Are Single Mothers Raising Their Daughters to Be Single, Too?

Are Single Mothers Raising Their Daughters to Be Single, Too?

Alex Wise ponders why so many daughters of single women are also single.
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When I announced on my blog that I didn't believe in marriage, I expected the typical reactions: Don't you want a ring and proposal? (No.) Will you ever trust your partner's commitment to you? (Yes.) What about children? (What about them?)

I got those questions, along with some comments in support of my views. But what I didn't quite anticipate was that a random commenter would insinuate my beliefs were "f**ked up" because of the way I was raised.

I saw CNN published a piece suggesting that single mothers are teaching their daughters to embrace independence by staying single, but I wonder just how true that is. My mother, who was in an unhappy marriage for nearly 20 years, has always wanted me to be in the kind of relationship she didn't have. A fiercely independent woman herself, she recognizes that self-sufficiency is important, but it doesn't mean that one has to do without love.

My parents grew up in poverty and married in China with the understanding that my father would first seek his fortune in America before coming back to take my mother with him. I know that their marriage was not without love, but I also know that my mother's understanding of it is different from mine.

Throughout college, I dated with reckless abandon, looking not for stability but for a partner who "got me." My mother never did understand what I expected from my relationships. For my parents, love was a luxury that they could not even begin to comprehend after a childhood without potable water or meat. Marriage meant stability, but it didn't mean passion. After they immigrated to America, they slowly began to make a living and a life together.

They first had me, then my sister, and soon it became clear -- to just about everyone in my family -- that they were incompatible as life partners. Yet both sets of grandparents were insistent that my parents stay together for the sake of tradition and family honor. For a time, my parents did stay together because of financial considerations. Their impoverishment a lifetime ago was still too recent a memory. But eventually, as family finances became more stable and the living situation untenable, my mother initiated divorce proceedings. In doing so, she took control of both her happiness and my father's. Nobody but the children knew until the ink was dry.

Today, my parents are more content without having to live together, their respective families have more or less come to terms with their separation, and they are perhaps the most cordial divorced couple I've heard of. Had my mother not acted sooner, I have no doubt that our family life would have deteriorated to the kind of "f**ked up" dynamics the disgruntled commenter referred to. When they both attended my graduation from college last May, I worried about many things, such as how to conceal my sex toys. What I didn't worry about was whether my parents would get pissed at each other and embarrass me in some grand fashion. Now that they don't have to live together, my parents actually like each other. It's as functional as family dysfunction gets.

My mother, despite being divorced, still believes in life partnerships and entertains many romantic ambitions for her two daughters. She's happy that I've found someone with whom I can co-exist for lengthy periods of time. She has also come to accept, despite her deeply conservative upbringing, that it's OK if I don't want to get married; marriage, as she learned firsthand herself, is not necessarily all that it's cracked up to be. We both recognize from personal experience that many marriages don't work out, that simply getting married doesn't imbue relationships with special meaning, and that loving freely is a privilege I have today only because of the sacrifices that my parents made to their personal happiness years ago.









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Why You Should Stop Chasing Him

You deserve better.
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They say “the thrill of the chase" makes someone more enticing. There's just something about wanting something you can't have that drives you crazy (in a good way). There is never a dull moment. Pursuing him is a challenge. Nothing comes easily. What's the fun in that anyway?

I'm going to tell you this: stop chasing him. Stop forgiving him when he forgets to answer your text messages and phone calls. Stop being the one to always make plans. Stop letting him bail on you. Stop waiting around for him. Stop being lied to. Stop making excuses when he doesn't make time for you. There is a difference between someone who is “hard to get" and a flat out jerk who doesn't give you the time of day. Stop letting him use you.

You deserve to be with someone who makes you fall asleep every night in the middle of texting him because neither of you want the conversation to end. You deserve someone who plans dates for the two of you. You deserve someone who asks you to hang out before midnight. You deserve someone who wants to spend time with you just as much as you do with them. You deserve someone who insists on paying for your ice cream. You deserve someone who won't deceive you. You deserve someone who is straightforward. You deserve attention. You deserve affection. You deserve a partnership that is mutual, not one-sided. You deserve to be chased.

You are better than 3 a.m. “Hey" texts. You are better than a night spent watching a movie just to fool around. You are better than trying to decode his vague messages. You are better than his shadiness. You are better than mind games. You are better than being ignored.

If you have to chase him, he's not worth it. Don't settle for someone who makes you beg for his attention. If he is genuinely interested in getting to know you, he will put in the effort. A relationship where your feelings are reciprocated is far more rewarding than one where you constantly feel like you have to drag him along.

Change your mentality. Become more independent. Be confident, be bold. Find happiness in being alone. Don't waste your time pathetically chasing after someone who doesn't feel the same, but doesn't have the heart or the courage to tell you so. Your self-confidence and positivity will make you radiant, and eventually, you will attract the kind of guy who is mature enough to not mess with your head.

Cover Image Credit: weheartit.com

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Newsflash! It's Time For Everybody To Love Everybody

Come on, people, get it together.

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I, personally, think it's time for everybody to just start loving each other. Now listen, this doesn't mean you need to actually love everyone, but at least accept them. Acceptance is the closest thing we are gonna get to loving each other.

Let me tell you a little something: politics at the moment are very messy. No matter which side it is, it's messy. There is no denying that. If you try to deny that, then good for you, you're not helping anybody. If you really want some change, you need to start being the bigger person. Change isn't about who can yell about something louder or who has the "better" argument, it's about being respectful.

Just because someone has an opposing view does not mean you need to yell at them. Does yelling solve anything ever? Maybe temporarily, like for 2 minutes, but that's about as long as you're gonna get. There's absolutely no need to indirectly say something about certain individuals on social media. Yes, there is freedom of speech, but everybody should keep in mind why they have that right and why they still have it.

I do not understand why it is so hard to be respectful of one another. If someone goes after another person talking about how absolutely terrible it is of them thinking something should be illegal, the person who's being yelled at should respectfully ignore the other individual's disrespectful remarks. If the individual does not stop, then they are not aware that they are making no difference in the world.

What I'm trying to get at here is that in order to love each other, we really need to accept all our differences. If we really want change we need to go right to the sources, not just yell at each other from across the street. If everyone learned to accept each other, life would be a whole lot easier. Is this ever going to happen? Of course not. This is the solution though, whether you think so or not.

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