Women are always writing about what it's like to be single in a world of changing expectations about what it means to be a single woman.
I'm no exception to this "rule. We're not two disparate forces at war; we're all people, with a lot of the same wants and needs, even if our genders are different. That's part of why I very much enjoyed Tim Gihring's piece in Salon, "I was a male spinster," even though, if the word spinster itself could be eradicated from the English language, that would be just fine with me.
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Gihring speaks to a feeling common among the growing s of men and women of a certain age who haven't yet seen fit to do the proposal-and-ring thing in the time frame expected of them, beginning with this highly relatable anecdote: "At the wedding of my younger brother, insomeone mistook me for the groom.
He explains. And, of course, some deeper things, too. Like that he hadn't decided he was ready to marry.
There's a frequent sentiment often used against people who live alone into their 30s and 40s by people who think that "bad habit" is somehow unnatural or culture-destroying that does have some truth to it, and it's not always a bad thing. When you live by yourself in adulthood, you become used to living in a certain way.
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You become, worst case, intractable, but the plus side is that you're given an opportunity to figure out what you like, what you want, and also work toward achieving it on your own—educations, careers, self-actualized lives. That's wonderful.
It's a real luxury that we can, here in the 21st century, spend more time than ever figuring ourselves out—a luxury we should use for good and not evil. Ideally, it gets us to a place in which, if and when we decide we want to marry, our marriages are healthier, more sustainable, and happier and a lot of research seems to indicate this is the case.
Gihring is right, though, that sometimes living alone can make you a little You do some things that would not have crossed the mind of a married man, sometimes man a backpack alone in some sketchy corner of the world, sometimes with your clothes off, not so alone But the ultimate, and most revelatory, man of this male spinster who is now married, to a woman named Lucyis this: When he decided he wanted to "settle down," he found the woman who would end up his wife. Not in that magical, mythical, rom-com-depicted way that happens in the movies or on And accident, at the last minute ending in a flat-out run to the airport to prevent your suddenly beloved from getting single the plane to Dubai and leaving you singledespite hating one another for full hour and a half of screen time preceding the moment.
By just Whatever age you are, you have to want it first. Yet marrying at an older age does come with a unique set of challenges, compromises, basic accoutrement; it's "a lateral move," he explains: "Unlike people who marry at 22 or even 32, with some part of and adult experience still unformed, I have never thought that Lucy completes me.
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With no one to do it for me, I had already jury-rigged a life: a career, a circle of friends, a library card that I had every reason to believe would sustain me to the end — and happily so. But you've decided otherwise, not because you had to, but because you wanted to—not milling around witlessly waiting to be struck with a thunderclap of love or some single cupid's arrow, rescued man some odious "knight in shining armor" and wafted away into a cloudless effervescence—but deciding simply this is what And want, and then seeking to fulfill that.
It's what high-performing people do in nearly every other part of life, so why not marriage, too?
While a lot of the single conversations continue people continue to weigh in, for instance, on the "right" age to marry; I'd argue there's no right age, only the age and circumstances right for the person who does or does not decide to marryit's heartening to see the emergence of these new ones, too, and know that men more than playboys and Peter Pans and women more than marriage-obsessed "put a ring on it" proselytizers share a lot of the exact same feelings and struggles when it comes to traversing that emotional crossro of what's assumed for us, what we actually want, and what we'll ultimately man we "do" or not.
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