Ahh the joys of growing up and gradually progressing through the marital status stages. As a single woman in my late 20’s this impending pressure to be settled , married and planning children seems to become a black cloud hovering over me instead of a joy to look forward to. Whilst this “fairytale” is a great idea and all , sometimes things like “circumstances” get in the way . Social events, family gatherings and even government forms ( Who decided exactly what age you downgrade from a Miss to a Ms anyway ?!) become this daunting task of avoiding the incessant questions and statements at each stage of your life:
Question: “Oh you’re single? “
Translation : Oh you’re a freak
Question: “ Haven’t found anyone special yet?”
Translation: I don’t understand this unexplained scientific mystery of why you would choose to be alone and independent at such an “advanced” age.
Question: “Are you looking for someone?”
Translation: I still don’t understand !You should be scouring the globe! Surely you don’t actually want to die alone? Because that’s what will happen.
Statement: “I have a really nice friend…”
Translation: Let me set you up with him, he’s your last chance! I will save you from this terrible disease of singleness!
Statement: “Don’t worry there’s plenty more fish in the sea…”
Translation: You will die alone after adopting 72 cats who will probably end up eating your dead body. Such a waste, you were a pretty girl…
Have a parter but not yet engaged
Question: “So when are you getting married?”
Translation : I’m going to pretend that you are already engaged even though I know you’re not to save you embarrassment .
Question: “So you aren’t engaged yet? “
Translation: Oh you’re one of those people .You should be married by now! You’ve been dating for over 5 seconds, this is the normal natural progression of the human race.
Question: “Oh you aren’t in a rush?”
Translation: I don’t understand ?! Why are you wasting time, won’t be young forever .In fact you are way overdue! Pft commitment issues much ?!
Married but don’t have children
Question:”So when are you planning on having children?”
Translation: You should be pregnant with your third by now.
Question:”How many do you want?”
Translation : Do not overpopulate the Earth please, but by this rate you be lucky to push out one!
Statement: “Oh you want to wait a bit….” ( followed by an awkward silence)
Translation : TICK TOCK WOMAN !!!
Statement: Oh…you don’ want any children.
Translation: well if the human race goes extinct we’ll know who to blame. Selfish new age couple.
And so we learn to smile through clenched teeth and carefully try and answer every question with a pleasant acceptable answer instead of biting sarcasm or total exaggerated lies for the sole benefit of self amusement . Life is different for everyone, and sometimes we can lose perspective due to our situation, comparison,age or Facebook ( damn you social media for your “relationship status” option!). Yes as we get older the people around us ( especially our friends) will begin to get married and have babies, but it does not mean that you are a failure or even late if you have not managed to do these “accomplishments” just yet. These in fact are massive decisions that should always be handled with the utmost care and clarity; better to be single then married to the wrong person. Let’s also not forget that after the wedding then comes marriage (that’s right, it goes beyond just that special day ). A successful relationship starts with the right foundations and recognises that it takes consistent hard work and that change is inevitable.
All The Single Ladies
If you are single and longing for that husband, then try to enjoy the now, focus on bettering yourself as an individual, travel, do all those fabulous single things like dancing with your girls till 2am in the morning.!Don’t get so caught up in the future that you forget to enjoy the present and what it has to offer. The right man will come at the right time, even if you think he doesn’t exist, he does . Remember being a happy and whole individual means you are setting your self up for a healthy relationship.
To the Girls waiting for the Diamond Ring
It’s probably tougher playing this waiting game, because the promise land is in sight but still you can’t cross over into it yet! The hardest part is feeling like we don’t have control over the situation, because traditionally it’s up to the man to ask the question. And so we wait and hope as each day that passes by brings us closer to the ring and the next stage of our life. And when your darling friends (who have only been with their partner for half the amount of time you have been with yours!) start to get engaged ALL AT ONCE (breathe..), needless to say it makes it a little more frustrating for you. My advice is to still try and enjoy where you are at, the foundations of marriage start long before the wedding, so make sure that when you are about to enter into that lifelong commitment , you have already made a way for it to be happy and healthy. Discuss what you want with your man, but don’t nag him, guys have their own little plan. If you know it’s something you both want and have discussed it to some degree, then its just a matter of time. Give him the respect of trusting him and it’ll probably happen a lot sooner.
To the Married Ladies
There is only so much I can comment on this status having not experienced it yet. It’s inevitable that the “children” question will start to rise and depending where you are at I believe you should always answer honestly and work at the pace that makes you and your husband happy . Children do change the dynamics of a relationship ( and yes I have experienced this) so its important to make sure that your relationship with your husband takes priority first so that when children are bought into the picture you are able to work together as a happy and healthy team. Marriage doesn’t have to be the hardest thing you do, but it will bring your seasonal challenges, especially in the beginning. Adjusting to each other and working through the change with unconditional love is not as easy as the books make it out to be! People can be busy bodies, so if in social situations they start to ask those pestering questions , just smile, say less and walk away.