I distinctly remember during my single years my need for companionship was not always met with support. I would sometimes be encountered with statements like “what if you don’t get married” or “you have to learn to be happy on your own.” While on the surface and certainly to those making these statements no harm might have been intended, I assure you they were not encouraging.
Life itself is based on hope and it is not necessarily a stretch to say that without hope there is no life. Therefore for many of us, our reasons for getting up each day and approaching life with even some level of enthusiasm, is based on hope; hope for a better today or a better tomorrow. For many who lose that hope it means the end of life, for example people with severe medical illness such as cancer, or struggling with mental illness.
Hence to tell someone who earnestly desires to get married, what if they don’t, is essentially eroding something very important to them, their hope. And even in a situation where they die early before their wish is fulfilled I can say with little doubt that living with hope, even to within moments of our death, is better than living for years without hope. So the next time you are tempted to paint that scenario to your single friends, don’t. Be encouraging and supportive and if you have nothing good to say stick to that golden rule of saying nothing at all. If you hear the negativity block it out because, you are way more likely to attract positive people in your life, including a potential spouse, living in hope rather than resignation and despair.
How about the other statement about learning to be happy on your own? There is a growing body of research discussing the negative effects of social isolation on our lives. While social isolation does not imply that you have to be married, it acknowledges that good healthy relationships are essential components of our health and well-being and a good marriage is one of those important relationships, for some, the most important. So for those who are aware of their need for people in their lives, don’t be embarrassed or ashamed. The research is overwhelming that most if not all of us need people in our lives whether we choose to admit it or not.
Yes, it is ok to want to get married. But in the meantime don’t forget to live your life. Don’t forget to nourish your best relationships and cultivate new ones. Don’t forget to treat yourself with loving care. Don’t forget to discover the other things in life that you love. Don’t allow your hope for a brighter future dull the beauty of today.