“Maybe you’re the girl thinking you’ll end up alone.” These lyrics from “Someone Worth Dying For” by Mikeschair still make me cringe when I hear the song come on the radio. While the overall message of the tune ultimately has good intentions, it sadly puts singleness on a short list of worst-case scenarios.
I’ve seen an unhealthy fear of singleness drive many women (and some men) to a desperate pursuit of marriage. This was especially true when my peers were in their 20’s and 30’s. When I parted ways with a guy I was dating in college, I remember him gasping, ‘Will I EVER get married?” He was 21, and the next gal he dated said, “I do.” When I was 39, I received a note from a friend in her early thirties. In it she described her plan to lasso a man. Clearly forgetting my age, she stated emphatically: “I will NOT be 40 and single.” She was not.
I, on the other hand, breezed into my fourth decade decidedly unmarried. Surprisingly, I did not turn into a pumpkin, a reclusive cat-lady, or whatever other fate-worse-than death scenario people believe will happen if you don’t marry by a certain age. Now in my mid-fifties, I can testify that remaining single is nothing to be feared or avoided at all costs. That’s why it concerns me that there is still a subtle, yet prevailing attitude that singleness is an inferior destiny – or worse, abnormal. Continue reading