary but perhaps undesirable to me, even if it was with the man who was everything I had ever wanted him to be.

On top of this, the vast majority of men who want anything serious — who I have actually been interested in— also want children, and, since I don’t want to be a mom, this makes things extremely difficult for me.

This is something I am simply unwilling to compromise on: It is non-negotiable.

I am not certain I would want marriage, even with the right person, but if I were to go that route it would absolutely have to be an egalitarian marriage, meaning that each party would both have to engage in housework equally.

Honestly, this is such a point of conflict for many couples that I’d rather just make loads of money and hire someone!

Then again, I really enjoy my space, being a writer and all.

I find it extremely difficult to even live with roommates: I like to manage the noise levels and plunk away on my keyboard all day long if that’s what I feel like doing, without having to explain myself to anyone, and, well, a partner could potentially cause some friction since I enjoy this to such a large extent and want to work the vast majority of the time.

It would depend on the person, but I really don’t like being interrupted, unless someone is bringing me food that is!

I don’t know. Since I like to travel, I love to write and am very dedicated to pursuing my goals and making my dreams come true while living the child-free life, forever, I might just get a cat named Garfield.

I’ve been trying to figure out how I want my life to look, and the possibility of actually choosing to be single forever is very scary.

I always thought I was supposed to live happily ever after with a man.

The right one, maybe? But then again, the issue could just be that I’m much happier being single and mingling with friends and family without all of the compromises, drama, and control issues that simply occur in every relationship, no matter how great it is!
Annie Spratt

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Albuquerque, NM

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