A lot of books, movies, and stages shows have one thing in common: Romance. It either ends happily with the lovers together or not so happily with someone walking away or maybe even dying. Either way, being with the person you love is one of the driving factors in plots all throughout media and history. I’ll admit, I’m a sucker for romance in books and movies. I love reading it and I really love writing it. Michael and Kate, hello! In real life, however, I am happily single. And to a lot of people, that’s weird.
I recently read an article encouraging young people (even younger than me) to take the plunge, get married, and have kids in their twenties. That’s worked for a lot of my friends. Several of them married very young and most are still happily married. Although I’ve always wanted to be married and have kids eventually, it’s never been my main goal in life. For guys, that’s okay, but for some reason, it’s strange for a girl to feel that way. I can’t count the times I’ve been asked about my love life before anything else. It’s never “Have you seen any cool new places” or “Learned anything new and interesting?” It’s “So are you dating anyone yet?”
No. No I’m not. And that’s okay.
Even as a little kid, I was very driven and career-oriented. Back then, I wanted to work with marine mammals (and I still do) and I spent every waking minute I had researching whales, dolphins, and pinnipeds. As soon as I realized that my true calling was writing, I sat down and began working on ideas for novels.
Yeah, I’ve dated. I even had one serious boyfriend when I was 20, but unlike the rest of my friends who were itching to earn their M.R.S., the idea of marriage terrified me to the point that I actually broke down in tears at the thought of walking down the aisle. Granted, I wasn’t with the right person and now that I’m older, the idea doesn’t make me cry anymore, which is a good thing. But I’m still in no hurry. I have so many other things that I want to experience. Yes, I could experience them with a husband, but there’s something so liberating, so wonderful, about being independent. I like making my own decisions and I like being able to act selfishly. Perhaps that’s not a good thing to boast. After all, one of the major criticisms for single people with no children is that we are selfish. But I’ve always kind of thought that our twenties are the time to be selfish, to learn and explore, to travel, to set the foundation for our lives. For some of us, husband and kids are a huge part of that. For others, we’re happy going it alone. And again, that’s okay.
The world is changing. Women no longer have to marry for financial or societal reasons. We have the privilege of being able to settle down and marry when we want and who we want. Again, I do want marriage and a family… eventually. But right now, I’m happy by myself. I’m happy to travel. I’m happy to be able to do what I want, when I want. I’m happy to hang out with my sister and single friends just as much as I am happy to hang out with my married friends. And I’m happy to write. God, I am so happy to write.
Right now, my main priority is getting more books out there and, if my dreams come true, to maybe because a NYTimes Bestselling Author by the time I’m 30. That’s my real dream right now. If a guy comes along before then, then awesome! If not, that’s okay too. If you’re like me, don’t let anyone pressure you into anything before you’re ready.
I’ve been asked so many times when I’m getting married and when I’m giving my parents some grandkids to spoil. The answer is “I have no idea. For now, they’re just going to have to be happy with grand-books.”
On that note, please join me tonight at 8:30 Eastern (7:30 Central) for The Truth in Lies One Year Anniversary Celebration! Several authors (including me!) will be answering questions and posting giveaways all afternoon long! In fact, I think it’s already begun!
Too true. I really enjoy being a poet. Why be less awesome than that?
Right?! Besides, I totally already have a baby. She’s high-maintenance, she eats me out of house and home, and complains when I don’t pay enough attention to her.
If you sent her to cat preschool, I could have taught her today.
I read a book recently called “Truth, Lies, and the Single Woman” by Allison K Flexer that I thought was really great and on the same topic. It wasn’t a “here’s what to do to fix your singleness”, it was about being content with your life and that the right things will happen at the right time.
Ooh! That sounds awesome! I’ll have to check that out! It just drives me nuts that we live in a world that puts so much emphasis on who a woman is dating and not what she’s doing with her life! I’m pretty proud of what I’ve done with myself.
We were destined to be friends! I’m glad I got married when I did. He’s the right guy and I’m happy with it. but marriage is HARD and, honestly, often a pain in the butt. My problem was people pushing us to get pregnant.
it got so bad I would have a panic attack every time someone mentioned it. I want a family but not right now.
I think it’s great that you’re happy and pursuing your dreams! I’m taking the time to do the same and it’s made me a happier person. which is just better for everyone!
I so understand! Oh my goodness, I am very glad we’re friends! And I agree! You can’t be pressured. I don’t know why people think it’s any of their business! I don’t tell anyone else what they should be doing with their lives!
And I so agree about pursuing your dreams. I’m a million times happier than I would be if I tried to ignore them. Much better for the people in my life! 🙂
😀 Pursuing your dreams is a great achievement! Hopefully people will start seeing how much happier you are!
I am not a patient woman, so being nice in the face of extreme nosiness has been tough. It’s a good thing Mike can read me like a book; he always shuts the questions down when he realizes I’m done putting up with them.
Story of my life.
When I was 21, my late grandmother asked me if I was seeing anyone. I told her no. She asked me how old I was and when I told her she said, “Oh honey, that’s great! Take your time! Don’t hurry!”
We proceeded to have this same conversation every time I saw her.
Then when I was 27, she asked me again if I was seeing anyone. I told her no. She asked me how old I was and when I told her she said, “Oh honey, you need to do it before you get too old and ugly!”
I laughed. She chuckled because I laughed but she was serious. I realize now that–well–she was right. LOL
People asked me often when I was in my twenties. These days, people who don’t know me will ask. The ones that do know me whisper about it behind my back. Occasionally something slips. From what I understand, they all think something is wrong with me. I don’t know what they think is wrong–to be honest, I’m afraid to ask–but they definitely think something is wrong. LOL
The pressure isn’t only on women though. Men get bothered by the nosies too. Most especially if he has carved out a nice little existence for himself that leaves him quite able to support a wife and children. If he does not want a family or he does not feel ready, people start questioning his sexuality. Which again begs the question–what business is it of yours?
I don’t mind if people ask me about my marital status before asking me about anything else. I really do desire to be a wife and mother. Those are two of the most powerful roles a woman can undertake. If man is the head, well woman is the beating heart. And of course, the Hand that Rocks the Cradle…
What I do mind are the suggestions when I reveal my status because, you know, they have to help me cure my “single-itis.”
“You know, I could set you up with (insert guy they think needs help when he most likely doesn’t here)”
“Well you dress so frumpy, you should show a little more (Insert my best body part–in their opinion–here)”
“Once you stop looking, the right one will (insert cliche here)”
“Well you’re not looking in the right places. You should go to (insert place they think eligible men gather here)
“God will send you the right one, because He said (insert Bible verse here)
“Have you considered sperm banks because (insert feminist ‘you don’t need a man’ cliche here)
“Don’t you know any cute gay men that could (insert suggestion I torture a gay man just to get knocked up here)
I could go on…
I also probably should have posted this on my own blog.
Oh well…Love you Jackie! We have to do lunch again! Let’s go to Barnes and Noble and read that book Stephanie suggested!
Yes, for sure! And thank you for you well written response! You’re right, I forgot that about guys, that they’re motives and sexuality are often questioned. That’s not fair to them either.
And actually, I used to have an arrangement with one of my gay friends that we would have kids if we both hit a certain age, but I’ve got to tell you, I have so many that I don’t remember which one it was…