I have a dear friend in her early 40s. She’s got it all, a great personality and a great life. As a dedicated triathlete she’s physically fit and attractive. Well dressed, well bred, and owns her own apartment in Manhattan (no small feat). She’s inclusive, warm and open. Oh. And… she’s single.

She recently met a guy online who was knocked out by her photos, bio and personality on the phone. He’d finally found the “total package.” So, he asked her, “Why are you still single?” This was confusing to him. A terrific woman with so much going on, there must be a catch. He needed to speak to one of her friends and get the “real story.” That friend was myself. We spoke for over an hour.

Why is it automatically assumed that something’s “wrong” with a woman who’s single? But the man who’s asking this question never asks it of himself?

Our modern world still conforms to an archaic double standard when it comes to the assumptions surrounding a woman who’s single. When a high-value man is single he’s viewed as “playing the field” or hasn’t met the “right woman.” When a high-value woman is single it’s assumed to mean that men don’t want her (for good reason.)

It’s not just the men who perpetuate this double standard. A few years ago I overheard the same thing said about me. In a conference room swarming with businesswomen a lady said to my colleague, “She’s so lovely and interesting. I can’t believe some man doesn’t want her!”

Our current time period has the greatest amount of single women, ever. It’s not due to some bizarre quirk or character defect. The women I know who’re single and dating have a vast selection of men who want them. But, they also have options. Being self-sufficient and living meaningful lives, they don’t want to settle for just anyone to appease society’s wishes. They want the real deal. And if it takes waiting, they’ll wait until they find the right man with whom they can create the type of loving partnership they desire.

They’re not the only one’s unwilling to settle for less.

The 2010 U.S. Census Bureau found that 53 percent of the unmarried population aged 18 and older are female. No one would bother to ask, “What’s wrong with the remaining 47 percent of unmarried men?”

Pew Research statistics from December 2011 on Social and Demographic Trends show that barely half of all U.S. adults are married (a record low). It appears that being single is preferable to the notion of being married (just to not be single).

Modern women want love. But they also know their worth. My friend’s story is like so many others I hear. She’s had her share of players and confused men. She’s had offers of marriage. She’s not insecure, defective or emotionally unavailable. She “wants to wake up to the same man every day for the rest of her life.”

She has a code of conduct and values. She wants a special man; one she can love and admire her whole life. She knows her worth and knows what she wants. She’s willing to give love a shot and has no fear of commitment. But she wants the “right partner” in her life, rather than settling for “a partner.” And that’s why she’s still single.

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