Bridget Jones has a lot to answer for. So does anyone who perpetuates the stereotype that single women with cats are destined to be alone. There’s even that episode of Sex and the City where Miranda overfeeds her cat constantly because she finds out that the single woman who previously lived in her apartment died – and the cat ate her face before anyone found her. Nice.
Well, I have a cat. Actually I have two. I’m lucky in that it never crossed my mind that acquiring these fluff balls would diminish my chances at a relationship. (Well, secretly, I thought that Bridget and Miranda were slightly demented and neurotic anyway.)
I remember when I first got my first cat, Rex. I used to wax lyrical about his cuteness factor (I mean, really, look at him. My cat is damn cute). But the weird thing was that people would almost always follow my gushes with the response: “So you’re single?” Bizarre. (I wasn’t. I just really love my cat.)
However, acquiring a cat doesn’t seem to be the only action which many people associate with a statement of long-term singledom – or spinsterhood, as they used to say in the old days. (Don’t you hate that word?)
I see too many women unwilling to proceed to certain life stages because, well, it’s like getting a cat. They think proceeding to that life stage alone is an admission that they have not been successful in finding a relationship. But that’s just nuts.
Do you know anyone who afraid they are making a statement of singledom by resisting the following?
1. Buying a property
Top on the list is buying a property. That’s because we’ve been conditioned into thinking that we need two incomes in order to get the home of our dreams. Admittedly, with prices as high as they are in places like Sydney, it’s handy to service a mortgage with a dual income.
However, if you’re waiting for Prince Charming to front up so that you can get another signature on your bank loan – with the subtext being that you can then move forward together in domestic bliss – I urge you not to wait. Wouldn’t you rather create your own destiny rather than leave it in the hands of the man you haven’t yet met?
2. Putting off amazing experiences
Climb the Eiffel Tower, then walk across the Pont Nuef over the River Seine. A sunset walk along a pristine beach in the Bahamas. A hot air balloon ride with champagne over the Napa Valley. All amazing experiences.
I once spoke to a woman who refused to embark on journeys to the amazing places on her “wish list” because she didn’t want to experience them alone. She wanted to go on these trips with the (then non-existent) love of her life.
That was about 10 years ago. To date, she still hasn’t seen most of her “wish list” of destinations. Not because she doesn’t have the money. But because she’s still waiting for the right man to come along. In the meantime, she’s missing out. And who knows if she’ll ever get to have them?
3. Holding your business back
It really pains me when I see women hold themselves back in business because they think it’s an admission of long-term singledom. One successful woman with a high-flying business said to me: “I don’t want guys to know how successful I am because I don’t want them to feel bad.”
Some women have confessed to me that they don’t want to appear too independent and self-sufficient to the men they want to attract. They want to play the damsel in distress. They want the man to take control of the finances. They want to be provided for.
I realise that everyone is different and, if that’s what you want, go for your life. But if you’re afraid of letting yourself be successful (or even afraid of getting a cute kitty) because you secretly think that this is a statement of long-term singledom, you’re wrong. Simple as that. I’m not pussyfooting around the issue. This thinking is just nuts.
We all shy away from taking leaps in life for a whole variety of reasons. Just don’t let such a silly one hold you back from the life (and cat) you deserve.