Many people feel pressured to get married and end up tying the knot for the wrong reasons. These reasons include loneliness, social and family pressure, and fear of being alone for an extended period.
Mia, a single professional in her late 20’s put it like this: “All of the women in my family married in their early to mid-twenties and there’s this pressure to wed the next available guy – even though I’m perfectly happy with my single life, have lots of friends, and a great job.”
A landmark study by Stephanie S. Spielman demonstrates that fear of being single is a meaningful predictor of settling for less in relationships and staying with a partner who is wrong for you. The first step in facing your fear of being alone is shrugging off any stigma attached to being single.
Growing up, you probably weren’t given good examples of how to be single. A lot of what you see in movies and TV promotes how to find the right partner, and get hitched. There’s nothing wrong with seeking marriage as your ultimate goal. However, many singles feel that they are being judged for living a single lifestyle. As a result, they aren’t happy to be alone. They fear it and seek love wherever they go. Too often the pleasure they find with being alone is dampened because of social messages that they can’t be happy without a partner.
Reasons remaining single is a good idea:
- You are in a toxic relationship that brings you down or you are often unhappy with your partner. Ask yourself: Does your significant other inspire you to do your best? Perhaps he or she is overly critical or too focused on his or her needs to be supportive of you.
- You feel that you have to sell yourself short – to change your values, goals, or dreams for your partner to accept you. Since your partner is unwilling to compromise – you morph into someone else to accommodate their needs and subsequently lose vital parts of your identity.
- You want to take your time to pick a partner who shares similar values and interests – this will enhance your chances of staying together.
- You have a healthy regard for commitment and just haven’t met someone you want to make a permanent commitment with. Avoiding marriage before your late 20’s and dating a partner for at least two years will reduce your risk of divorce.
- You’re content being single and don’t have a strong reason to tie the knot.
Being single can help you find your authentic voice and to prepare for a healthy partnership. Embrace some of the pleasures of being single. When you remind yourself about what you like about yourself and what you are good at, your need for other’s approval will fade away and you’ll feel more self-confident in your lifestyle choice. Enjoy your journey and don’t fall prey to social pressures to wed until you are ready to make a commitment. In the meantime, relax and appreciate your single life.
Twitter, Facebook, and, movingpastdivorce.com. Terry’s award winning book Daughters of Divorce: Overcome the Legacy of Your Parents’ Breakup and Enjoy a Happy, Long-Lasting Relationship is available on her website.
I’d love to hear from you and answer your questions about relationships, divorce, marriage, and remarriage. Please ask a question here. Thanks! Terry