Your mom will just have to get over it.
I recently overheard a young woman at a bar make the following comment:
"It’s not like I WANT to get married, but all my friends are married and I’m not getting any younger, so I think I should."
Warning: Well-meaning mothers who dream of future grandchildren, please look away from this article. You will not like the advice I'm about to give your children. Which is ...
YOU DON'T "HAVE TO" GET MARRIED!
That’s right, I said it. Nobody has to get married, if they don’t want to.
Let me rephrase it. You SHOULD NOT get married if you’re not 100 percent certain you want to.
I’ll take it even one step further than that: Most divorces happen because people were not ready to get married in a first place. Just doing so anyway will not endear you to the married life.
Quite the contrary — there is a higher chance you'll become so jaded and bitter by the mere mention of marriage, that you'll stumble through and sabotage all your future relationships as a result.
The truth is, there are some pretty great reasons to forget the notion of wedded bliss and deliberately stay single. And here they are:
1. You find the idea of monogamy unappealing.
Some people just aren't comfortable with it. That’s right. I've had many clients come through my doors who loathed the very idea of sex with only one person for the rest of their lives.
Should they marry anyway? ... Why? Just so they can ruin the lives of their partners through their never-ending sexcapades?
Some people feel perfectly happy being in a relationship with just one person. Would their lives change drastically if they had a piece of paper to validate it?
Consider your and your partner’s relationship history. Do you both blossom in relationships? Or do you have a history of cheating and lying? Can you (or do you even want to) change that pattern?
If the answer is no, then it’s best you stick to single-dom. A long-term committed relationship, let alone marriage, is not something you should attempt any time soon.
Perhaps start with baby-steps instead: Commit to babysitting your friend’s fish and make sure to feed them regularly.
2. You just don't want to put in the time and effort.
Marriage is not for the faint-hearted, I tell you. It requires a lot of compromise, give and take, cooperation and concession. And, that's before any children show up on the scene. Having kids takes marriage to a whole other planet of effort.
All of these factors require a lot of serious consideration, contemplation and self-examination. Jumping into it because it seems like a good idea at the time, never ends well.
Let me explain it to you this way: There are millions of people all over the world who buy puppies because they just happened to pass by a pet shop and saw a cute face in the window. Unfortunately, many people just plainly have no clue what owning a dog entails. Some think puppy ownership is a darling idea ... until they find out that raising a dog demands a lot of work, money, and years of commitment … which, a few weeks or month into owning that adorable puppy, they suddenly realize they're not willing nor able to take.
So what happens?
A few lucky pups end up at the country house of old Aunt Elsa, who just happens to have four dogs of her own, but because she has a big heart and an even bigger backyard, just can’t say no to a rescue. Most, however, end up in a shelter. Some will get a second chance after adjusting to a new own with different owners. But the rest will never go home. They just die a lonely death — surrounded by other lonely animals.
Are you sobbing yet? Good, you're supposed to.
As dramatic as that example seems, the truth is — marriage IS just like that! Unless you fully understand the full weight of compromise and effort a marriage takes, you (or the unfortunate person you marry) will either end up with old Aunt Elsa, or die lonely.
3. You actually ENJOY being single.
That’s right. Some people are quite happy by themselves. As a matter of fact, some people are A LOT HAPPIER by themselves. Maybe you don't fancy waking up to someone else's face in yours every morning for the rest of your life. Maybe you don't find the idea of checking in with someone every time you run to the store particularly appealing.
Some people cherish their independence and, while they don’t mind the roll in the hay every now and then, the responsibilities that come with a "'til death do you part" committed relationship is just not their cup of tea.
And that is perfectly fine. There is nothing wrong with you. There is just something wrong with the people who assume they should pity you when you choose to eat dinner by yourself.
Marriage is not a one-size-fits-all, be-all-end-all road to happiness. For some, it’s not even a path to happiness at all. How you prefer your relationships is as individualized and unique as you. Don’t let the threat of acceptable convention loom over you.
Your mother will just have to live with your decision.