Is “singleness” a thing? And by thing, I mean, in the same vain as how people take pride in, let’s say, being stylish, or tech savvy, or entrepreneurial maybe? It’s been something I’ve wondered for the past several years, as I’ve encountered more and more women who seem to rally behind this notion of being either single and proud, single and satisfied, single and not looking, or single but taken, etc, etc,. Once, I even watched (in horror) a religious ceremony posted on Facebook of a church full of African-American women getting married, symbolically, to Jesus. Almost in disbelief, I wondered to myself just how many of those women actually had husbands in real life, since it is a well-documented statistic that in black churches, single women overwhelmingly dominate the pews (http://www.pewforum.org/religious-landscape-study/gender-composition/).
Now, I realize there is a time in a woman’s life where it is quite natural to enjoy an era of independence and self exploration without the added pressures of a man, (i.e, young adult years, during the college years, and even up till one’s thirties), as some studies say the brain is not even fully developed until age 25, so these single periods make logical sense (https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?ContentTypeID=1&ContentID=3051). I also understand that there are circumstances where women may need the mental solitude of being alone, like after a divorce or following the death of a spouse. On the contrary though, what is not so clear to me is how many women still sing the praises of being a party of one, even when the end results are not advantageous.
Of course, some will say, “well not all people are able to get married”, a statement I admit holds much weight. In addition to the barriers listed above, other circumstances, (i.e., having a medical issue like cancer or a non-curable viral disease like herpes or HIV, having to care for elderly parents, suffering from mental instability, or grappling with a troubled or unruly child/ren, etc..), can surely make finding a desirable mate a formidable task.
Even still, that leaves a whole other category of women who do in fact have great potential for the trajectory of marriage, but who fail to pursue it (whether casually, or aggressively), because they don’t prioritize marriage as being a need. So, I figured I’d address it: why marriage is not only beneficial, but crucial to a woman’s (especially African American women’s) well being, in an attempt to change this manner of thinking today! Here are 10 solid reasons to consider:
- You want to have children and you’re not getting any younger!Yes, all females have it—that annoying little thing inside of us called a “biological clock”, that ticks very loudly, probably starting around age 25. By thirty, if we still haven’t had any children, this clock can suddenly thunder; after, say, 35, it may damn-near roar! Now, if you’re one of the sharper pencils in the bunch, you might be screaming this right about now, “nobody needs a husband to have a child!” and you’d be right—technology has sure come far. I’d still be remiss to not point out the glitches in going the husband-less baby-making route, which I lay out for you in reason #2.
- You want to have children AND give them a head start! “Breast milk whenever possible is best, read and sing to your baby even in the womb, have your child get enough sleep, make sure all their basic needs are met to promote healthy attachments and mental development,”- these are all instructions at which most new mothers would never balk, because the research backs up it up. Well, what if I told you there is just as much evidence that children raised in a household by their biological parents fare better than those who don’t, cognitively, socially and economically. Look it up, it’s true! (https://living.thebump.com/data-single-parent-vs-dual-parent-households-15860.html)
- You Have Children from a Previous Relationship! In #2, the point was made for the advantages of a child being raised by their biological parents, but there is also much to be said for simply having a Dad in the home if there are children there, regardless to whether or not the children are biologically his. For example, a healthy man has the potential to bring with him discipline, structure, added financial resources, and stability. When added to the nurture, compassion, love and sensitivity, typically provided by the woman, this combination can bring much balance into the home. It would only makes sense then, that a child raised in such an environment would reap the benefits of that equilibrium, thus affording them the propensity to be more well-rounded and self adjusted as well.
- You want to put yourself in a better financial situation! Why is it that married couples earn more in their lifetime than single people? Is the answer obvious? Many would immediately guess it’s because of the potential for dual incomes—and that would definitely be a part of it. But, more than that, there is another benefit that is glaring. With two people, there is always another person in the mix who could pick up the financial load, if say, one of the two gets sick, decides to go back to school, wants to start a business, loses a job, or needs to stay home and care for a child or parent. Most importantly, marriage provides individuals with certain legal guarantees, advantages, and safety nets that are just not afforded to their single counterparts.
- You’re Lonely! Is this a no-brainer, or, is companionship being a reason for marriage an antiquated theme? For the sake of this article, let’s go with the former option. We are social creatures who thrive off of daily communion with those we care about and love. A spouse gives this in the highest form.
- You want to have sex on a regular basis! Although having a spouse is not a full proof guarantee, it most definitely lowers your chances of getting sexually transmitted diseases, lower’s your sexual body count, and allows you to be intimate with someone with whom you can grow with and trust.
- You Want to Grow as a Person! Marriage in itself consists of living your life in a manner that requires constant compromise, a willingness to consider someone else daily, the ability to effectively communicate and problem solve, and constant self reflection to in order for it to be successful! Each of those things builds character and stretches you as a human being!
- You want Security! Sure, we know you can protect yourself if you had to, you can wield a bat with the best of them, and you might even be able to shoot a gun; there is still something to be said, however, about the strength and the presence of a man. Knowing that there is someone there to investigate the noise you heard downstairs, or catch the mouse that snuck through the cracks, provides a sense of security that is lacking without them there. Not only that, there are things that other men won’t attempt with a man, or with a man around (like high-balling you at the car repair shop)—this happens frequently to single women.
- You want Better Health! Married couples have fewer health problems, get less chronic illnesses, and experience less stress; Who knows, maybe its because they have more and safer sex?
- You Want a Longer Life. With better health, comes a longer life. Now tell me please, who, wouldn’t want that?Let us know in the comments if you think a man (or a husband, more specifically) is a need and why?