As we are entering wedding season in this part of the world I feel the evident discrepancies in how couplehood is viewed by society versus singlehood. While planning (yet another) bachelorette party I found myself feeling rather annoyed and reluctant. At first I couldn’t put my finger on why I was dragging my feet with the planning of the bride-to-be’s custom-made weekend. My previous involvements in bachelorette preparations were filled with nothing but anticipation and excitement, why the “off” attitude this time? I knew with certainty it wasn’t related to the festivity itself nor denying my friend a great time. I mean, who doesn’t enjoy a good party? My conflicting emotions (plus guilt) caught my attention and I knew I had some inner investigating to do.
Lurking beneath my demotivation, annoyance and reluctancy I discovered the feeling of unfairness. I’m definitely one who values balance and equality in my relationships, but in this particular regard I’m clearly not considered an equal. In what way? I’m referring to the hullabaloo when couples tie the knot. Weddings, engagement celebrations, the bachelorette party, the baby showers and more recently the gender reveal gatherings. All considered part of the family in the making package, highly valued by today’s standards (as also reflected by the outrageous social media value).
I can’t help but feel: Hello?! I’m here too! Don’t I deserve a surprise party, effort put in to “make my day” or a celebration? According to societal structures and unwritten rules of today, the answer is “nope, you don’t”. I don’t have a partner so out the window all that goes. Although I know no one would outright say I’m not worth the effort put in or a celebration, implicitly that’s the message. And on that note (the “all revolves around couplehood” note), singles partake in all rituals of couples by attending, catering to and expecting nothing in return. And let’s not forget, during the marriage celebrations we singles never get to bring a plus one only couples do. Apparently no other form of relationship comes remotely close to the grandiose superior status of the romantic one ( a bit off topic but I thought I’d slide this one in here too).
The apparent unfairness took me into anger. This is clearly a one way street ordeal benefitting the coupled. “But maybe you’ll meet someone?” The seemingly legitimate response for the unbalanced dynamic, putting singles straight in the “hanging around til it’s our turn” state. But back to answering the question: yes, meeting someone is a possibility. I also might not. Either way, is besides the point for me personally. What I’m craving is neither a man nor a wedding. What I actually would love is some acknowledgment and a celebration. I don’t want to stick around until someone (husband/wife/baby) pops up before getting the green light and experiencing what I desire.
During a frantic phone call with my cousin the solution surfaced. I’m having my own celebration. And I’m expecting the equivalent of a bachelorette party and all the other good stuff too. I have no details set but the year (2023 it’s going down!). One thing I’m certain of is that this won’t be a b-version replica of a traditional wedding. Instead I’ll orchestrate a unique experience tailored to me and the invitees. And guess what else? Everyone will be entitled to a plus one! It won’t be restricted to romantic partners but anyone or anything is welcomed! Be it a friend ,pet, plant or whatever else one may wish. As soon as it hit me what my actual needs were and that they’ll be met (despite “partnerlessness”) all negative emotions ceased and got replaced by the merging of excitement and empowerment instead.
The point I’m trying to convey is not to cancel or bash monogamy culture. Instead how about we uplift, acknowledge and celebrate different ways of life. We no longer live during a time where practically everyone gets married (or remains married for that matter). The variation of different civil statuses and the acceptance of such, has evolved so how about our traditions begin to reflect the same? This won’t transpire unless we individually aim straight for what we want and need instead of complying with society’s expectation of how things “should” unfold. So be truthful, what are you secretly waiting for? I’d strongly encourage you to think outside the box and create it for yourself.