8 Things All Women Who Thought They’d Be Married By Now Should Know

Back when I was younger, I had a pretty good idea on how I thought my adult life would pan out. I would find a great guy, we’d have a massive wedding, and I’d be a happy wife at this point. None of that has happened and sometimes it’s pretty depressing to think about. If you also thought you would have been married by now and find yourself distraught, here’s what you need to remember.

  1. A good marriage is better than a rushed marriage. Getting married for the sake of being married never works out. If you’re dreaming more about the wedding than your actual future, you might want to quench that desire by just throwing a party for all of your friends — when the world is a safer place, of course. You have plenty of opportunities to wear dresses when you’re single, but being in a bad or loveless marriage is one of the hardest situations to find yourself in.
  2. You’re not alone. Facebook doesn’t often clue you into the old friends of yours who are divorced or going through a rough patch in their relationship. It’s completely one-sided. Everyone is quick to share the good stuff but not the hardships of life. That’s why it’s really tough to compare your situation to that of your peers, especially those you’re no longer close to. Many men and women would rather be happily single or dating and not in the midst of a custody dispute.
  3. People still find love at later ages. It’s becoming more and more common. People are starting to find love in their 30s, 40s, and 50s. There’s no expiration date on finding your match. Even if you felt like you would have met someone in college since your parents did, it’s important to know that everyone leads a different path. Maybe your one and only went to a different school, and you’re destined to meet them later on in your timeline.
  4. Marriage isn’t everything. Marriage is wonderful, but a partnership is where it’s at. While you should be with someone who has the same life goals as you, you shouldn’t feel pressured to get married just because people may expect it. When you think about a partnership, you should sit down and think, “Is this the person I want to get old with? Is this the person who’ll accept me as we both change and grow?” Marriage is making that bond official. But, just being connected with someone who makes you feel safe and secure is the biggest factor.
  5. Everyone’s situation is different. When you start comparing yourself to friends, you’re in for a world of disappointment. Maybe you took more time focusing on your career than love, which is why you shouldn’t compare yourself to a friend who’s celebrating their 10th anniversary. It could have been you, but your different focus made you excel professionally in ways you may not have been able to if you dated more. You should be proud of what you accomplished in that time, and not live in a “grass is always greener” scenario.
  6. Maybe it’s not what you actually want. It’s easy for young women to assume they want to get married someday. The message is all around us. If you’re not married by now, maybe you’re subconsciously a little terrified of the idea. It’s good and healthy to go your own way and follow your own happiness instead of a tiresome expectation set by someone else.
  7. It could be the area you’re in. If the election taught us anything, it’s that the United States is still very decided on individual thoughts and beliefs. If you’ve got a blue point of view but live in a red state, it may be a big reason as to why you’re not meeting someone you want to settle down with. Of course, you should never move just for the chance at love, but you should consider it if you’re also looking to take a bigger step with your career or just need a change of pace. A new environment can make a big difference when it comes to happiness.
  8. This doesn’t mean you’re unlovable. Plenty of people love you. When it comes to romantic love, you just have yet to find someone who complements your personality. Don’t see it as “meeting your other half.” You need to meet someone who makes you want to be an even better, stronger individual. True love isn’t as much about the romance as it’s about having someone you genuinely enjoy spending time with.
Karen Belz is a New Jersey native who is currently living in Maryland. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Speech Communication with a focus in Broadcasting and Print Media Studies from Millersville University of Pennsylvania. Since graduating, she has written for sites like LittleThings, HelloGiggles, and Scary Mommy and is currently an e-commerce editor at Bustle.

When she's not writing, she enjoys making her phone run out of memory after taking too many photos of her dog. You can find her on Twitter @karenebelz or on Instagram @karenbelz.