Thanks, but I’m not dying - I’m just single
My Facebook profile has been a source of confusion and anxiety for several of my loved ones over the years. To be precise, it’s where ‘single’ has been listed next to ‘relationship status’ for longer than I care to confirm.
Yup, I’m 22-years-old and single. Very, very single. Apparently the spinsterhood clock is ticking for me, and it’s ticking pretty loudly.
The reaction I receive to my single status has been a source of amusement to me in recent times. The head-tilt and lip pout, followed by the ‘oh really?’ comment has become incredibly predictable. The ‘all in good time’ speech that follows has also quickly become an expectation.
However, my mother’s teasing call of ‘hope you meet a nice boy’ almost every time I leave the house really has to take the cake. My mum doesn’t discriminate between a night out on the town and a quick trip to the supermarket. Someone in my position should not overlook any opportunity, I suppose.
Fortunately for me, speaking with other single girls my age and flicking through Australia Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data has quickly shown that I am by no means the Lone Ranger when it comes to singlehood.
As a society we are waiting until later in life to commit to someone and get married, that is if we choose to get married at all. A 2000 - 2002 statistic showed that 26 per cent of Australian women will never marry in their lifetime.
If these are the cold hard facts, why does a confession of a single status warrant such concern?
I suspect it’s the strong association between being in a relationship and being happy. For some, marital status has a significant beneficial effect on their outlook on life and I can understand where that perspective comes from. Many of the challenges in life are best faced with someone by your side.
I am the first to admit that I hope one day the right guy does come along, sweeps me off my feet and makes that girlhood wedding fantasy a reality. My residency in Single Town is not a protest against the opposite sex, or relationships or even a conscious decision to face the world as Steph-no-plus-one. For me it’s a simple case of the right situation not yet to presenting itself.
So, at 22 years of age I’m officially abandoning any plans to perform a drunken rendition of Celine Dion’s ‘All By Myself’ (Bridget Jones style) and a visit Spotlight to pick up my knitting needles for the long, lonely Saturday nights that loom in my future.
Instead I’m going to focus on my studies, build my career, spend time with my family and friends and simply continue to love my life. I will also keep reassuring my loved ones that I have some time up my sleeve between now and the point where many cats will become the sole focus of my existence.
I figure I have around 30 years until then, right? Whatever the case, no social networking website – or fear of the ‘single speech’ – is going to rush me into a relationship.
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