Being Single In Paraguay

PigsIn Paraguay people aren’t single. They are either in a relationship, in a relationship with multiple relationships on the side, or about to be in a relationship. This relates partly to the importance and closeness of family and the role of women as mothers in Paraguayan culture.

In the US, most people hope to eventually end up with some kind of significant other, however there are things that come first, such as personal happiness and your career. That is not the case here. Having a boyfriend or girlfriend (husband or wife) seems to be the centerpiece of happiness. As for careers, at least in my community, most people are looking to pay the bills, not to develop a career.

When I tell people I’m single, I’m often asked, “why?” It’s almost as if my community members think I’ve specially calculated my singleness. I explain that I have things to do before I get married, and that I’m working on my career. But, the Paraguayans I explain this to continue to have a confused expression on their faces.

Often times, I want to throw my hands up and say, “I’m single because I’m here.” But I don’t because that’s rude and doesn’t teach anything.