If I had a dollar for every time one of my friends has asked me to make a Tinder account, I probably would have had enough money to buy every person I know a box of those generic candy hearts that many of us used to receive in elementary school on Valentine’s Day.
When the Tinder question gets asked, my friends get the same answer from me every time. Absolutely not.
I am not by any means saying that Tinder is bad. I have had several friends build long-term relationships with people they’ve matched with on Tinder. Simply put, it’s just not for me.
Personally, I’ve grown accustomed to some of the social stigmas that are attached to my life. I don’t drink or smoke. But I’ve found that, luckily for me, most people I know or meet are totally fine with that.
Being single is a whole different story, though.
I’ve constantly gotten the questions: “Why are you still single?” and, “When will you find someone?” And with the questions come the blame: “You’re not trying hard enough.” “You’re too picky.”
Then, there’s the other side. People who “defend” me – “Oh, maybe you’re just not ready yet.”
Lastly, there’s me.
I used to be saddened by the thought of being single: “What if I’m never ready, and I grow old and die alone?”
But now, I’ve come to a different kind of realization: Maybe I never will be ready… but maybe that’s okay.
Citing a 2014 Pew Report, a 2017 article written by social scientist Bella DePaulo for The Conversation estimates that, “… by the time today’s young adults reach the age of 50, about one in four of them will have never married.”
So, what exactly is the impact this might have on our society?
Sure, you can easily think the world’s population will take a serious hit as a result – more single people, less babies. You could also think: more single people, more lonely people. Wrong.
“Studies of people who live alone typically find that most are doing just fine; they don’t feel isolated, nor are they sad and lonely,” according to DePaulo.
I think people need to take the time to stop and think: What if there are people who just want to be single – people who are intentionally choosing not to seek out a relationship?
Only 46 percent of people answered that they would definitely want to get married, according to a 2010 Pew Report survey. In this same survey, 25 percent of people answered that they would not want to be married. Even 29 percent of people who answered said that they were unsure if they wanted to get married or not.
I can confidently say that I would go along with the 29 percent of people -– maybe I will get married one day, maybe I won’t.
I’ve come to a point in my life where I’ve learned to tune out the outside expectations – that I have to be married and have children in order to lead a productive, fulfilling life.
There are things that are much more important to me personally. I’d rather spend my time focusing on finding a job that I love to do, as well as spending as much time as I can with my family and friends.
If I find someone I’m interested in beginning a relationship with, great. If I don’t, I don’t.
As a single person, I do not feel any regret or sadness when Valentine’s Day rolls around.
Feb. 14 is just another day on the calendar for me. For those that I know that are in relationships, that’s awesome. I love to hear about my friends enjoying going out on a date with their significant other. As for me, I’ll sit back and focus on other things that matter to me. To me, it’s not a matter of throwing my hands up and saying, “Oh well, I’ve just never found anyone, so I guess I’ll be single forever.”
I’ve learned to ignore the comments such as, “Oh, stop it! You’re only going to be 21. You can’t just give up hope! You’re still in your prime!”
It’s not about me “giving up in my prime.” I am deliberately making the choice to not let my relationship status, or lack thereof, define my happiness or fulfillment in my life.
If you desire to be in a relationship, that’s totally fine. If you don’t want to be in a relationship, and you want to hook up, that’s fine too. But we need to stop judging others who don’t want to partake in either. We shouldn’t let our relationship status define whether we are satisfied with our lives or not.