“You have a lot to offer and should not resign yourself to being solo forever.”
Everything up to that sentence was perfectly fine: no romantic connection, different places emotionally. I completely agreed with his assessment, and I appreciated the forthright honesty as opposed to the usual ghosting that happens after a date–in this case, two dates.
But that line, that last line, was a gut punch of mansplaining. A right jab of pointing out I’m not completely repulsive followed by body blows of judgment regarding my choice to be single.
To be fair, I bungled the conversation in which he asked how I felt about relationships (not usually first or second date fodder in the first place, but here we are…). I tried to be honest and told him I didn’t really see myself married, and that I was okay with that. I told him that half the U.S. population is single, and isn’t it better for me to be okay with myself as a person, than to keep hoping for someone who would “complete” me?
But that last line of our last interaction said differently: “You should not resign yourself to being solo forever.”
It’s the connotation of the word “resign”–in this context, it signifies a defeat, not an empowered choice. And while I’ve felt defeated about my relationship status plenty of times in the past 25 years, I feel anything but defeated now. The implication that my qualities are wasted on myself, that I should offer up the different elements of my being for a man to appreciate is insulting.
It took the best therapist on the planet plus two of Brene Brown’s books and pages of scrawlings in my journal to finally arrive where I currently am. Happy. Complete. No longer constantly doubting where I live or my career choices or whether my life has any value on its own.
I didn’t respond to the offensive part of his last text; I acknowledged we were on the same page and thanked him for his honesty.
But for the record: I didn’t resign myself to being solo forever. Instead, I finally started living a life I could be proud of.