By Paige Peterson
As a young single woman, I think about dating and marriage almost hourly. It is the main topic of conversation that I have with all my girlfriends and even guy friends. We are constantly discussing who we are interested in, or why dating is “the worst”. Sometimes, we talk about our plans for marriage and how we desperately want to find Mr. Right. Recently, I was at a family gathering with all my siblings. I am the youngest of five and I am also the ONLY single one.They are all happily married, which is amazing. So, right now I’m just that cool aunt. At the family gathering my sister’s home, they started their regular interrogation of who I am dating and when I will get married. They always end with telling me to enjoy being single while I can.
This got me wondering if marriage was really better than being single. I mean I can go shopping whenever I want. Right now, I literally have no commitment to anybody. I am free to travel the world and date as many guys as I want. So, I questioned whether marriage is truly the way to go. In pursuit of the answer, I set up an experiment. I was going to watch my siblings and their spouses to judge whether they were happier being married than single. What I learned from this actually surprised me!
First, I visited my oldest sister to help watch her kids and play with them. After all, I am the favorite aunt. She was so busy cleaning, cooking and caring for the kids that she seem exhausted. She began to tell me about how late at night after the kids go to sleep, is the only time she spends with her husband, which is her favorite time. Up to this point I thought the single life looked far more appealing. Then her husband came home and I saw her smile. After the kids went to sleep we talked for a while. I couldn’t help but notice how her husband looked at her with such admiration and fondness.
Now these weren’t huge things, but they had an impact on me. It surprised me how much I thought about the way they looked at each other. Then the next day as I was in a store, I watched this middle aged married couple laughing hysterically at a birthday card they were picking out. Again, this wasn’t big, but that moment they shared together meant something. I continued shopping alone and I noticed a feeling. I felt lonely and I wanted to share that connection with someone I cared about deeply.
I was able to witness several more moments between a husband and wife similar to those shared by my sister and that random couple. So I thought about my single friends. While we have a lot of fun every weekend, I don’t really share that type of connection with any of them. Then I thought about the goals I have. While most of them are easier to reach on my own I thought about how I would much rather reach goals with someone I love. I am an independent person, so I enjoy being on my own sometimes, but I also do feel something missing. Doing everything on my own gets exhausting and makes being single look a little less appealing.
I concluded that single life is great in its own way. It seems almost like freedom, but what I noticed from this experiment is that there is a connection that brings a deeper sense of happiness in marriage. They have someone to share their joy and pain with. That’s why in the end, I concluded that while I love being single, and I may miss it when I am married, I would rather be with someone I love for the rest of my life. I want someone that I can laugh with every day, or share a smile with. I want someone to share my adventures with. Above all, I want to share those simple moments with the man I marry!