The Look die je als single vrouw krijgt

Deze week zaten mijn beste vriendin en ik met een fles wijn voor de open haard. Zet twee vrouwen die elkaar door en door kennen bij elkaar en het gaat al snel over mannen, liefde, seks en alles wat daar mee te maken heeft. Wij zijn beide single, vrijgezel, alleenstaand of geef het een naam, maar hebben in ieder geval geen relatie, en kwamen eindelijk tot een begrip voor een fenomeen waar we allebei mee te maken hebben. Dames (en een paar heren) mag ik u introduceren met: The Look.

The look is a certain glance accompanied by certain comments that every women without a boyfriend gets to hear at some point. Especially at family gatherings or other social events from people who are not familiar with your personal life. A conversation that is started off by the look and goes like this:

Someone: “So, Liesbeth, do you have a nice boyfriend yet?”

Me: “no, I don’t have a boyfriend.”

Someone: …. The Look …

Someone: “why not?”

First of all this is a stupid question. Why do I have to take responsibility for not having a boyfriend? If I had said that I did have a boyfriend you wouldn’t have asked why? The absence of a relationship is still seen as a temporary phase, as something that has to be solved with a new relationship because that’s what we all want right?

The look is the moment everything comes together. The whole package: biases, stereotypes and clichés of the single woman. Prominently, even in 2015, people tend to sympathize. A silly misunderstanding, resulting in stupid inquiries about the absence of a man. What answer do they expect? Something in the line of “ I just don’t have the time?” or “ I’m not ready yet”? All non-answers because if you meet your dream prince 5 minutes later (if you believe in the concept) you do have time and you’re all ready.

Of course there are always practical reasons. You just got out of a relationship, you’re immigrating to other parts of the world but aside fro that I don’t understand why the question is still being asked so often. And the look is so widely distributed. I’m 26 and am given the look by older women. But the moment I turn 30 I’ll get the look again and again from the baker to the butcher and back again. Female groups of friends are seen as pathetic, they missed the boat, fertility is waning frustration grows.

Let’s look at a man of say 35. No one considers him pathetic, as someone who will stay behind all alone. He can have children until he’s 60, he enjoys life and doesn’t commit easily. Especially not to a desperate woman who has to give birth now! The 35-year-old man can sleep around, no one considers that strange. On top of it all committed friends jealously watch him getting laid by numerous girls while their pregnant grumpy wives refuse them sex. The 35 year old single male is a ‘bachelor’ the female version a ‘left over’.

There are enough women out there who aren’t bothered by this but I always get a little uncomfortable after getting the look. It’s worse when that person says: But you’re such a pretty girl. How can you not have a boyfriend? That really pisses me off. Very degrading, if I’m such a pretty girl, what makes them assume I even want a boyfriend? Hello! I’m having fun on my own, thank you very much.

So people in a relationship would you stop shaming singles with the look? It’s only a matter of time before I start asking you how long it’s been since your perfect boyfriend and you have had sex in your perfect home. Or if you find the time to go out for drinks, hangout in the bar till the break of dawn now your perfect miracle #blessed has been born.

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