Things I Wish I Knew

“I don’t like to be labeled as lonely just because I am alone.” – Delta Burke

There are a lot of magazine and internet articles that like to discuss the “Things I Wish I Knew Before I Got Married.”  People in my age bracket seem to eat it up.  They either read it prior to them taking “the next big step” and take notes, so that they too will have a great marriage; or read it after the wedding and smugly think, “I know that and I do it well.” This isn’t going to be one of those blog posts from a single person telling everyone how they should live their married lives.  Although, because the Snark lives in me, I would like to point out there should be a moratorium on people giving marriage advice until they’ve been married at least 5 years.  This is, instead a post about The Things I Wish I Knew Before I Felt Like a Complete Loser for Being Single.

Singleness is not a crime.

The Hammurabic code, the 10 Commandments, even Draco say nothing about the lawlessness of singleness.  No matter what society throws your way, it is okay.  I grew up in the church.  “Be fruitful and multiply” is a big deal.  I was once told I could not be a part of a small group because I was single.  I was put with the college kids. This was 5 years ago, years after my college days.  They effectively placed me at the kid’s table.  ‘Sure’, you say, ‘that’s Church.  They’re weird about people being paired off.’  While it’s true, not a lot of Church Society knows how to handle single people over the age of 25, regular society is no better.  Even most of the girls in Sex and the City ended up in a marriage.  Robin Scherbatsky and Barney Stinson the I-don’t-want-to-get-married-queen and –king are getting married.  Generally, single people are portrayed as wanderers who don’t know what they want to do in life, and while they say they’re happy, we know they are not until that handsome man sweeps them off their feet.

Marriage does not always “complete you.”

Blame Jerry Maguire. I know I do.  You do not need another person to “complete you”.  It is reminiscent of the Greek mythology of soulmates.  To sum up: everyone had a partner they were attached to, but a bad dude separated them and they are forever searching for the person to make them complete.  To quote Shirley Bennett, “that’s nice”.  I have a lot of things in my life which “complete” me.  And while I’m getting on the tangent, if a person “completes” you, once you find said person, you’re done?  Like, you can just sit around with your hands down your pants and not work toward anything because you found that special person?  Shut up, Jerry Maguire.

You can have kids without getting married.

I don’t want kids.  And I’m going to stop you before you say, “you might change your mind; I did.” That’s insulting.  That means you don’t think I am wise enough to know what my options are.  I know I can change my mind.  I know kids can be a miracle.  I know I’ll probably forget the pain of my hoo-hah being ripped apart.  I don’t care.  I. Don’t. Want. Kids.  But for those of you who desperately want children, but fear your time is running out because you are still single, who cares?  There are people in my life that didn’t let the fact they hadn’t a husband stop them from reaching their dream of having children.  My aunt adopted babies from China.  Other people foster.  In fact, if I’m rich enough when I’m a wee bit older, I would not be opposed to a Neon Rider type deal.  How awesome would that be?  I don’t to trivialize people’s dreams, but if having a child is that important to you, there are ways around not having a man.  Perhaps you are worried you won’t leave a legacy.  There are ways to leave a legacy that isn’t children.  For me, it’s my writing.  Find out what it could be for you.

Saying these things doesn’t make you anti-marriage, bitter, and “just upset because you don’t have anyone right now, and you’ll change your mind once you meet the right man.”

This one took me a loooong time to learn.  I’m not anti-marriage.  Some of my best friends are married.  I kid.  Marriage is great.  You have someone to take care of you when you’re sick, someone to talk to about your day, someone to say your cooking is awesome.  Guess what?  I have friends who take care of me when I’m sick.  I have friends to talk to about my day.  I tell myself my cooking is awesome and my friends ask about recipes.  All those things I just mentioned are not exclusive to marriage.  I’m sorry if you are single, and don’t have a good friend group.  Send me a message, we’ll be friends. (For serious).  I’m not upset I don’t have anyone right now.  If I change my mind once I meet the right man, I’m not meeting the right man.  I have no intention of changing how I feel just so I can get married.  How many women have said, “I do” to the wrong person because they wanted to get married?  I can’t do that to myself, and if my friends are as awesome as I know they are, they wouldn’t let me do it either.

If you are single, embrace it.  This may sound cliché and tripe, but I know what is being thrown at you in literature, film, television, marketing campaigns, you name it.  Don’t let anyone let you feel ashamed for who you are.

If you are one who is single now, but wants to be married, I wish you luck.  I hope you find the man/woman who does not complete you, but shares your journey with you.

If you are one who is single now and forever more, stay strong.  Have kids if you want to, but be proud.


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