Why do people consider a woman incomplete without marriage and children?


#1

Why do people assume that single women are unfulfilled? I choose to be single; never having a desire for marriage and children. I am also not called to religious life. It is very offensive to have people question me, as if I have a disease! Why is a single woman so threatening?
:mad:


#2

Many such folks look at the single men the same way, my dear. :o


#3

It can be argued that bearing children and raising them is the greatest possible act a woman can do. For this argument, one places human life as more valuable than anything else (non-divine) in physical existence, and consequently realizes that this human life hinges on the reality of the woman.

A second argument: Regarding completeness, if one views completeness in terms of having experience, then it again follows that to have children is to be more complete than to not have had children.

A third argument: From finiteness, we are finite in terms of what we lack. One who lacks children is more finite than if one did not.

Edit: My third argument is not really separate from my second; I think what I've simply done is define "more complete" as "less finite".


#4

I don’t get it, either. People constantly ask me why I don’t have a boyfriend, but I’ve never met anyone I was interested in.

I am fine right now and if I meet someone great then maybe I will reconsider, but right now I don’t really have a need for a man in my life. Maybe I am just not impressed with men (especially young men my own age) these days and I’m not the sort of person who “needs” a significant other because I’ve never really felt lonely.

I guess people are just bored and like to gossip or something? Always talking about other people’s relationships, or lack thereof. :shrug:


#5

I agree that generally people (mostly women) still find it unusual that a woman beyond a certain age would remain single by choice, especially if they see her as attractive, talented, and successful. They tend to look at the woman with their mouths agape, while they thumb through their mental roll-o-dex thinking of who they could pair her up with. If they find her threatening, it should diminish, as they determine the woman isn't interested in taking what they have.

Over time as more women have made the choice to remain single, it has become less of an anomaly, but it will probably take another generation for people in general to view it differently.


#6

[quote="MarcoPolo, post:2, topic:222571"]
Many such folks look at the single men the same way, my dear. :o

[/quote]

:thumbsup:

I've actually got the "Hey, why are you so happy? Your single at age 31!"

My response, "That's why I'm happy! Becaus I am single at age 31!"

OP-Ignore those people. They don't know you, they know nothing about you, and they have their own hang ups. Seriously, who cares what they think?


#7

Because since they would feel incomplete without a husband/wife/children, they assume you must, too.
News flash to them: Your way isn’t the only way :wink:


#8

I have the same problem. Everyone I meet either asks if I'm in a relationship or assumes I am. I am also perfectly happy being a single woman and have never met anyone I've felt more than friendship towards. Being married and having kids doesn't interest me at all.


#9

[quote="glencora, post:1, topic:222571"]
Why do people assume that single women are unfulfilled? I choose to be single; never having a desire for marriage and children. I am also not called to religious life. It is very offensive to have people question me, as if I have a disease! Why is a single woman so threatening?
:mad:

[/quote]

Oh my goodness, why do people do ANYTHING? The key to happiness is to stop trying to figure "people" out.

I often wondered this when I was single. I felt complete and whole, but the world kept trying to tell me I was less than that. Consequently, I forced myself to date some less-than-optimal candidates. WHAT a WASTE!

Would that I had just listened to the Spirit. I would have had a much easier time of things.

I met my husband at age 27 quite by accident. Everything fell into place very easily and I felt somehow *more *complete when I had children (something I never even thought I wanted). But that's me. That was God's plan for ME. Not you. Not anyone else.

My point is twofold. 1 Don't let what "people" think impact the way you feel about yourself and 2 You never know where your life is going to take you. Even at age 77, my mom's on a new adventure, herself.

As to why a single woman is so threatening? I'm afraid our society is one of loose morals, so the assumption, which is alas, all too often correct is that a single woman is on the hunt for a man (sad, isn't it?) and would steal "yours" if she could. Don't take it personally. :( I resented that one too.


#10

I'd much rather a woman...or man who doesn't wish to be a parent or be married WASN'T than tried to force themselves into a role they do not want, do not like, regret, have no desire to be part of, etc.


#11

[quote="glencora, post:1, topic:222571"]
Why do people assume that single women are unfulfilled? I choose to be single; never having a desire for marriage and children. I am also not called to religious life. It is very offensive to have people question me, as if I have a disease! Why is a single woman so threatening?
:mad:

[/quote]

I think its because most people seem to be threatened by other people that are able make different choices than the ones they made. I don't think its just the marriage issue either, its any decision that other people would or could never choose. Its any situation that perhaps challenges the other person to reconsider their life situation and that perhaps they had a different choice they could have consider. People don't like to have a someone make them look at their lives differently than the way they like to remember it being. They want people to make decisions that reaffirm the decisions they already made or affirm the ones they are considering in the future.


#12

*"It can be argued that bearing children and raising them is the greatest possible act a woman can do. For this argument, one places human life as more valuable than anything else (non-divine) in physical existence, and consequently realizes that this human life hinges on the reality of the woman.

A second argument: Regarding completeness, if one views completeness in terms of having experience, then it again follows that to have children is to be more complete than to not have had children.

A third argument: From finiteness, we are finite in terms of what we lack. One who lacks children is more finite than if one did not.

Edit: My third argument is not really separate from my second; I think what I've simply done is define "more complete" as "less finite". *

ethereality,
Bearing children does not make you a woman! This is incredibly archaic! A woman’s worth is not determined by whether or not she has a child. Children should be created for their own sake! Having a child to achieve immortality or to have an old age caretaker is selfish! I’m not concerned about who remembers me, when I am dead. I will be dead! Millions of people are born and die everyday; known only to God. It’s not important if man remembers you. It is important if God remembers you, as a faithful servant!

:mad:


#13

[quote="glencora, post:1, topic:222571"]
Why do people assume that single women are unfulfilled? I choose to be single; never having a desire for marriage and children. I am also not called to religious life. It is very offensive to have people question me, as if I have a disease! Why is a single woman so threatening?
:mad:

[/quote]

Simply put, perhaps you are simply called to a singles vocation. I agree that there is sometimes a stigma attached to being single - particularly as you get older. I was in my 30's before I got married and I don't regret waiting. The fact was that I was also content being single prior to my meeting my wife, but my friends and peers couldn't wrap their heads around that. If they started annoying me, I would quip, "If misery loves company, then you must be miserably married." This was all in good humor, of course, but it did shut them up...temporarily.

The stigma is also exponentially worse for women than for men. For example, bachelorettes become spinsters, but bachelors remain bachelors...go figure.

I would recommend that you don't fret. Most times, the questions are well intentioned, albeit ignorant. Be thankful and enjoy your vocation. Your own peace will speak for itself in time.

God Bless,
CSJ


#14

[quote="HeWillProvide, post:7, topic:222571"]
Because since they would feel incomplete without a husband/wife/children, they assume you must, too.
News flash to them: Your way isn't the only way ;)

[/quote]

That may be true for some but not all. Getting married is still a joyous moment for some and they wish to extend this idea to others. Aside from that, I think sometimes we all care a bit too much about what other people think.

Peace,
Ed


#15

[quote="glencora, post:12, topic:222571"]

Bearing children does not make you a woman! This is incredibly archaic! A woman’s worth is not determined by whether or not she has a child. Children should be created for their own sake! Having a child to achieve immortality or to have an old age caretaker is selfish! I’m not concerned about who remembers me, when I am dead. I will be dead! Millions of people are born and die everyday; known only to God. It’s not important if man remembers you. It is important if God remembers you, as a faithful servant![/FONT]

[/quote]

:mad:

First of all the ability to bear children is indeed what separates women from men. Some equate the ability with the actual act of. Secondly, children are blessings from God and created for God.

That being said, I think the answer to your question lies in the concept of vocations. Very few people in today's society (including many good, orthodox, married Catholics) do not understand that married life is a vocation and a vocation that some people are not called to. History has many saints who were never called to married life and never called to religious life as well. As your last statement reminds us, what is important is being God's faithful servant, that means answering God's call to a specific vocation; even if it means going against what you want, what you thought was going to happen, or what society thinks you should do.

Many people do not understand this and simply imply their own idea of what you should be doing. However, truly good and Holy friends will help to point you into the direction of your vocation even when you are unable to see it.


#16

[quote="glencora, post:12, topic:222571"]

ethereality,
Bearing children does not make you a woman! This is incredibly archaic! A woman’s worth is not determined by whether or not she has a child. Children should be created for their own sake! Having a child to achieve immortality or to have an old age caretaker is selfish! I’m not concerned about who remembers me, when I am dead. I will be dead! Millions of people are born and die everyday; known only to God. It’s not important if man remembers you. It is important if God remembers you, as a faithful servant!

:mad:

[/quote]

More and more people are waiting to get married too. That's becoming more and more normal. It must really freak out those who think that getting married and having multiple children is the only way, but the fact is, even if you're open to new life, getting married around or past menopause makes it more possible that one will be married without children.

Times are changing, there are many options and not just one vocation for women.


#17

[quote="Rence, post:16, topic:222571"]
More and more people are waiting to get married too. That's becoming more and more normal. It must really freak out those who think that getting married and having multiple children is the only way, but the fact is, even if you're open to new life, getting married around or past menopause makes it more possible that one will be married without children.

Times are changing, there are many options and not just one vocation for women.

[/quote]

Would you mind mentioning how things are changing? What are the options?

Peace,
Ed


#18

[quote="edwest2, post:17, topic:222571"]
Would you mind mentioning how things are changing? What are the options?

Peace,
Ed

[/quote]

Open your eyes and look around. Alot of women and men are waiting to get married. No,that's not immoral. It's just changing.

Times are changing because there are more options for women. They no longer have to stay home. I'm not sure they ever HAD to stay home, but now, thank God, there is less pressure on them to do such. Yes, there is still pressure to be a stay-at-home mom, but no longer do the majority of people look down at women who are in the workplace.


#19

[quote="Rascalking, post:18, topic:222571"]
Open your eyes and look around. Alot of women and men are waiting to get married. No,that's not immoral. It's just changing.

Times are changing because there are more options for women. They no longer have to stay home. I'm not sure they ever HAD to stay home, but now, thank God, there is less pressure on them to do such. Yes, there is still pressure to be a stay-at-home mom, but no longer do the majority of people look down at women who are in the workplace.

[/quote]

You are certainly assuming some things. My parents married in the 1950s while in their 30's. All the moms in my neighborhood were stay at home moms. It was better to raise your own kids than to send them to a day care center run by strangers. They understood this as a practical matter. We did not experience day care providers who were not our moms or even relatives. The value of multigenerational families is missing today. The value of aunts and uncles is too often missing today.

I don't recall my mom ever being concerned about people looking down at her or any of the moms in the neighborhood. I do remember the Women's Libbers in the 1970s trying to tell women that men were holding them back, to forget abut being a stay at home mom, to get careers and power. Well, by the time some of those women were in their 40s and had experienced careers and power, they didn't like it. And for those who thought being a stay at home was somehow bad, they offered the career and power life as somehow better.

I think those who think women somehow have more choices now should ask themselves why they believe that. Is a career or power somehow better than being a stay at home mom? If so, why? There are Catholics home schooling their kids today. They are leading lives that put their kids first, and yes, that means less stuff, but they are willing to make the sacrifice.

The outside world has become much more perverted compared to the 1950s. They understand that as a practical matter.

Peace,
Ed


#20

[quote="edwest2, post:19, topic:222571"]
You are certainly assuming some things. My parents married in the 1950s while in their 30's. All the moms in my neighborhood were stay at home moms. It was better to raise your own kids than to send them to a day care center run by strangers. They understood this as a practical matter. We did not experience day care providers who were not our moms or even relatives. The value of multigenerational families is missing today. The value of aunts and uncles is too often missing today.

I don't recall my mom ever being concerned about people looking down at her or any of the moms in the neighborhood. I do remember the Women's Libbers in the 1970s trying to tell women that men were holding them back, to forget abut being a stay at home mom, to get careers and power. Well, by the time some of those women were in their 40s and had experienced careers and power, they didn't like it. And for those who thought being a stay at home was somehow bad, they offered the career and power life as somehow better.

I think those who think women somehow have more choices now should ask themselves why they believe that. Is a career or power somehow better than being a stay at home mom? If so, why? There are Catholics home schooling their kids today. They are leading lives that put their kids first, and yes, that means less stuff, but they are willing to make the sacrifice.

The outside world has become much more perverted compared to the 1950s. They understand that as a practical matter.

Peace,
Ed

[/quote]

Yup. I think it's best if you and I agree to disagree on this topic and stay on the orginal topic. We've discussed it before and you and I just see things very differently.

All the best.


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