Thursday, 20 June 2013

Nie chcę już być singelką/I don't wanna be single no more

A kind friend sent me a link to a Benedictine retreat in Tyniec, Poland for Polish-speaking Single women who want to stop being Single. Here is the link. I see that the first session starts tomorrow, which is a little late for planning, but there is a repeat in September.

The workshop is being led by two psychiatrists and a Benedictine priest, and that's almost all I can tell you about it. It is about getting married, so it is different in spirit from my Polish workshops, which are all about finding meaning in your Singleness, not how to chuck it ASAP.

The part I find mysterious is that there is just this retreat for women and no retreat for men called "Nie chcę już gotować" (I don't want to cook anymore). Why is the focus on women getting themselves married when traditionally it is men who do the asking? Is the increasing number of Single Poles over 25 the fault of Single women Poles? Could it not have something to do with the Single men Poles? Personally, I have no idea. Well, I have one idea. This idea is born of the fact that in Polish class we do not talk about our classmates' Polish spouses but about their Polish partnerkach

I am very sympathetic to the idea of Single women who want to marry getting married, so if the secret of the late marriage era is actually in this Benedictine abbey, I hope a reader goes to it and reports back everything.


Pearlmusic said...

Seraphic, you got it! The atmosphere around Polish single Catholic women has something of a „what’s-wrong-with them” kind, even within Catholic circles. But saying from my own experience, constant searching for their own fault and finding the reasons for being single mostly IN single women, can seriously boost their frustration and encourage chasing-men-behaviour. Generally, as I observe, it is mostly women who worry about singleness and look for any possibility to change it. Men don’t as much and it is probably why there are more workshops like that for women offering them “reprogramming their faulty being into marriageable femininity” than for men. Anyway, personally I am more sympathetic to your attitude and hope to be able to take part in your workshop here, once you make it :)


Seraphic said...

I'll be in Kraków in May!

Julia said...

It's interesting for me to have a clue as to what's happening in Poland (I'm half-Polish). It saddens me a little (read: a lot) to see that the word 'partner' is used in Polish the same way we use it in English. I don't speak Polish, but I assume that this is an 'Englishism' that has infiltrated Polish. One time I heard one of my mum's workmates refer to my dad (in English) as 'her partner' and I had to laugh (because they are, after all, actually married).

Seraphic said...

A (Scottish) stranger once asked me if B.A. were my partner and I played dumb and said, "No, he's my husband."

Jackie said...

Ooh, this sounds like a fascinating retreat! I really do hope some intrepid attendee will report back with lots to dish!

Re: these women's cultural responsibility and PRESSURE to get married: Would you suppose that it is comparable to other cultures i.e. "Christmas Cake women" in China? (After the 25th, no one's interested, supposedly)

I ask because I have a client's family that I work with, from a very similar background. And every week she will keep telling me to get married ASAP and I need to start having children NOW before it's too late. *weep, gnashes teeth* (And also: diet tips and fashion tips, comments about skin and makeup, unsolicited.)

Even though this woman is a Christian, and her intent is truly kind, and she comes from an extremely blunt culture. I would love to be able to answer, My trust is in God, and have that be that.

Sorry if that was a total tangent! By the way, this woman went to a matchmaker to find her husband. I'm not sure how many Polish women employ this method, but it would be extremely interesting to hear about this!

Seraphic said...

It sounds like this lady, in her pushy way, really cares about you. And thinks it would be good if you in particular had children! (We don't hope people we dislike have children!)

The unsolicited tips issue is a very interesting one and I shall now right about it.

Urszula said...

I find the idea for the retreat very interesting... unfortunately buying into the idea that the only reason you could ever be a 'singielka' is that there is something wrong with you, and not, perchance, with the Polish men who should be marrying but aren't. I've mentioned previously but I'll say here again just like you do that I find it extremely interesting that Polish women marry foreign men much more often than the opposite.

And yes, the word 'partnerka' is being used in Poland, not as frequently as in other places though (at least from what I last experienced). Mostly, you call someone your boyfriend and girlfriend, and since middle-aged people rarely date, it doesn't sound as incongruous as the American 60-year old calling her 10 years older companion her 'boyfriend'.

Pearlmusic said...

@Urszula – thanks! This was very well said – I mean the first part of your comment in particular. Certainly there are also typical “career women” in Poland or those who enjoy their quirky-alone lifestyle but they are not looking for redemption. Meanwhile, the ones who would be willing to attend Christian or spiritual retreats like this usually deep down their hearts LONG to get married and have children, no matter how successful they are in their professional life. Telling them “how to seek a husband” or why is it that they can’t find one can only do harm in my view, especially if it is based on assumptions only.

Well, for me, the fact is that these women are concerned about it already and therefore they create a market for retreats, for single ministries or Catholic dating websites (where women are the majority) and men seem to care less somehow (well, why should they care if it is women who chase them?) It is a good idea to tell yourself that your single status is not only your own concern but the concern of men you’ve met who didn’t even think of proposing, too. “He that findeth a wife, findeth a good them and obtains favor from the Lord (Proverbs 18:22)”. If you want your husband to have favor, let him find you.

I recommend reading the whole article here:

Pearlmusic said...

PS: If it sounded as if I were putting all the blame in men - well, I didn't mean that, too! Let God take over all the while and pray! :)