By Vanessa Copeland
Most people’s lives do not turn out exactly like they envision when they’re younger. I know mine didn’t. I’ve never been the head of my own company. I’ve yet to start a not-for-profit that benefits mistreated and abused animals. While I have travelled a lot, there are a lot fewer places crossed off my list than I anticipated to have by 40. However, there is one aspect of my life that turned out exactly how I anticipated: I have never been married.
I realize there are many people my age who have never been married or who married young and have been single for most of their “adultier” adult years. I recognize that I’m not special simply because I’m 40 and single. But what I do feel sets me apart is that I am completely happy being so. Please don’t misunderstand. I’m not a hater of marriage, I don’t denounce the idea or the institution. In fact, going to weddings is one of my favorite things to do. I love watching people in love commit their lives to each other. I believe when someone finds their “person” it is special and should be celebrated. I also believe you should never settle for someone who isn’t your person. I have never waivered in what I want in a partner and I don’t intend to. If I happen to meet my person someday, I know it will be amazing. In the meantime, I am not going to let being single stop me from leading a completely full and happy life. And that is exactly what I’m doing.
More than anything, I want you to stop feeling sorry for me because my happiness looks different than yours or doesn’t fit into society’s idea what it means to be whole. To prove to you that you can be single and perfectly happy I’d like to make you aware of a few of the advantages of being single.
- It’s better for your health. Research has shown that single individuals tend to have a lower BMI than married folks. BMI is directly related to heart health and Type 2 diabetes.
- Single people tend to have many more opportunities to meet new people and tend to be much more open to striking up a conversation with a stranger.
- It’s better on your finances. Believe it or not, being married can be very expensive. There’s an entire other person who has wants and needs that can negatively affect your bank account and/or credit score.
- If you so choose, you can enjoy the company of several different people on a number of levels. According to Kim Olver, licensed counselor and author of Secrets of Happy Couples, “Being single means you can have the person you have long, meaningful conversations with, one you dance with, one you do the foodie thing with, one you travel with – you get the idea.”
- Single people tend to be more sociable than married people. This means we’re better at staying in touch with friends and family or offering and supplying help when needed.
- Last on my list, but definitely not least, you have more flexibility to create your own happiness. When your happiness is not dependent upon another person you can create it however you see fit.
These are just a few of the many great things about my single life. If you have found your person and they make you happy, then I am happy for you. Please believe me when I tell you that I am happy in my life. Please stop trying to help me find my other half, because I am completely whole all on my own.