The Truth about being Single is a newly published book about learning how to get past the lies single women have been told and find true happiness in wanting to be married. I recently got a chance to interview Lakeshia S. Rivers and Neva A. Lockhart, the authors of The Truth about being Single. Here is what they had to say about finding Mr. Right, living single, how Will & Grace and Sex and the City: The Movie plays a role in the perspectives of single women and more:
Madlab Post: Are relationship experts and psychological gurus on TV shows doing more harm than good to the mentality of single women who desire marriage?
Authors of The Truth about being Single: Yes, we believe they are. Women are being told to accept the lies promoted by these “experts.” The lie that you are supposed to love being single. The lie that if you do not love being single, you do not love yourself. We wrote our book The Truth About Being Single to be a liberating voice of truth to say: It is okay that you would rather be married than single. It is okay that being single is not how you thought your life would be.
It is okay that you do not want to have to do it all, all alone, all the time. It is okay to feel that you would be happier in a loving, nurturing marriage. To deny women acknowledgment of these simple facts is a disservice to them.
In chapter 3, you discuss a season 4 episode of Will & Grace where Grace (played by Debra Messing) gets carried away when planning someone else’s wedding. The bridal shop scene on Will & Grace gets serious when Grace breaks down after realizing that this upcoming event may never happen for her and says she needs to hear a lie from Will like “Of course, you will definitely get married one day.”
The Truth about being Single described this Will & Grace Episode as honest because “most of us have wondered at one time or another if we will ever have a wedding day”. Can you explain how single women have lost the right to feel sorrowful about being alone?
We strongly feel that women “lost the right to feel sorrowful about being alone” some time in the 70’s, post the women’s rights movement. The same movement that liberated modern women from limiting beliefs and roles and helped them achieve remarkable success in government, business and education; simultaneously eroded their right to simply be, and relish in, all things feminine. Women could now be completely independent and self-sufficient and did not need men for many of the reasons women in preceding generations traditionally did, such as financial support, property ownership, etc.
Unfortunately, the trade-off has not been fair. Being sorrowful about being alone is generally not accepted as being just that. A woman who is sorrowful about being alone is often made to feel that she must have low self-esteem or is a desperate loser. Society dictates that what women have now is EVERYTHING, including independence and success, and if that is not enough, something must be wrong with them.
Do all single women want to be married, even if some claim they do not?
No. Though they are in the minority, there are some women who choose not to marry for their own personal reasons.
In The Truth about being Single, the wedding of a 37 year-old woman and 42 year-old man who was getting married for the first time was described as a very encouraging event. Many of us (women) are taught that it’s best to have children at a young age. Based on these teachings, would you agree that waiting for that “Mr. Right” at age 37 is waiting a little too long?
No. And there are two issues posed in your question.
First, of course, our biological clocks are ticking away and with time, the quality of our eggs diminish. That is a fact. However, we find that older moms have many positives to offer their children, such as the wisdom that comes with age and maturity; more actual time; and patience.
Second, you can never wait for Mr. Right for “too long.” Mr. Right at age 37, 47, 57 or 67 is much better than Mr. Wrong at any age. The magnitude of problems associated with having children with Mr. Wrong are simply enormous and a bad experience for everyone involved, especially the child. Remember, Mr. Wrong does not love you. Mr. Wrong will not be the partner or father you and your child deserve because he will not be around. And Mr. Wrong will never bring out the best in you because he is not your complement.
What advice do you have for women who can relate to that “Nick of Time” song by Bonnie Rait or even that “Wedding Balls” episode of Will & Grace from Season 4 and would rather not have to wait 10 or so years to find a mate?
Finding Mr. Right takes as long as it takes. You find love when love finds you. Focus your energies on being ready for marriage. Determine what you require in a potential spouse and what he should bring to your life. Start thinking of yourself now as the wife you would like to become. Give thought to the qualities you possess now that you will bring to a marriage, and the qualities you should be developing that will make you a great wife.
Put yourself in the type of environments where you can meet the kind of men you find appealing. Become completely comfortable with who you are as a person. To quote Dolly Parton: “Become a professional you. Know what you can and cannot do. Know what you will and will not do.”
I was once told that “women are supposed to have children”, so are we also designed to be married or is this type of union shoved onto us by cultural habits or societal beliefs?
Again, we will respond in two parts.
First, it is a biological fact that “women are supposed to have children,” not hearsay. Simply put, the monthly menstrual cycle evidences that fact. However, there are many reasons some women are unable to conceive or choose not to conceive.
Second, we find the mischaracterizations that exist around the word “marriage” very interesting. Merriam-Webster defines marriage as “the state of being united to a person . . . ; an intimate or close union.” There is nothing wrong with marriage! The notion that “this type of union shoved onto us by cultural habits or societal beliefs” is unfortunately negative. In fact, since the beginning of time, every society and culture on earth has regarded marriage as an elevated and honorable institution, crucial to stability and posterity.
When individuals enter a marriage with a person who does not truly love them and is not their complement, i.e., the “wrong” person, then their being united together becomes the problem. The problem is not marriage. The problem is the persons who marry.
Is it possible for some women to be happy with living single without ever getting married?
Yes. Absolutely. In fact, our book stresses the importance of being happy while you are single. The fact is, like attracts like. Miserable people attract miserable people and happy people attract happy people, even in the form of friends and family. Life itself has so many wonderful things to offer! Everyone should enjoy their life to the fullest.
The Truth about being Single included over one dozen short questionnaires answered by different groups of single women. Based on your survey findings and book signings, have you met or spoken with any women who felt like they were being pressured by friends or family into wanting marriage?
Yes, especially those from foreign backgrounds, and not only pressure to marry, but to have children as well.
In Sex and The City: The Movie, Carrie’s Vogue magazine editor Enid mentions “Forty is the last age a woman can be photographed in a wedding dress without the unintended Diane Arbus subtext”.
Not knowing who Diane Arbus is (or was), Enid’s statement made me wonder about its significance to the movie until I came across an online Q&A website explanation. It seems Enid meant women older than 40 years of age will look odd wearing a wedding dress. Would you agree that there is some truth to this Sex and the City: The Movie quote even though older brides have become accepted in our modern day culture?
Everyone should dress appropriately for their size, shape and age. And the wedding day is no exception as it is the bride’s time to shine. That said, if we saw a 75-year-old bride in a puffy sleeved, white beaded wedding gown crowned with a rhinestone studded tiara, we would smile wide and say “more power to you sista”!!! It does not matter that she might look “odd” to others. She should manifest her own vision of her wedding day.
In The Truth about being Single, women are encouraged to not settle for “Mr. Right Now” in their quest for being married. You mention that single women should spend their time finding that one “Mr. Right” who completes us. The hook for one Luther Vandross song goes “...if you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with”, a different concept that some women may find more feasible than waiting for as long as it takes to find their number one man. Is it possible that “Mr. Right Now” can become “Mr. Right for You” as the relationship develops?
No. And, Luther is not singing about a relationship or growing to a relationship. If the one you are with does not love you and you do not love him, you are at a minimum wasting precious time and worst case scenario wreaking havoc on your body and your mind. The time would be better spent on personal growth and development such as: traveling and experiencing the world; visiting museums and art galleries; taking an interesting class or volunteering for something you are passionate about.
The point is this: broaden your horizons, and you will most assuredly broaden yourself. You will become more interesting. As an added benefit, you will meet new people (MEN) with interests similar to yours, and maybe one of those persons will be the Mr. Right you marry.
Now that The Truth about being Single is published, what do you want women to take away from reading this book?
We want to stop the confusion by acknowledging the simple truth that we are inclined to be mated. It is in our biology. We want our readers to know that it is perfectly okay and completely normal to want to be married and share their lives with someone. We want them to become the best person they can be now so that they can choose the best possible mate for themselves and experience the joy of loving their ultimate complement. We want them to refuse to settle or sell themselves short, but to wait self-assuredly and patiently until their Mr. Right shows up.
Thanks to Lakeshia S. Rivers and Neva A. Lockhart for shedding some light on The Truth about being Single!
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Read my Book Review on The Truth about being Single.
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