Scrolling through my IG story the other day I came across my friend posting a picture of the first guy I dated in college. Memories flash through my head the biggest thing that stuck out to me was it’s a memory, a memory that no longer feels like a pain stabbing me in the chest. It hasn’t felt that way in many years, I hadn’t thought about him in a romantic way in a very long time. But seeing his picture reminded me of something, life goes on. He is married with kids now and I am single, very very single. And very happy. But I can remember the heartbreak I had over him. The feeling that the pain was just never going to go away, but it did.
26 and single, how sad for you. This seemed to be a reoccurring message pushed onto me during the months leading up to my best friends wedding. Not that anyone actually came out and said that specifically but there were a lot of sympathetic “One day this will be you,” or sentences along those lines. Without diving into details of my love life or thoughts on marriage and relationships I normally would reply with a smile. Coming from a southern town you witness a lot of engagements on your weekly scroll through facebook, baby announcements, high school reunions that have turned into love and marriage. And while I am extremely happy for each and every one of these people, it is not where I want my life to be, or where I see my life going. Society pushes the idea of marriage onto us and makes it seem like marriage is something we have to do in our lifetime and in reality it isn’t. Especially onto women in their 20’s. The idea is already pressing onto us that we are getting old or that our time is coming to begin to reproduce. While many women are choosing to be more independent in this matter the ideology I just described is still very much alive today. When I chose to get married if I ever chose to make that commitment to someone before God it will be because I love them among other things, not because it felt like I had to, what age I am, or because everyone else my age is settling down so I should as well. The same goes for having a kid. Everyone’s life path is different and everyone’s path should be respected not judged for being different then yours or the norm that was created where you grew up. But sometimes it seems there’s more judgement towards the ones that have chosen the route of being single and embracing that life path. While older men don’t face the criticism that women receive when they are single and childless in their 50’s. As soon as women are hitting their 30’s and 40’s single and childless they are made into a joke, a stereotype, a statistic. This choice was made to chase a career, or something they thought to be more important to them then pursuing love and a family. Why are women judged more for this then men? Older men referred to as "Silver foxes" and older women are "No spring chicken." We should start accepting that some of us in the world(myself included) cannot even begin to imagine the idea of marriage when we have something in our lives like running a business or fulfilling a dream. I couldn’t picture myself being able to give fully to a partner in marriage or my child when I give a majority of myself whether that be time, money, or my love to my brand.
So if you’re reading this on Valentine’s Day as you sit alone in your singleness or prepare for a valentine’s date with someone who may not be Mr. Right but Mr. Right Now I hope you realize that it’s okay to be alone. And it’s okay to feel comfortable in your singleness, proud of your singleness, embrace your singleness. And for my ladies that find this day as a sad reminder that they have not found Mr. Right, your time has not come. God has not sent you the man of your dreams because it is not the time for you. That doesn’t mean he isn’t coming. Take this time to celebrate your gals and enjoy a Galentine dinner. Or take the time alone to sit and write down a list of what you are searching for quality wise in a life partner. Either way don’t sit around feeling sorry for yourself just because you don’t have a person to celebrate a holiday with.