Marriage Or No Marriage, There’s No Way I’m Going To Lead An Unhappy Life

No matter what society pounds into your head as a woman, getting married doesn’t have to be your number one priority. In fact, it doesn’t have to be a priority at all. You’re totally allowed to put other hopes and dreams before being a wife (and a mother for that matter).  I’ve adopted the ‘if it happens, it happens’ motto; I’m good either way. If marriage just isn’t in the cards for me, here are 10 things I’ll do instead:

  1. Buy my dream house. Don’t even get me started on the cost of a wedding. On average, you’re spending 20-30k just on that day alone. That just seems insane to me, so instead, I’ll buy (and decorate) my dream house — complete with a giant bathtub and floating island in the kitchen, thank you very much.
  2. Travel the world. Travel has always been one of my top priorities (it comes way before getting a ring on my finger). My dream is to save up enough money to take a year or two traveling the world, whether I’ve got someone by my side or not. And if I’m not married, that just means I get to go where I want, when I want. Drinks by the pool, anyone?
  3. Move to a new city/country. I love the feeling of moving to a new city (or country for that matter) and not knowing a single soul. There are endless opportunities in a new place, and it’s a chance to become a whole new person. Being married kind of puts a damper on the “not knowing anyone” aspect of being somewhere new. I don’t know about you, but I have a harder time putting myself out there with new people when I already know someone there.
  4. Never compromise on my needs. Being married means you spend your life compromising. Sure, that means both people win a little, but they also lose a little too. I get it — you may love the idea of being a team, taking on the world together, but that’s not exactly my cup of tea. I don’t want to live half of my dream life; I want to live all of it. I don’t want to compromise on travel, jobs, kids (or the absence of them), or anything else. You can call me selfish, but I’m just not into letting someone else affect my decisions.
  5. Work on me. When you’re unmarried, you have plenty of time for some self-love, and taking care of yourself is crucial. It’s easy to get lost in your relationship. You begin to rely on that person for your happiness and well-being when in reality you should only need yourself for that. If I don’t get married, I won’t mind, because that just means more time for meditation, journaling, face masks, and meal prepping (AKA all the ways I show myself some love).
  6. Spoil my loved ones. I think one of the best feelings in the world is giving a gift that you know a person is going to love. Not to brag, but I’m a killer gift giver. I have an extraordinary power of pinpointing exactly what a person wants. I love watching the eyes of my loved one light up as the unwrap the present. As a single lady, I can spend a big chunk of my hard earned cash on those types of things, and I don’t have to feel guilty.
  7. Stay wild and freeOkay. I’m about to sound very cheesy and cliché, but I don’t care (and I do realize that by saying ‘I don’t care’ I sound even more cliché). I want to be free. I like being free from commitment and expectations. I like the spontaneity that comes with being single. I love knowing that ANYTHING can happen on a given day. When you get married (no matter how supportive and non-clingy your partner is), you have to give up some independence. And if I get to stay wild and free forever, I’m more than okay not getting married.
  8. Check off my bucket list. I’ve got a super long bucket list (I’m talking pages and pages). Without the time commitment of marriage, I get to spend my weekends checking that stuff off my list. Skydiving? Going next month. Spending the summer in Europe? 2017, here I come! I’m not saying that as a wife you can’t do these things, I’m just saying that having to factor a marriage into all your decisions tends to make everything a little more complicated.
  9. Date around. They say there isn’t one love in this world that’s the same, which is why I’m happy to spend the rest of my life sampling all the different types I can. I want the intense, passionate love. I want the fun love, I want the love that I know is not good for me, but I do it anyway. I want it all. Staying single means that I get to keep my dating life full of variety.
  10. Live my life, instead of wasting time waiting for “Mr. Right.” When getting married is your number one goal, you miss out on life. You’ll always be looking around the corner, wishing away your single days, wondering if every guy you pass on the street is the one. I’m not down for that. Life is too short to be waiting for the weekend, for the vacation, for your soulmate. I want to be happy now, and I want to spend my time living my dream life, instead of wondering why I can’t find “The One.”
Piper Ryan is a NYC-based writer and matchmaker who works to bring millennials who are sick of dating apps and the bar scene together in an organic and efficient way. To date, she's paired up more than 120 couples, many of whom have gone on to get married. Her work has been highlighted in The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Cut, and many more.

In addition to runnnig her own business, Piper is passionate about charity work, advocating for vulnerable women and children in her local area and across the country. She is currently working on her first book, a non-fiction collection of stories focusing on female empowerment.