Screen Shot 2014-11-07 at 12.01.17 PMMost women grow up fantasizing about the perfect wedding with the perfect guy but are we still expecting those dreams to be realized or are we buying into expectations that we feel pressured to live up to.

Studies show that some people enter into matrimony not because they necessarily want to but rather to uphold the values that have been instilled on them. Most of us grow up internalizing the ideals of marriage and how it plays into the family dynamics. We are taught that in order for generations to thrive, we have to honor our commitment of settling down with a partner and producing offspring. If we don’t live up to those pre-set standards, we have somehow failed and are subject to gossip and ridicule.

It’s no wonder that women in particular feel the need to satisfy their obligations even when they are not naturally inclined to. But there has been a shift in the number of women submitting to the walk down the aisle. This could come from the fact that we are more career-minded than ever before and also the fact that we have finally realized marriage in itself is not the most desirable institution. With the divorce rates at an all time high and a depleting number of eligible bachelors, the playing field isn’t exactly appetizing at the moment. This certainly makes it easy to take all the time in the world when it comes to donning that white dress.

But there are women who are determined to override their instincts because of their need to fit in or please their family and this usually leads them to less than ideal mates. In some cases, the signs are obvious even before the ring makes its entrance. They are ignored because the stigma of being unattached is far greater a risk than living with an unsuitable partner. And of course for women the subject of children is a touchy one as we advance in age. The thought of being single and childless in our late thirties is almost as bad as being diagnosed with a serious illness.

But perhaps that mentality is shifting towards a more independent spirit; especially since the number of women opting for the single-parent status is steadily increasing. This is due to the fact that more of us today are financially secure and with that level of stability comes confidence and resourcefulness. Having a devoted boyfriend or husband is never a bad thing but if that isn’t in the cards or of it’s not happening fast enough, we no longer have to wait to be blessed in that area in order to fulfill our need to be mothers.

In the end, marriage is still a beautiful thing but it no longer dictates the way most of us live or view our lives. If we are not the marrying kind, there should be no shame associated with that admission. Life can still be a satisfactory experience.

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