Mary Edwards says: The women in my family are independent, successful and strong. Every single one of us has a very sarcastic humor and easy going look on life. My sisters and aunts are all married but living a very even partnered marriage. If any of them were to be left by their husbands, I believe they would bounce back into singledom just fine. So naturally, I was shocked when I learned how much my family was concerned about my single status recently. My jaw literally dropped when my aunt told me, ‘You aren’t getting any younger.’
I met my first love when I was in college. We were together for over 6 years and when I was 26 years old, he left our home to marry a friend of ours. I was blindsided, broken and shocked. I moved out of our new home and right in with my sister and her husband. Unlike what the women in my family would do, I buried myself in the guest room bed for 3 months. Finally, I woke up one day and started walking and started breathing. I lost a much needed 60 pounds in 15 months. My life suddenly became my life. For the first time in years, I was calling the shots and living my life the way I wanted too.
I found myself an amazing career, volunteering, traveling, meeting new people. I had many nights out in one of the largest cities in America and gladly painted the town red. I made lots of brilliant mistakes that a single woman can make. And I love every mistake I made. All of my friends and family told me they have never seen me be so me and alive. I guess my relationship had dragged me down and killed the real me. In fact a friend once told me, “You were always in the background and now you just shine.”
Needless to say single life looked good on me and everyone loved the new and improved me. That is until I turned 28. I am 28 and still single. In the past few months, my family has suddenly bombarded me with questions on dating, when will I settle down with a man and asking me if I want children. These women in my life that are so independent and once supportive now are legitimately concerned I may never marry. At first I didn’t know what to say. I started thinking that I did need to settle down and get married. The pressure was so overwhelming that I began to hunt men to become my significant other. For the past few months every phone call and family dinner revolves around whether or not I have met someone.
So why does our family pressure us singles to marry? Is it because they want more grandchildren, cousins and nieces? Do they want a wedding to plan? Or do they think a significant other can take care of me enough so that way they don’t have to worry anymore? The more I question their motives, the more I realize they associate marriage with being happy. Whether I marry or not, I don’t really care, as long as I am happy. And if I am happy, my family will be happy.
I dig further and examine these powerful women in my life. And I have concluded that none of them have ever been single for a long period of time. Both my sisters were married by 24 and one by 26, both having long term relationships. My grandmother was married at 17 and my mother at 19. As much as they used tend to comment on how lucky I am to be single, deep down they don’t know what it means to be single, that life is just as wonderful single as coupled. I now see the importance it is for men and women to be single at one point in their lives. Every woman in my family has depended on someone else for happiness. Like in many other life’s situations when someone opposes something it’s because they don’t understand personally. So now I nod and tell my family that I understand but that I am happy. They mutter something about having many cats in my future and walk off. Too bad I like dogs.
About the Author:
Mary Edwards is one of the contributors and editors for the site linked here. She is passionate about writing and regularly contributes to various career, social media, public relations, branding, and parenting and online dating community sites. She can be reached at edwardsmary936 AT gmail.com.