For me, that might be the love life I always imagined for myself.
And that doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll never be in a relationship again. In fact, a recent study of more than 51,000 adults in the United States showed that older, never married women are some of the happiest people in the country.
But when I’m sitting on yet another horrible Bumble date, or when a guy I’ve been dating for a few weeks decides to ghost out of nowhere, it’s easy to feel pessimistic.
So I don’t know that there’s an actual answer to this one way or another.
I could meet someone, fall madly in love, put years into a relationship, and it might not work out. But here’s the thing to remember: Plenty of women wind up alone. The data, which was collected over the course of 31 years, surveyed levels of happiness in different groups of men and women: married, never married, divorced, and widowed.
And while married men and women tended to be happier than the divorced and widowed men and women, never married women were actually just as happy as their married counterparts.If I’m being honest with myself, the idea of never finding that one person to settle down with is scary to me — like, Freddy Krueger scary. ”This is frustrating for many reasons, the least of which is that I am not someone who will ever stop thinking about it.But whenever I try to share this fear with friends, I’m met with the same response: “You’re so young! I will freely admit the fact that I am more than a little bit of a control freak when it comes to my life.But this is one aspect of my life that I can’t control, no matter how much I try to.And that inability to fix the one thing in my life that I want to fix makes me so anxious — anxious enough that I put myself in therapy to try to work through my need for control.My last “serious” relationship ended roughly two years and seven months ago, and I’ve been single ever since.In that amount of time, four of my cousins have gotten engaged, two of them have gotten married, and one of them has had a baby.It stems from a line of thinking that so many of us have: “If I work hard at something, I’ll get something in return.” It’s a very millennial way of thinking — one that was taught to us by parents who came of age in a time when that adage rang true (or, at least, truer than it does today).We’re a group of individuals who believe that we deserve a prize for putting in work — I mean, we got participation trophies in sports.“Never married, older women are, in a lot of years [of the survey], indistinguishable from [those of] married, older women,” said study co-researcher Gary Ralph Lee, a professor emeritus of sociology at Bowling Green State University in Ohio.So while many people (including, admittedly, myself) have a negative image of single, older women in their minds, the real picture is much rosier.