You ever met someone who watches a Disney movie and says, “why can’t men be like Prince Charming?” Or…Mr. Darcy? Or…I don’t know, the guy from the British movie/series/play with the smolder? Or the women that look around at those who are married and evaluate their qualifications for marriage?
“So-and-so is married. How is that they’re married and I’m still single?” Or, and I’ve heard this twice from friends, “How did THAT person convince TWO different people to marry them??”
The root of this is “that person is insane/awful/evil/crazy/worse than me and marriage (which I see as a relational victory) is only for those who are well-adjusted and deserving and good and kind and …karma, somehow. WHY AM I NOT MARRIED.”
That’s right. Did you know that you’re only allowed to get married if you’re emotionally stable and emotionally healthy? If you look attractive, have good hygiene and all your shit together? You can only get married if you don’t have any baggage from previous events in your life, and that when you want to be in a marriage a marriage will land in your lap?
No I didn’t think I could fool you. There’s actually no guaranteed successful method to finding the perfect marriage partner. Which is how a lot of really “undeserving” people get married.
It turns out that marriage is not about “deserving”.
It’s important that single people really hear this. Getting married is not hard. If you only want to be “married”, if the “Mrs.” is the most important thing to you, it’s not going to be challenging to find a spouse.
*I’m not implying that all married people fell into the institution, merely that if your only interest is the institution it’s fairly easy to get in.*
Quite literally, mail order brides exist to solve the concern of “I just want to be married.” If not today, then tomorrow. And online dating is an entire sea of men who would love to skip the chitchat and “just get married”.
The problem isn’t that awful people get married (and good people, I’m not saying wonderful people can’t get married too), it’s that somehow you’re under the impression that a person you dislike or judge to be lacking for some reason found what you perceive to be “their soulmate” and you have not.
You think it should be harder for awful people to find love. Which, that’s an issue you can sort out on your own time and hopefully in your own therapy sessions.
You don’t deserve marriage. No one deserves marriage. You don’t deserve any kind of relationship. Because that’s not how relationships work.
I don’t want to get all Full House about this, but the moral of the story is that you have chosen to make something else in life a higher priority than just “getting married”. It’s what I call “standards”.
*I’m not implying married people don’t have high standards, stick with me*
To be honest, everyone has a different set of them. “High” standards are not what I’m talking about here. Some people would acknowledge they have simple standards and others would boast they have high-maintenance standards. But good luck comparing one set of standards with another. It’s like comparing quilts with avocados.
You can’t measure someone else’s marriage by your own standards of relational success.
Now, if you don’t like that you’re unmarried, you might try another look at your standards. See if they’re unreasonable, or dated. See if you’re willing to compromise on some of them.
Listen, your standard can be Prince Charming. That’s between you and your movie watching. But your standard doesn’t mean “there’s no good guys left”. You just don’t like the choices available. But don’t forget, you have choices.
It may sometimes feel like being single isn’t a choice, but it is. Don’t take out your disappointment with your relational status on people risking everything to get married. They’ve got a hard enough time staying together without your judgment layering over them.
But I do encourage you to find a way to be at peace with your decision. It’s not always going to feel good, but staying true to your dreams and principles and hopes is something single people need to learn well and deeply. Those are the big things that make you, you.
They may not make you into perfect marriage material, but then again, no one is, so enjoy the things that make you special, and stop wasting your time caring about why that jerk is married.