We are very excited to have Cristina Rodriguez as a guest contributor today. In the spirit of "keeping it real", Christina is giving us an open and honest piece about being the single girl.
Over the weekend I attended the Hermanas Unidas Statewide Conference. It is an event I look forward to every year that I can attend especially now as an alumna. It is an opportunity to reconnect with longtime friends and like-minded women who share the same trials and tribulations.
In the workshop I attended we discussed balancing everything as busy and successful women, wives, girlfriends, or as singles.
It was during the discussion that one girl shared how she feels different and alienated from other women who have children as she does not want to have children.
As she expressed her feelings I felt her thoughts resonating within me.
I am not sure if I want children. Several years ago I thought I was ready to get married and have children at the young age of 23. Now 30, I am so glad that I did not marry or have children with the person I was with.
Although it is great that I did not settle, like many other single women I often feel alienated from other women who are married and have children. Things definitely change when your friends get married and even more so when they have kids.
More often than not I’m sitting with girlfriends and the conversation revolves around husbands and kids and I can feel my eyes gloss over. I’m try to listen as best as I can but I wind up sitting in silence because I have nothing to contribute.
Personally, I often feel like I will be the queen B if I truly expressed my feelings. How can I truly say, "No, I don’t want children and no I don’t want to think about that right now." I care about me, I want to do me right now.
Instead I get reminded that my fertility is dwindling. I recently had a friend apologize for boring me with the mommy/baby talk the entire time and then asked me if I intended to have kids by thirty-five. I just smirked and said, 'well I would like to but I’m in no rush." Inside I was freaking out that my eggs had some time stamp on them and I better find the right donor, like NOW!
In addition to constantly feeling like the odd woman out amongst other women, we singles can feel that way with the men we date or are interested in.
My friend and I recently sat together enjoying our dinner and conversation. We were discussing our failures and our successes. We both discussed the many men we have dated. How we held high aspirations and are go-getters that a lot of the times our partners could not deal with that.
For me, it was the desire to travel and do internships that didn't work for my ex-boyfriend who said, “Oh, so you just want to up and leave for the summer - oh, really, we'll see if I’m here when you get back?” In the case of my friend, her ex-boyfriend did not encourage her to pursue graduate school, he only asked if she would continue to work. She said to me, “how is it we've come this far, done so much and yet there is still no man there, alongside us. There is no one there for us. Who is there to support us?”
Before attending this weekend’s conference I would have thought I was alone in my feelings of alienation as a single woman of 30 but I was pleasantly and unpleasantly surprised. How can we coexist amongst our female friends? How do we not get pushed out of the loop amongst our friends if marriage and motherhood is not where we are right now? How do we maintain our high aspirations and strong personalities and find a supportive mate?
Is there real support for the successful single gal?
~ Cristina Rodriguez is an Hermanas Unidas Alumna from Cal State Fullerton. She currently works for CSUF as an Administrative Assistant for the Upward Bound Program. She is also the current advisor for the CSUF HaU chapter. Her favorite song of all time is "Tu Carcel" (the Enanitos Verdes version).