Sharyn Atkinson

Just your average single girl, blogging about an unusual single world

Eye Rolling Documentary About Being Single & Over Thrity: Singled-Out

I came across an article written by the ABC about the alleged “Truth about being a single woman over 30” that a documentary called Singled-Out explores. A friend of mine shared the article on Facebook and I read it while I drank my morning coffee.

The more I read and watched, the more I found myself rolling my eyes. The article covers the documentary well, but it is the documentary itself that left me confused, annoyed and mostly angry. I did some more research about the documentary maker, Mariona Guiu, and the documentary, and now that my anger has subsided a little, I am left feeling very sorry for these women.

I was a single woman in Melbourne for twelve years when I published my book in 2013. I was single for an additional two years, before I met my now fiancé in 2015.  Unlike Mariona Guiu, even though I was frustrated and tired of going out with what seemed like a never-ending stream of men who weren’t right for me, for as many reasons as there are traffic-lights in Melbourne, I didn’t blame society, my family or feel the need to feel superior over men when it came to what is referred to as an ‘impressive lifestyle resume’.

I understand how frustrating it can be when it comes to people inquiring about your relationship status, particularly on Valentine’s Day. I couldn’t figure out why people would tell me not to worry, because I would meet someone, when I wasn’t worried at all. I knew I would meet someone my main concern was whether they would be ‘normal’ or ‘right for me’.

My experiences motivated me to write to about why I was single, and share how resilient I was, even in situations that were abusive. I was tried of bad dates, bad relationships too, but I took ownership of my life. I didn’t feel the need to search the world to explain why I was experiencing being single.

I certainly did not feel like I had to choose between having it all as a single woman or being in a relationship. I did not, and do not, see a proverbial line in the sand. I have always been optimistic, and I saw my time as being a successful single woman as the only opportunity I would have in life where I could do as I pleased without the need to be considerate of anyone or have the responsibility of being a parent.

Being single for me was very much a once-in-a-life-time opportunity in my life that was also, at times, frustrating. I find it interesting that it seems Mariona was in a very similar frustrating situation that motived her to make a documentary that is so negative and places a lot of blame on the society around her and other single women.

I placed no blame on anyone but myself. I made stupid decisions when it came to relationships, doesn’t everyone?

We live in a world of choice and I’m not sure what part of Melbourne Mariona grew up in, but I certainly was never brought up with the expectation that I had to get married and have children one day.

I grew up being told that I could do and be whatever I wanted in life. I was brought up to set new challenges for myself because there was nothing I couldn’t achieve in life. I elected that I wanted to be in a relationship with the right person, for me; that was my choice. And when I was single, I didn’t sit around and wonder why.

This is so perplexing to me. How could Mariona find herself single, and not know why and feel motivated to search the world for answers? I’m still rolling my eyes about that comment I read on Kickstarter – a funding website that raised more than twenty thousand pounds to fund the documentary.

I was quite happy being single and I liked being in relationships too, but I wasn’t prepared to sacrifice my sanity to have a relationship with someone that was not right for me. It was my choice to roll the dating dice time and time again. I had that optimism about me that not everyone was like the last bad relationship I had experienced, and that my perfect relationship could be the next.

I met men in different ways and different events took place each time that lead me to come to the conclusion that they weren’t for me. I had integrity and respected myself too much to stay in a miserable relationship just so I could be in one. That’s why I was single. I didn’t need to search the world and look for ‘expert opinions’ to come to that conclusion. I have always been quite capable of self-reflection and I have been aware of what I could have done differently, or better, and it’s through learning from my mistakes and bad relationships that I came to be the person I am today.

The feminist views in this documentary had my eyes rolling again. There is nothing wrong with being in a relationship and I certainly don’t feel as though I am “complete” now I am in one. Seriously… how is this limited view in a documentary made this century?

I’m also a little confused about why the comedian from Melbourne who has been single for three years is in this documentary. I think being single for three years is quite normal actually, and I don’t think they have uncovered anything ground breaking here about her internet dating struggles, but that’s my opinion.  

I will continue to take a more optimistic and forward-thinking view of the world around me. The world is what you make it, and I’m making my world brilliant. I hope all women in this documentary can do the same and learn to love being single. If being single bothers you, it’s you who is not happy with your relationship status, stop blaming the world around you.

Posted 153 weeks ago

The Game is on

I’m excited to be launching a social inclusion project very, very soon. Stay tuned ;)

Posted 158 weeks ago