A really good topic, don’t you think? Well, let’s start with some stats.
According to some of the latest reports, the amount of all men who never marry past the age of 44 is roughly 21%, for women it’s 15%. Our nations divorce rate is ever-changing, but Wikipedia states that the overall numbers in the 21st century have decreased compared to the 1990’s. In 2010, it was 48 % under the age of 18, 29% between 18-19, 29% between 20-24, and 24% over the age of 25. This draws opposition to the well-used statement that “over half of all marriages end in divorce.” Clearly, the numbers decline and improve with time, but why is it some simply choose to never marry at all?
While doing some research for this article, I wanted to know what the top reasons were for staying single, forever. Of course, forever can mean certain things to certain people, but here is what I found. And yes, I realize that many will differ on what should, and shouldn’t be included but the items on these lists were posted on sites such as: Helium.com, Yahoo articles.com, MSNBC.com, and CNN.com.
The top ten reasons why women never marry are:
1.) They have the ability to support themselves.
2.) They want their independence, and simply enjoy spending time alone.
3.) They’ve had too many hurtful, even abusive past relationships.
4.) They’ve received lots of negative comments about marriage from their married friends.
5.) High divorce rate.
6.) They’ve never felt the need emotionally.
7.) Many are more focused on their careers, especially now.
8.) They are waiting for their “perfect” man to arrive.
9.) Fear of commitment.
10.) They set unrealistic expectations for themselves and are easily disappointed.
The top ten reasons why men never marry are:
1.) They want to avoid the financial risks of divorce.
2.) Many are more focused on their careers, especially now.
3.) They can get sex without marriage more easily than before.
4.) They’d rather cohabitate than marry.
5.) They decided to wait until later in life to have children, or don’t want children at all.
6.) They believe marriage involves too much change and compromise.
7.) They are reluctant to marry a woman with children.
8.) Many want to enjoy single life as long as possible.
9.) They’re waiting for their “perfect” woman to arrive.
10.) They’ve never felt the need emotionally.
Notice that several are very similar, and even the same between the sexes. And I’m sure that if you or I walked along the streets of any U.S. city conducting an independent poll, there would probably be many other colorful reasons for folks staying single.
I have several friends who’ve remained single well past 50, as well as many more that married and swear they’d never walk down that rose-lined aisle again. I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s simply a matter of individual choice of what’s best for that person, and not what society dictates is right or wrong, acceptable or not, looked down upon, stereotypical, or conventional inside the eyes of their family, friends, religion, or ethnic group. Many I know who are forever single are some of the happiest people I know, and they wouldn’t trade their lives for anything. They find true happiness in other things outside the enclave of marriage, and are extremely content just being who they are, and what God made them to be.
Society doesn’t dictate that anyone must get married, although opinions frequently fly in all directions when someone says they’ve remained single, especially in later life. The viewpoints and judgments oftentimes go crazy: “You’re just commitment-phobic, too fearful, too insecure, not a risk-taker,” and the old standby “are you gay?”
God made everyone different, and some just weren’t constructed to marry—the ones who are much happier and content dancing to the beat of singleness drums, being a freedom lover, placing other priorities in life which are individually more important, and avoiding the sometimes heightened drama of marriage which can be overpowering and even devastating when things crumble apart. Each and every person was given an exclusive script for their life--marriage is simply not included for some within their flow of dialect. Nothing wrong with that at all, it’s simply a matter of choice.
There is always the question, “Well, what about love? Don’t people like this want to fall in love, and be loved?”
Everyone naturally desires and wants love, its part of what makes us all human; those beautiful feelings when you connect with someone making your heart skip those crazy, irresistible beats. But for some, it doesn’t mean running to the jewelers or browsing through, Bride and Groom magazine. They are happily content finding and enjoying love when it comes; not requiring that legal paperwork which many believe makes it valid and official. Love is beautiful when it’s pure, and for certain ones, finding a true soul mate is all about their individual definition of relationship bliss.
I wish you well on your personal journey.