“That’s me! But…why?!”
Well, according to a recent study, 25% of Americans will reach the age of 50 having never been married. So, if you’re not already in a relationship with the guy/girl-next-door or your childhood bestie, you’re probably going to be left on the romantic shelf collecting dust whilst the other 75% swan off into wedded bliss.
“For fu**’s sake.”
I know. Hey, you’re not alone! Well…you are. But I mean, I can relate. After a 2-year gap without romance and ever-approaching 30 with only two relationships under my belt, I’m starting to become accustomed to a life without a significant other. In fact, the more time goes by, the more I think that this is how it’s going to be forever. And that’s pretty sad.
But, is it?
What is the main reason you want to get married? It’s not so you can copy and paste your bloke’s surname onto your mail, head to the bank and set up a joint account and send out annoying postcards to all of your friends with your smiling faces on, is it? No, most people want to get married to solidify their connection to one another. To make their love binding, if you will. Although, my experience in the love department is pretty low, so maybe I’m wrong about the postcards? But my main thinking is, ‘People get married to start a family.’
“Dur. But you don’t need a piece of paper for that.”
Oh, 100%! However, there are some cultures in which having a single status is stigmatised. For example, did you know that in Denmark you will get publicly covered in cinnamon and eggs if you reach your 25th birthday unmarried? Personally, I couldn’t think of a more delicious way to spend my day, but I guess it’s not for everyone. It’s seen more of a funny prank in Denmark anyway, so it’s nothing to worry too much over. But it does make you wonder why there is such heavy precedence on said “piece of paper”. Or, maybe not just even the paper, but being single itself. Like, if you’re still single at an age when society considers that you should really be ball-and-chained by now, then maybe there’s something ‘wrong’ with you?
“Hmmph. It’s not my fault I haven’t found ‘the one’ yet though!”
Amen to that, sister! Life now is not the same as it was 100 years ago, or even 50 years ago! People are living longer, richer, more diverse lives and they’re not slowing down for anyone or anything.
Once upon a time, the view of women was that they were to create babies and look after the home, and the view of men was that they were they would work hard and bring home the money. But that view has gone out the window (along with the bra I burned earlier.) The contemporary world – albeit still far from perfect – has changed drastically in the way we look at careers, fashion, sex, friendships, hobbies etc. We’re much more free to pick and choose the way we want to live without the judgemental frowns and expectations of others clouding our mental framework. And with such a refreshingly new approach, is it any wonder that more of us are binning off this traditional marriage lark and just enjoying life for all that it offers us?
“Well, if you put it like that…I guess not.”
Exactly. Single life isn’t so bad. You can do what you want, after all. I’m not saying there’s no room for love (anyone who knows me will be fully aware how much I’m in love with the idea of the modern-day fairytale) but just don’t go letting it eat you up inside like a tapeworm (eww!)
Speaking of single-living, a lovely quote struck me the other day which summed up my feelings towards this perfectly actually, and it is this: “If you can’t figure out your purpose, figure out your passion. For your passion will lead you right into your purpose.” – T.D. Jakes.
So, rather than worrying about finding someone to love you or being in the perfect job with the perfect life, just keep doing what you love and maybe, one day, you’ll find what you’ve been searching for all along? I keep trying to remind myself of this, because as much as I’m all like, “Shoot for the stars, yo!” I can get pretty despondent with life’s offerings at times, too. But all you can do is be you.
And smile. Life becomes a hell of a lot more fun when you face it wearing a big grin!