I’m OK with being single

“Women should be taken seriously.”
Fitness has become part of my lifestyle.

Single Lady: Hanri Wondergem

I’m OK with being single
By Hanri Wondergem

“Don’t worry, you’ll find you better half soon enough.”
The words from my (seemingly) happily married friends pours over me like a bucket of ice. And it’s not even the Ice Bucket Challenge. I hate her whole sentence.

First of all: how dare she assume that I am worried about my single status? I won’t call myself a player or man eater, but my dating life is known to resemble a fishing competition. Tag and release. But up to now, I just thought I released all the fish because I wasn’t feeling it and I’m not about to waste anybody’s time. I know I am 30 and for some inexplicable reason people think this is a good age to be in a committed relationship. But I’m not “people”. I am me. I am happily single. “No worries there you presumptuous little bitch,” I think to myself.

Second of all: why do people use the phrase “better half”? What does that even mean? That I am only half a person because I am single? That, if I ever find a man that I deem worthy, he will be the “better half” in a blissful circle where I am the weaker one? And if he is the better half, does that mean that he isn’t a whole person without me? I think not. No thank you! Move along.

In all my 30 years of existing, I have never needed another person to make me feel whole. I feel fulfilled all on my own. And that, my judgemental friend, is the best feeling in the world.

Long gone are the days when a woman needed a man to be seen. Forgotten are the times where only a missus had a say. Farewell to the centuries where being a sexist, chauvinistic, unequal society was okay. It’s 2017 and we women are enough (we always were, but now everyone should just admit it).

Don’t get me wrong, I love men. I like having them around. I appreciate the masculinity, especially with the damn mayonnaise bottle, the moving of heavy furniture or the spooning at the crack of dawn. But even though I like them or love them, I don’t necessarily need them. I manage just fine without them.

It wasn’t always like that though… There was a time when I lent out my ears to the single shamers (is that even a word?). The ones who made me believe “there are many fish in the sea”. Soon enough I realised that there are also sharks, plankton, fish poop and rubbish in the sea.
I even tried online dating.

Now that was interesting.
I swiped left and right. Small talk with random strangers for days. Answering to “hey baby”, “how are you gorgeous” and “wanna hook up”. I ran out of data. I ran out of patience.

And then, thankfully, one day I just realised that I was enough. I realised that I have the power to decide what I want and even more important, what I didn’t want. I found a sense of freedom in my independence – on an emotional, financial and physical level. I am enough.

So to my dear friend I want to say this: No other person will ever define me. No one will ever make me feel like half a person. Not a single soul will ever make me believe that I can not survive, thrive on my own. I am not worried. I am strong, beautiful, successful, interesting and perfect in my own imperfect way. I am whole. And you have a whole lot of issues if you see yourself as half a person.

And then – just as my mother predicted – it hit me. Right in the face. A man. A whole person. No halves or fish hooks needed.

“How do you manage to stay with this one?” the same friend will soon ask him at a dinner party. After that a whole discussion of how difficult and independent I am will follow. And I hope he has an answer ready that sounds like this: “I appreciate the fact that she chooses to be with me, even though she doesn’t need me.”

Happy women’s month to all my sisters in solidarity out there. Just keep on keeping on – and don’t allow anyone to make you feel like you are lacking because you are your own person.

Hanri Wondergem is a radio journalist and blogs at grootmensspeletjies.wordpress.com

Check out Beyonce Single Ladies music video below.