“Today, people no longer feel the pressure to marry that their forebears felt. They can choose what makes them happier — singleness or coupledom — without fear of social opprobrium or poverty.” – TIME Magazine
First things first. Yes, I had to look up the word “opprobrium” –
Definition of OPPROBRIUM
1: something that brings disgrace
2 a :
public disgrace or ill fame that follows from conduct considered grossly wrong or vicious b : contempt
Now that my Scrabble/Words with Friends research is complete for the day, I have to say that this conclusion of an article focusing on the decline or marriage rubs me the wrong way. Not because I disagree that there are differences between singledom and coupledom, but that this dichotomy suggests those are the only two options. The modern reality is not be single or get married; there are live-in partners, serial monogamy, long-term significant others and non-homosexual life partners, to name a few. And don’t get me started on how marriage isn’t an option for most same-sex partners anyway. Are they then single for life?
I’m in the 27% of previously married who are not anxious to jump back on that bandwagon, but I don’t equate not getting married with perpetual singledom. I have a live-in boyfriend and would never introduce myself as single. I don’t know if I’ll remarry – who has a Magic 8 ball
that could answer that question for anyone? I’m not yet convinced that I can evolve into the person I want to be alongside someone else.
Since my head is spinning on relationships, my two cents on finding happiness in a relationship (which is not to say I’ve mastered these, merely that I am most happy as a person when I observe these, which then makes me a better partner):
- Worry more about finding yourself than finding someone else.
- Delve in and develop your own opinions and goals without worrying about who you’re offending or holding back.
- Do plenty of stupid things in love – so long as you learn from them.
- Trust your gut and follow its lead, even if it’s inconvenient or painful or has serious ramifications.
- Keep asking questions of yourself, your friends, your love interests, your political views, your world. Life gets stale when you stop learning, and relationships need curiosity.
- Think of the advice you’d give a friend if her relationship was yours, and then take your own advice. You are not the exception. Sorry.
- It’s okay to not know if someone is ‘the one.’ I don’t think there is ONE – that’s pure Hallmark.
- Even if you snag a keeper, no one person can meet all your needs. Stay connected to friends, colleagues, sage mentors, family and parents.