When someone approaches age 30 and is still not married you know the pressure is on. You hear it all the time: at weddings you get asked repeatedly, “When is it your turn?” During family gatherings, your relatives will inevitably ask you the embarrassing question: “Do you have a boyfriend/girlfriend?” Parents will indirectly hint, “We want grandchildren.”
People want to be loved
Some people try to avoid singleness like the plague. Some people feel incomplete because they don’t have a “significant other.” Some people lower their standards so that they can be with someone. Many people fear loneliness. I was quite shocked to hear that women who are not married by age 27 in China are known as “leftover women”, a negative term implying they may never marry. Age 27!
Singleness may feel awkward
I recently went to a wedding banquet by myself and I know how awkward it can be, when everyone else is paired. Still, I didn’t let that bother me and I still had a fantastic time meeting new people. When I was in Toronto, many girls were interested in me because of my musical talents and solid career, but by choice I did not start any serious relationship with a girl because I knew I was going to leave Toronto.
Relationship is not a race
Relationship is not a race. Some people mature earlier than others and have stable marriages in their early 20’s. Good for them. Others mature a bit later and can enjoy a more stable career before getting hitched.
Singleness is a time to cherish and enjoy…while it lasts
Singleness is a time to explore and get to know yourself. It is the best time to pursue higher education, advance your career, travel, and live abroad. I’m not saying you can’t do these things when you’re married, it just gets more difficult with more work and family responsibilities.
For me, I am going to fully enjoy my remaining single time and make the most out of my opportunities before I settle down and get married. Singleness is not a time to avoid, but rather to be lived out fully its short time period and its possibilities. Cherish this period…while it lasts. Most of us will get married one day.
Advice to the ladies
Ladies, please don’t give up. Even though you are approaching age 30 or beyond, it is important to dress up and look pretty to attract a potential mate. Even though men may know a woman’s inner beauty is much more important than her physical appearance, our male brains are wired to naturally be attracted to physical attractiveness first.
Advice for the guys (myself included)
Stop procrastinating and stop waiting for a sign from heaven. God will not drop your future mate on your lap. Get out of your comfort zone and go to social events. Tell your friends and family you are looking. For the majority of people in relationships, their significant others are introduced by friends and family.
Preparing for marriage
I’m currently re-reading “Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Got Married” by Gary Chapman. On page 10 he writes:
“The divorce rate continues to hover around 50%. People do not get married planning to divorce. Divorce is the result of a lack of preparation for marriage and the failure to learn the skills of working together as teammates in an intimate relationship. What is ironic is that we recognize the need for education in all other pursuits of life and fail to recognize that need when it comes to marriage. Most people spend far more time in preparation for their vocation than they do in preparation for marriage. Therefore, it should not be surprising that they are more successful in their vocational pursuits than they are in reaching the goal of marital happiness.”
Personally, I have been reading books and studying the topic of relationships and marriage since 2010. Sure, some of the material I won’t be able to apply until I get married, but it is good to be informed. Prevention is always better and less painful than finding a cure.
Until I find my soul mate, I will keep preparing myself for the day I meet her. I wish those of you seeking your soul mate all the best.