- Jennifer Stafford
You're Single and You Know It
If you're single and in your mid to late twenties or beyond, do you really need to be reminded by close friends and loved ones about your unhitched status? With traditional societal views still impacting the perceptions of some and in some cultures impacting the perceptions of many, single individuals come to therapy often times unsure of why they're so unhappy with flying solo. From decreased self-esteem to falling into a habit of poor work/life balance, many single people are sabotaging their chances at happiness unconsciously trying to stay up with old school values that are no longer relevant to their life trajectories.
Many people in society today suffer from unrealistic expectations, this isn't just something that we as people suffer from, but businesses and corporations alike are stricken with their own unrealistic expectations and pass the undue stress down to their employees. By 30, to believe after 4+ years of schooling post high school that you should have also acquired a fully fledged four to five person family, your dream home and ideal job that you'll spend the next 20-30 years at is a perfect example of what unrealistic expectations look like. Times have changed folks and if we keep comparing ourselves to unrealistic and outdated standards, the rates of anxiety, depression and accompanying health problems like high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes (just to name a few) will continue to be on the rise.
In 2012, a study conducted by the United Nations found that in the U.S. the average age for men to marry was 29.8 years old and for women 26.9 years old. So, what message is this data conveying to the masses? Having children in your very late twenties and well into your thirties is the new norm after adjusting for education and the desire for financial security. Times are very different than they were 20+ years ago. If you're in you're late twenties or early thirties and still single, you will be just fine. Take your time and find the right mate, rushing only leaves more room for mistakes. Remember that you've got time and feel free to remind all the naysayers that it's the 21st century and things are done a little differently nowadays.
Source: World Marriage Data 2012. United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs Population Division, Fertility and Family Planning Section