Stigmatized, caricatured but rarely heard, single women still suffer from largely unfounded clichés. But what do the main stakeholders think? We (re) give them the floor.
“To be single? It’s awesome! I’ve been alone for three years, and I never thought I would like it so much.” From the start Anna *, 30, sets the tone. “I travel, I go out with my girlfriends, I manage my projects, I sleep alone across the bed: I do what I want! I don’t have to put up with a football match, Sunday lunch at the in-laws, or other things that don’t interest me!”, She continues, summing up in a few words an assumed hedonistic lifestyle, placed under the sign of idealized sacrosanct freedom. “What I like about this situation is not being accountable to anyone and feeling independent,” confirms Elisabeth, 31, who travels to the end of the world without projection nor concern for the next day. “I don’t wait for a man to realize me,
The key to happiness
Whether they have experienced beautiful love stories or “one-shot” without a future, all the single people questioned say that they have today distanced themselves from a relationship that she considers a bit oppressive, a source of constraints and interdependencies. “A lot of couples around me lock themselves in two. Of course, they continue to see their friends and relatives, but accept many compromises to which I am not ready,” adds Julie, 29, after having had a few debuts in which she finally decided not to go. ‘engage more. “Not that the commitment scares me, on the contrary. But currently, I would rather be single than someone with whom I do not share my aspirations 100%”, she specifies.
But the pursuit of total and rebellious independence is not what only drives our unhardened “single ladies.” “Being single is a bit like going on vacation on your own: you go at your own pace, worrying only about what makes you feel good,” continues Julie, 29, emphasizing the benefits of celibacy on her life. Personal development. You are getting to know each other, spending time with oneself, understanding one’s desires to flourish better: so many inexhaustible sources of well-being that have pushed these women to make celibacy a natural choice, not suffered in addition. But they are not the only ones. According to a study by the dating app Tinder, 74% of 18-25-year-olds make a conscious decision to be single. “Today, young people no longer suffer celibacy. On the contrary, they live it to the full, taking advantage of the possibilities it offers. It is a period when you can discover who you are. is and what we like, to open up to new experiences and live according to our own rules, without having to apologize for it “, comments Lennart Schirmer, European Director of Tinder.
Results? Single (and childless!) Women are said to be the happiest subgroup of the population. Better yet, they would be more likely to live longer than married women (and with children). At least, that’s the conclusion that Paul Dola, a behavioral science professor at London School Economics and author of the book Happy Ever After, drew. “Men benefit from marriage to the extent that it ‘calms’ them down. They take fewer risks, earn more money at work, and live a little longer than if they had remained single. Women, on the other hand, have to endure the situation and die sooner than if they had never been married.“, He explains, specifying that the usual criteria of success, such as marriage or having children, are no longer relevant to measure happiness. So why so much contempt for celibacy if it is statistically better for our health and that of our fellow human beings?
Hell is other people.
For the author, it is ultimately the negative stigmas perpetrated around celibacy, a symbol of failure in the face of married life and parenthood posed in sine qua none conditions. of a fulfilled life, which contributes to making single people miserable. A conception shared by Pascal Lardellier, professor at the University of Burgundy, confirms how much living without a soul mate is still, in 2019, largely frowned upon and misunderstood, especially in a country where two-thirds of adults are in a relationship **. “We are in a society where single people are still stigmatized in certain respects because the norm is the couple. The single person is then either in search of (something) or he is alone because he is difficult to bear, he does not make any efforts or because he is fickle”, he explained in a report from France Info. *** last April.
“As I approach my 30th birthday, I feel that my status may disturb those around me. I often feel judged. When I express my happiness, it is often seen as a lie. People, often because they find it difficult to spend time alone, think that I am undoubtedly well but that I would be better if I were in a relationship…”, confirms Julie. “Where the fact of being alone is seen as a deficiency, it is especially vis-à-vis others, of society. Because this model, especially instilled in women, according to which we need the other to feel whole, to flourish, is well anchored in our heads”, abounds Elisabeth. Clichés have a problematic tooth, therefore, mainly since they are conveyed by pop culture.
Patron Saint of celibate women worldwide, the inescapable Bridget Jones thus drags her celibacy over three novels/feature films like a ball from which she tries – certainly with humor – to part with, making the quest for the ideal husband a tragic epic. Comic in which his dignity does not always come out unscathed. Even endless pursuit, sometimes desperate, of a couple’s life in the mythical series Sex & The City, each heroine ends up finally married and with children. Only the character of Samantha is an exception while seeing himself attached to the label of “sex addict,” swapping one social injunction for another. If single you are, excel in the art of Kamasutra and chain conquests you will have to.
Celibacy on demand
Faced with this tornado of prejudices, most people questioned prefer to distance themselves from this label which can sometimes (a little too much) stick to the skin. “I don’t define myself as single. In the same way that I don’t have the impression of changing status when I’m in a relationship. I remain the same person, with the same habits of life, that does not influence my projects”, explains Elisabeth, while qualifying a picture which she refuses to present as being idyllic. “What is lacking of course, when you are not in a relationship, is tenderness, physical intimacy, exchange and the impression of having a partner to face this life. One can find many things in short-lived relationships and on dating sites., but not these.” For Anna, on the contrary, it’s the opposite: dating apps allow her to take advantage of her celibacy, enjoying the joys of the couple on demand. “When I have a stroke of blues on Sunday evening , I go on Tinder, I chat with a few people, sometimes we meet, sometimes not… and that suits me very well!”
The following? “I hope to meet someone with whom the questions do not arise. Someone with whom we live for a moment, then two, then ten … who turn into years without forbidding anything!” Says Julie. Single? Yes. Ad Vitam Eternal? Not necessarily. All of them envisage one day meeting the “good” or the “good,” celibacy not being a vocation in any way. You still have to meet someone who will be convincing enough to get them out of their bubble of happiness. “What is precious and rare is the real intellectual connection mixed with a loving passion.and in the fire of desire. All this, in one and the same person! If that happens, then it might be worth it to dive into a relationship,” says Elisabeth.
But while waiting for the rare pearl, the watchword is evident, for Julie, as for the others. “Until then, I will remain single and I intend to take the opportunity to fulfill myself by … and for me!”