Okay, I am not whining about this. In fact, I have decided to just compile all the ridiculous things I have heard so far as a single woman up to my 36th birthday on November last year.
Let’s see how many of you have heard any of these. So, here they go:
1. “You’re not trying hard enough.”
In a way, this is sort of true. I have been told a lot about this. Go out, get yourself out there. How can you find a guy if you are being such a hermit like this?
To single-shamers: I go out when I want or need to, especially when money is part of the concern. Besides, this advice will contradict the next one.
2. “You’re trying too hard.”
After you have decided to listen and try Advice No.1, there are people telling you the opposite. This is even worse if you are a 30-something Indonesian woman. Some will accuse you of being desperate, aggressive, and – get this – “forgetting your place.” (I do not even know what that means and do not wish to.)
To single-shamers: Seriously, what do you want? I try Advice No.1 and you say I might scare off/intimidate some guys. Which part of “trying” is considered “too hard”? Either way, I cannot win with you. It does not help to point out that, yes, there are painfully shy guys out there who have no problems with girls making the first move.
And please, have a heart. Empathise. Never tell them they are “not man enough”.
3. “You’re too picky.”
This is probably their most favorite accusation. Either way, it is also the same. You choose a guy they consider “below your standard”, they think you are “desperate” or “settling for less”. If not, they simply think you are arrogant and have such an impossibly high standard.
To single-shamers: Would you rather awoman date a junkie ripping her bank account off, a thief, someone else’s husband just as long as she is not single anymore, or would you rather see a woman sensible enough to either wait, search, and choose her Mr. Really Right? I am sure you know the smart answer.
4. “You’re FAT.”
Perhaps this also happens in other countries. Either way, this is still toxic and mentally-damaging. It is even worse if this comes from your own family members. It hurts that women are being this nasty to each other.
To single-shamers (and fat-shamers): Just zip it. Not only did you imply that only certain types of women deserve love, you also imply that all men are shallow creatures who only value women from their physical appearance. I know those jerks exist, but your nasty comment here overshadows the existence of the really good guys who love women more than just their looks.
5. “You hang out with too many guys. It’s hard if one wants to date you.”
Not only absurd, this is also beyond my comprehension. So I can only hang out with girls in order to be noticed by a guy? What kind of a jealous prick do you want me to end up with?
To single-shamers: I want a guy who will not tell me whom I should be friends with. I do not need his super jealous rage breathing down my neck wherever I go. That will suffocate me. Why can’t he just trust me the way I trust him if he has a lot of friends who are girls? (Or do you think I’m naive?)
Besides, news flash: guys and girls can be just friends too – and opposite-sex friendships do exist. Just because I am friends with many of them, that does not mean...ah, nevermind.
6. “You’re not girly/feminine enough.” / “You look like a dyke.”
Oh, wow. No comment, not even worth it. Think whatever you like.
7. “Why don’t you try to get yourself pregnant first? That way, he’ll have no choice but to marry you anyway.”
This is the stupidest idea I have ever heard. Anything to prevent a girl from being single for too long? What a joke.
To single-shamers: Seriously, the guy can still ditch you any day if you choose to “trap him” that way. And people will still “slut-shame” you anyway.
So, what is wrong with being a single woman in Indonesia? Nothing. It is the single-shamers who have got nothing better to do than trying to make you feel that you are not good enough and are a complete failure.
This is 2018 and there are more pressing issues in this country. Let’s focus on making Indonesia a safer and much friendlier place to live for everybody – except all kinds of terrorists, that is.
Ruby Astari is an English teacher, freelance translator, and freelance writer. Her first novel "Reva's Tale" is already in stores. She enjoys being a sexy chub, hanging out with fellow writers, and wearing froggy shades in public!