No need to be ashamed of being single in Utah

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Singlehood is typically viewed as a negative thing, but it doesn’t have to be.  

I’m content living the single life in Utah, especially since being single is somewhat of an anomaly. According to the Department of Workforce Services, Utah has a higher rate of marriages than any other state. The median age for first marriage is 26.2 for grooms and 24.1 for brides — the lowest in the nation. 

The statistic is a bit off-putting, but I guess it’s reassuring considering I thought the median age was 19. Either way, the cultural pressure to get married is like this invisible force whispering, “You’re single in a family-oriented state? How pathetic. There is no happiness for the single ones here! Hee hee hee.”

Well, invisible force, I’ll have you know I’m a happily unmarried 21-year-old with no children.

Call me selfish, but I’m enjoying the freedom to make my own decisions without consulting another person. I’m enjoying not hearing the pitter-patter of little human feet running around my house. I’m enjoying looking at my possible still-single future.

Like many college students, I have a vision for my life after graduation. I have an idea of where I’d like things to fall into place, but I don’t know if and when they will. 

That’s the beautiful, scary and altogether frustrating thing about life: Things can change in the blink of an eye, leaving paths altered and relationships changed. Keeping an open mind can help with sudden changes, which is something I personally need to work on.  

Now, my singlehood is not based solely on defying the cultural norms. Marriage is just not an appealing thought to me right now. I’m an immature, financially unstable, self-professed cat lady who can barely take care of herself and her two cats, let alone another person.

Besides, there are so many other things in life I haven’t experienced yet, such as an awesome career or traveling the world. I confess there are times when I think being in a relationship again would be nice, but it’s a game of pros and cons. I enjoyed talking and spending time with my former romantic interests. On the other hand, how badly do I want to sacrifice my independence? I don’t.

The message I want single folk to take from this is, although it might feel like we’re outnumbered, you should never feel ashamed for being single. I mean, think of all the experiences, wisdom and finances you’ll have before meeting the right person.

In his novel, “Under the Greenwood Tree,” English novelist Thomas Hardy said it best, “If we be doomed to marry, we marry; if we be doomed to remain single, we do.”

In other words, we’re doomed no matter what happens, so why not make the best of things either way? If you find that special someone and get married, that’s wonderful; just don’t let cultural pressures make the decision for you. Relax, be patient and let things unfold naturally.