The Real Problem When 46-Year-Old Women Are Crying in Their Cars
Last month, a 46-year-old woman posted a video of herself on TikTok sharing a tearful story about her impending surgery and how much it has brought the pain she feels about being single into focus.
Her problem? She has no one to take care of her but her mother and sister and it clearly causes her distress, as she chokes up at one point so much, she has to pause the recording. She says she still needs her mama, still needs her sister, and you can sense the shame she feels around that.
She later goes on to admit that all her lighthearted jokes about the “buffoons” she encounters in the dating world are actually covering up immense pain, because that’s the “shit” that’s available to her at this point in life when, as she explains, most of the “good men” got married in their twenties and thirties.
When this video went viral, it particularly caught my attention. I am, after all, also 46 and single and have been known to have an occasional breakdown over the lack of partner support in my life.
I watched in horror as the first wave of misogynistic responses hit, in which countless people assumed she was choosy, demanding, crazy, slutty, or just plain stupid which is why she was single at 46 and why she goddamn deserved it.
Yep. We middle-aged, never-been-married gals know exactly what it’s like to be criticized, judged, psycho-analyzed, and berated by everyone from family members to strangers who all assume that our singleness is a problem — and a problem that we created. And you know how that goes…you made your bed, hon, now you gotta sleep in it.
(As if any of this would ever cross our minds had she been a single 46-year-old man.)
But after the angry villagers quieted, no doubt finding someone else to target with their ire and pitchforks, those of us who still had this video on our minds witnessed the second wave of responses from the cultural analysts, the armchair psychologists, the feminists, and the Virgos.
They talked about why her feelings are valid. They pointed out the misogyny her post inspired. They re-debated whether or not marriage has been unfairly…