Successful, Single and Lonely

They say money makes the world go round. Who could blame them? Take a look around. The lot with loads of paper seem to be the happiest around.  Or are they?

Conversations with a few showed something different.

This weekend I was talking to a woman who for all intent and purpose seems to be one of the happiest around. Her diary is full of engagements and she works for a very successful company in a senior position. Many people will look at her and say she has the life.

She said one thing though. She is desperately lonely and she sees no way out of it. When her latest play thing that she has to settle for isn’t around she is at home alone watching one reality TV show or the other. She has no kids and shares her affection with her dog.

I ask her about friends and she tells me that her friends have either jumped on a plane and disappeared into the diaspora or are married with kids. None of them are as successful as she is but they seem happier than her.

She bounces between self-pity and calling the modern man cowardly for not being able to handle a successful woman.

The thing though is that she is not a special case. The Harare woman is getting lonelier and lonelier by the second. For many women it seems as if they have to be one or the other. It is as if it is part of some elaborate practical joke played by life.  Give her everything but the one thing that she would like the most.

Helena Andrews, the author of Bitch Is the New Black says:

What I am trying to say about single black women in any urban environment is, you don’t know them as well as you think you do. They may not know themselves as well as they think they do..

A lot of black women put up an exterior that says: “Everything is together. ‘I’m fine. Perfect. Don’t worry about me. Keep it moving.’ That is the trend. Put on new stilettos. Put on a mask of bitchiness.” But that image — prevalent in both the media and the workplace,  — is one-dimensional.

When people think about black women, they have only one adjective for us, which is ‘strong. The girl you see walking down the street looks like she has it all together.

Fact is that this brand of women has a list of check boxes, things that they must do. When these are done, happiness will come in a chariot of glory with Prince Charming and the little bundles of joy to boot.

It isnt that simple though. While they are busy ticking boxes, life moves on and before they are 30 and there is no Prince Charming. Often there is a frog who can’t put two sentences together without talking about what care he has or where he could take her on holiday. In fact every time he says something it is stupid. She kisses him, because she thinks that she has to settle. He doesnt change into Prince Charming, he remains a frog.

My friend, on the other hand, has decided that she will find someone with good genes, get pregnant and move on, without the sperm donor.

She sometimes wishes she had done things differently. She loves the life and upward mobility. But she needs a boo…

  • Faykats

    It does make for quite an interesting read. Its very true too. There are so many successful young black women out there who are struggling to find the balance between relationships and a career.

    What I’ve realised personally is that happiness doesn’t have to come only after I’ve checked all the boxes, on my things to do list. Often it will come my way, your way and because I am not done with all the things I want to achieve in my life, I will presume its not time yet. However, who is to say when its time, and when its not time?

    You can manage both though, you can manage your career, and even be a mother and a wife. Its all very possible.

    Lets open our minds and hearts to the possibilities that are out there. Lets not shut out the opportunity to be deliriously happy.

    Food for thought

  • i think this ideal of ‘happy’ that people have is not as realistic as it should be. i worry about people whose happiness centers on other people or on material possessions. what happens when they leave or when they are lost? everybody needs or wants a ‘boo’ yes, whether we like it or not, we all yearn for some form of companionship – it’s the way we were made i guess. some of us find the ‘happiness’ in companionship at later stages in life than others. on the other hand, others pass up the chance to be happy for success. i dont know boet; you’re right- it’s not as simple as it sounds. you hit thirty and suddenly realize you haven’t had a single meaningful relationship but your house is a palace….or that you’ve kissed a lot of frogs and still haven’t found the prince because none of them live up to your standards…and you start scurrying around for the closest thing to happy, and you end up worse off than the single bitter 50 year old. i think the more mature you are (and not necessarily the older you are), the better equipped you are to understand what it means to be happy and how to balance success and happiness.

  • boredlady

    the married women are just as lonely, your friend should be happy she doesn’t have to clean up after and feed his ass too. Marriage is highly overrated and very meaningless in our Zimbabwean society today.

    • Anonymous

      Well are u married?

      • boredladynomore

        was married then. not i’m single, successful and very very happy too 🙂

  • J34

    I know of a friend who has been dating women as such different races and these ladies tend to be very rigid in relationships….eventually they realize they don’t even want the kids too. they can’t stand realities of an African paternal society, want that going out with friends every weekend etc, which simply means they ain’t sure if they can be mothers or wives. I’ve a feeling she may want the writer friend to be the sperm donor, becareful dude. I wonder if that lady is a virgin too…Issues which matter in a true African marriage to be a happy one! Next thing is dating some married man get pregnant and after a while decides that the child needs his dad that sperm donor thing is too American, hypocritical and uncalled for in this society. All the ladiesmive met who say that are now informal successiful 2nd wives