Y el novio? Te vas a quedar para vestir santos, le voy a rezar a San Antonio para que te encuentre un buen novio.
Phrases commonly heard in Latinx households when addressing the elephant in the room, the single gal of the family. In this day and age there is still a stigma surrounding being single once you have reached a certain age. I hear it from my mom, my grandma, my tìas, and it is a constant topic of conversation among my single friends.
Ya comprè El San Antonio, my mom said one night over dinner. “I am going to pray to him every night so he can send you a good man” my grandma nodding in agreement.
Sure, moms and abuelitas say this with the utmost love, after all, they want the best for their niñas.
However, praying to San Antonio in hopes of finding a “good man” is simply not going to cut it. The “issue” of being single is a lot more complicated than our moms and grandmas are led to believe. The world of dating in the 21st century is a whole another ballgame. How do we even begin to explain to our abuelitas the “joy” of Tinder, Bumble, OkCupid, Match, and whatever other dating apps there are clogging up our phones?
Let’s be honest, dating is EXHAUSTING, and with everything going on in the country, and in the world there’s no time for dating apps. Speaking from personal experience, Tinder became a chore; it consumed so much of my day that I was losing sight of the real me. Instead of picking up a book, I would spend countless of hours swiping left and right and going on all these so-called “dates” that always ended in no more than a frivolous conversation over a warm beer. The attempt of “dating” turned into an obligation; it was no longer fun to go on dates in hopes of finding a good guy.
There’s also the choices that women are making, many my friends have put their career first, and dating is nowhere on their list of priorities. Other women are choosing not to have kids, and that choice reduces their pool of eligible bachelors. Others do not want to get married, and some opt to remain single because they are content with their lives. In 2014, the United States Census Bureau reported that 53% of unmarried U.S residents 18 and older were women, compared to 47% of men. The pool of eligible men is that much smaller.
Aside from dating apps, the ways in which a single woman can find a partner has become rather limited. Social media killed romance and dating. We have become so consumed by instant gratification, than more often than not, we find ourselves glued to our phones even when we are out with friends. What do we usually do if we are waiting for a friend? Glued to our phones, checking emails, refreshing Twitter to check and make sure that the Orange Nazi has not started WWIII. We no longer pay attention to our surroundings, and this has gravely affected the way we interact with others.
Again, how do we explain this complicated situation to our moms and abuelitas? Dating as they know it has become extinct. The hope is that being single after a certain age stops being a stigma.
Women should be celebrated for their accomplishments, and their relationship status should never take priority. In a world where we have an administration that treats women as inferior (did anyone see the Congressional hearing with Sally Yates?) we have to fight to show that women are more than whom they are dating (or not dating.)
Let’s celebrate the beauty of being Brown, of being in your 30s, and most importantly of being single and successful.