Happy Friday, my fellow Divas! Fridays are always good and welcome but I know I have seen them differently since my split. No longer do I have standing plans or an automatic date for whatever is going on. The weekend can be good for going out with friends (I don’t have to check anyone’s schedule but mine) or relaxing at home (yes, I am going to wear my pajamas half the day . . . so?) but if you’re feeling particularly down or lonely, the weekends can bring that pain to the surface. You can feel isolated and alone at home; out with friends, you can be surrounded by couples, further highlighting your new singledom.
Before you split, you may have been thinking about all the wonderful things that being single would bring you. Your friends and family may have told you how awesome your life would be. You may have reminded yourself how great your life was pre-marriage and expected it to go right back to where it was. But the reality may be entirely different.
I have felt single shamed. It happened to me probably a month after I moved out. I had an appointment with my therapist and had time to kill. I did some window shopping and then decided I would grab brunch. I had a book to read while I ate so I thought I would be good to go. And I was . . . until I was seated at one of the mini-booths that hold two people and realized that I was the only solo person in the place. Everywhere I looked were couples and families. Worse, I was seated by the front door so every single family and couple that came through the door took a gander at me. I immediately felt self-conscious and shamed. Were they asking themselves “Doesn’t she have any friends?” “Why is she eating alone?” “Wow, it must suck to be her!” I felt naked and exposed. I had no wedding ring to say “Look! I’m part of a couple!” I had no Number 2 with me, or Kidlet. That was the first time it really sunk in for me that I was on my own.
Obviously I have no idea what those people may or may not have been saying about me. I speculate because I remember doing that myself, seeing a person eating all by their lonesome and wondering if they wanted to eat alone, if they enjoyed eating alone or . . . well, anything! I never meant anything rude or bad by it – – maybe it’s human nature – -but I was single shaming. Ouch.
So I have to wonder . . . does our society single shame?