Priceless column from CNN’s Jessica Ravitz: Being single

We kick off our March focus on “conscious conversations” with this wonderful response by CNN’s Jessica Ravitz to a Huffington Post commentary speculating why women like us are not married.

The commentary that drew her ire, she said, essentially indicated that there were six possible reasons for women to be single: Being ” a bitch, a slut, a liar, shallow, selfish or not good enough.”

Jessica responded by pointing out another reason, “Life happens.”

Then she goes into wonderful detail about what that life might have involved. Concluding with:

“Maybe you agreed to go on dates you dreaded because you were determined to have an open mind. Maybe you learned you had good reasons to dread those dates. You wolfed down a nice piece of salmon as one man told you, within the first hour of meeting, that he cheated on his wife, still loves his ex-girlfriend and didn’t go to his own father’s funeral. …But maybe you still believe there’s someone great out there for you. You’re ready, you know you have so much to give, and you look forward to meeting him — wherever and whenever that might be. And in the meantime, you know you have a lot to be grateful for. Maybe you have a career you love, and through the stories of suffering you hear, you know that if still being single is your biggest problem, you are damn lucky.”

You can read her entire wonderful column here.

Then go ahead and use this space, if you’d like, to share your own story.



  5 comments for “Priceless column from CNN’s Jessica Ravitz: Being single

  1. Leigh
    April 22, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    I love Jessica Ravitz’s column, but I must say I also loved Tracy McMillan’s original column – I saw the use of the "bitch, slut" etc. terms as satirical (and a tad offensive), but the overall message as positive (she endorses single motherhood, pointing out that it tends to weed out lotharios). As a divorced person myself, I thought it contained a good message about how marriage is not the be-all, end-all of happiness (favorite quote: "You’ll still be you, except with twice as much laundry") and that marriage is more about giving love than getting it. We’ve all experienced the "princess fantasy" and seen the bizillion bridal reality shows that focus on the wedding and conveniently omit mentioning that the marriage is the important part. I thought McMillan offered a refreshing countermessage to all of that.
    The unfortunate part of it is that she wrote it in a context of a culture that already places blame on single women for being single, so we do need more countermessage to that, which Ravitz’s column does quite effectively. So, I hope it’s OK to love both columns for different reasons!

  2. Cyndi Garnto
    March 14, 2011 at 6:49 am

    As another reason that I would add – my parents had a rather bad marriage and I watched for years as they fought and endured and generally made our household an unpleasant place to live for everyone.

    I promised myself that I would take the time to find someone in my life that was committed to me and our family.I promsied myself that I would not look for a partner as an escape (as I think my mother did) or because society expected it of me, or because I wanted a family. I promised myself that I would marry if and when I found a partner who was as committed to making it work and committed to our family as I was.

    I would far, far rather raise a child alone than raise a child in a household where the parents fight all the time, and will likely end in divorce, as many marriages do these days. I can still provide my child with a loving family full of people who are committed to us both and who are in our lives because they want to be. Grandparents, friends, aunts and uncles, cousins – how are they somehow less than a father?

      July 26, 2014 at 6:19 pm


  3. Valerie
    March 9, 2011 at 11:25 am

    I’m glad someone responded to such a silly accusation. I would be hurt if I could stop rolling my eyes long enough to take it seriously. Such a statement tells us more about the woman who made it than the ones that it was supposed to be directed at.

  4. Jen
    March 2, 2011 at 11:54 am

    How interesting that I came across this just after posting a blog piece about these very same articles!

    Perhaps some would say I’m deluding myself about why I’m single, but I agree wholeheartedly with Jessica: life happens.

    My story starts with some bad experiences with men early on in my life, and this led to years and years and years of me being terrified of men. I avoided them at all costs. I didn’t start to find my way out of that fear until a few years ago, so I got a late start to dating and relationships. I had a lot of catching up to do, and I made some big blunders along the way. I won’t put all the blame on myself; some of the men I had relationships with just weren’t good to me.

    I’m still open to dating and relationships. I still carry hope that I will find the person I want to spend the rest of my life with (and hope that he’ll feel the same about me). But I need to build a full life for myself, whether or not it includes a man. And a huge part of that for me is trying to have a child, with or without a partner.

    The bottom line, for me, is that I find it very sad that there are so many judgments around people who aren’t married, that we must be tragically flawed individuals because we’re not falling into line with the majority of society. Some people don’t want to be married, and that should be respected. And for others, like myself, life just happens, and I don’t think I’m an unworthy person because of it.

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