July 25, 2024

It’s the situation none of us look forward to, meeting with distant relatives and friends and facing the dreaded questions, “Why are you still single?”, “What about children?”, and my all-time favorite statement, “You’re not getting any younger”. It may sound harmless, however unconsciously, it brings with it the overwhelming panic of trying to conform to a certain ideal. People, especially women, in their mid-twenties and peaks in their 30s go through such pressure from family, relatives, friends, and sometimes even random associations we meet along the way.
From my experience, although I’ve accomplished all of some of my goals, whenever I’m home, I still feel that people don’t understand my singleness. I know the right relationship is coming, but it’s easy to feel pressured by my humble beginnings.
For some cultures, marriage is still highly regarded as a symbol of social status. Even though many marriages have failed, society still tends to place greater value on being married or with someone than not. In our efforts to please society and be met with social approval, we endeavor too for the tying of the knot.
However, as the world moves forward, desires and ideals are changing. The traditional belief – starting a family and devoting time and finances to children is the standard thing to do – is outdated. Nowadays, we tend to finish education with the ambition to strive for our dream careers, usually single, or with a partner, without the view of marrying or having children early on.
There are many possible reasons for choosing to settle at a later age; a combination of not being financially stable and wanting to explore oneself first, are likely intentions. As for women, the rise of feminism has also had huge impact over the years, with many people believing that women should have the option to aspire for bigger careers and not succumb purely being a housewife.
A family doesn’t necessarily mean fulfilment. You can still have a fulfilling life by yourself or without children. Marriage and children do not mean success just like the opposite doesn’t equal failure. There are really no reasons to rush if you’re not ready to commit or if you have no desire for them.
Moreover, for those who stay single in their 30s and above, living a childfree or single lifestyle can be controversial, but we shouldn’t be pressured into feeling bad about it. Just like a relationship doesn’t equal happiness, being single doesn’t mean sadness. Relationship often carries the stigma that you’re happy and fulfilled, which isn’t always the case. It’s perfectly normal to enjoy your own company. Happiness should be found within yourself, whether you’re single or not.
Fortunately, in this advanced world, majority of society is becoming more accepting and open-minded towards how we choose to live our lives. However, you will never be able to please everybody, therefore you don’t need to explain your reasons to everyone.