It was a bit early in the life of this blog (my fifth "Seraphic" blog) to conduct polls, but I put one up anyway to see who you all are, statistically speaking. And 50 readers answered the poll (I, the lone married respondent, was #51). Now of those 50, 45 were Searching Singles. There were 23 20-somethings, 16 30-somethings and six 40-somethings among them.
There were four Serious Singles, then, two in their twenties, one in his or her thirties, and one over fifty. I bet this last chap was you, Dominic Mary! And then there was one male or female religious, and I'm flattered that a religious is reading my blog since it is, you know, rather worldly what with all the dating advice and recipes.
Having blogged for (and polled) Singles for three years, I have made some conclusions. They're not very scientific, but I find them handy. The first is that most of my Single readers are always Searching Singles. The second is that I always have way more Searching Singles readers in their twenties and thirties than I do in their forties. And I suspect this is because most people are married or "partnered" by 40. I predict that most of my readers in their 20s and 30s, who do not have an obvious impediment to marriage (like mental illness), will be married by age 40.
When I began to blog in 2006, my personal approach was to assume that I might never get married (again), despite being relatively cute, well-educated, sane, sober and attracted (very attracted) to men, so I had better learn to love the Single Life and praise it to the skies.
In doing this, I once linked to a study that showed there were way more Single women in the USA then there were married women. Ta-dah! We were not alone: we were the Majority! But because this study became big news, conservative commentators began jumping all over it, pointing out that 15 year old girls were included in the survey, and that, rather unfairly, wives of servicemen in the field were being included as "separated" and Single. Yeah, okay, hello? Being in Virginia while your husband is in Kandahar makes you unhappy but it does not make you either "separated" or Single.
So I had another look at statistics and realized that most people (in the USA, at least) get married. (Sure, half of marriages end in divorce, that doesn't mean half of married people get divorced: some people have more than one. A divorced person is more likely to get a divorce than the average married person.) So that added another nuance to my thinking about the Single Life: the Single Life can be fun and full of freedoms and you never know when it might end. In short: Relax, never-married Singles, that stats say you're probably going to get married eventually.
The answer to that is, of course, "What if I don't? Yarg!" And my short answer is, "Well, you're not married today and you're still breathing, right? Got friends? A job? Chocolate? Vacation plans? You'll live. Here, read these statistics on battered wives. There are a lot of women who wish they were you, my dear Singles!"
Truly, it seems to me for the average Searching Single in his/her twenties and thirties--Searching Singles without overwhelming social problems (e.g. schizophrenia, alcoholism)--the question is not "Will I ever get married" but "Do I have the smarts and faith to wait for the right person?". Not only do you have to wait until you have found prime marriage material (aka The One), you have to wait until you are prime marriage material yourself.
One of the sadder truths out there is that sometimes you marry the right person and get divorced anyway. Yikes! This happens because one or both of you were not mature enough or disciplined enough or faithful enough or whatever enough for marriage when you got married. So while you are praying for Mr or Miss Right, it would behoove you to pray that God will make you a good marriage prospect by the time Mr or Miss Right bounces into view.
Personally, although I was cuter when I was 24, I was infinitely more mature at 36. But that's just me. Some people are ready at 22. One of my best friends was tremendously more mature at 24 than I was at 30, and she married at 26. How nice it would be to have a litmus test for marriagability! (Is that a word?) You'd stick a piece of paper in your mouth and, voila! It the paper stays blue, you're not quite there yet. The paper turns pink, you're ready!
Here's (->something interesting) I found online about Never-Marrieds. There is a fascinating, comment stream by Never-Marrieds that follows. Men, for once, seem to predominate. If you read it, listen or watch or read something funny afterwards. And notice the men who talk about not compromising on anything. Eeeee!
Update: By the way, I completely disagree with the conclusion the top poster, Jaye, draws from what the men wrote there. My advice to her would be to tell Mr. Boyfriend of Two Years that it's time to set a date. And if Mr. Boyfriend screams, she should move out--or kick him out--and not let him back in without a ring. "Gorgeous" women in their early thirties do not have to settle for concubinage. Actually, in a free country, no-one does.