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8 Lessons I Learnt When Everyone Around Me Was Getting Married

As I inch ever closer to the dreaded ‘three-oh,’ I found myself in an introspective mood. I’ve been single for as long as I can remember, and I’m okay with that. Scratch that, I’m okay with it, sometimes. But other times, I find myself gazing wistfully at the seemingly happy, blissful, and content married lives of my friends and acquaintances that is splashed all over my newsfeed.

Let’s make one thing clear here – I’m NOT jealous of them or their lives, merely wistful. Now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s move on. (The distinction had to be made, for many people mistake the two – very often.)

Anyway, as I was saying, my introspective mood got me thinking about the past several years of my life, particularly the period after my graduation to the present. This time period has been full of people getting married left, right, and center, and I’m happy for them.

Suggested read: 10 dos and don’ts of a successful marriage

Growing up, I’d always pictured myself being married by the age of 25, with a loving husband, two point five kids, a white picket fence, and the whole deal, by the time I hit 30. It had never crossed my mind to look or even think of a different future for myself. This was always it – I thought that if I had all of these, I’d be happy. Believe it or not, I hadn’t even thought of a career for myself. In my visions of my future, I was always the loving, caring wife, a homemaker mom, who is always there for her kids and her husband, who supports her husband through thick and thin, and through his success and our family, my identity would be defined.

And I’m the first one to admit that there’s nothing wrong with this picture. It’s a happy one, and I’m glad I was naïve enough to think that this would have made me happy. However, as I’ve grown a bit older, a little wiser, and gotten a lot more mature, I find this picture disturbing. I have this urge to bang my head against the wall! 😛 Not because it’s the wrong picture, but I’ve since realized that it’s the wrong picture for me.

woman thinking_New_Love_Times

Image source: Pinterest

Why? Because I’m not naïve anymore, I know what I want in life, and this isn’t the whole picture of what I want out of life, and I would’ve been bored out of my mind after a year of it, I’m sure!

Since the image of that happy future shattered, I’ve come to realize a lot many things, and one of the foremost is that I do want all of those things I mentioned, but a lot more too. At times, I find it hard to be thankful for a life of an independent single woman, but other times – these are growing by the minute – I’m thankful that I didn’t get married years ago because these years have made me a bit older, a little wiser, and lot more mature.

While I witnessed people getting married all around me, what I have learned are a few valuable lessons, and I’m going to share them with you today.

1. Your ‘type’ changes as you change

When I was younger, I used to long for my Prince Charming, who was perfect in every way, who had the power to sweep me off my feet, and who was the perfect mate for me, and tall, dark, and handsome to boot. But, as time has gone by, I’ve realized that such an ideal mate only exists in movies and books, and I’ve learned to look for something deeper than just mere looks. Granted that the person you want to spend the rest of your life with has to be good-looking, but he doesn’t have to be drop dead gorgeous, is all I’ve realized. I look for solid qualities like honesty, integrity, responsibility, honor, instead of them just being attractive without a personality to match. I’ve realized that I’d like someone who treats me as an equal instead of a possession or a piece of property. I’d like someone who is reliable, with whom I can share my problems, worries, and more importantly, my life. What I have learned is that your ‘type’ changes whether you like it or not, as you experience newer things in life. It’s almost inevitable.

2. Finding a career that suits you is more important than getting married

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Image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License

I have nothing against people who have given up their careers after marriage. It’s their life and it’s their choice, and I respect them for it. But for me, finding what I loved doing, has been the greatest gift I could’ve given to myself. I look forward to go to work every day, I learn new things about my job, about myself, almost every day. It has made me a better person, a happier person. And it gives me immense satisfaction that I found the right career for me, and I’m thankful for having been given the time to figure it out.

Suggested read: 14 things you should NEVER tolerate in your marriage

3. You learn a lot about yourself through dating

It doesn’t always have to be through dating, but even something as simple as meeting new people in new settings and experiencing new things teaches you a lot about yourself as an individual. Every encounter gives you insight into yet another aspect of yourself and the person you’re looking for. You also learn that being single isn’t a curse, but a chance to love yourself and have an affair with yourself. You learn that sometimes, it’s better to be single than being with someone who doesn’t deserve you or who isn’t treating you right.

4. Your friends are a lifeline – truly


Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

My friends, so few that I can count them all on my fingers, are one of my life’s greatest treasures. They have been a strong support system – wittingly or unwittingly, through some of the most trying times of my life. One thing I’ve learnt is that invest in a few good friends, who will be there for you, no questions asked. Good friends will get you through almost anything that life throws at you. However, be choosy who you call your friends.

5. Never settle

This is a lesson I learned, the hard way. You see all your friends and cousins getting married, and it’s hard not to give in to pressure and just say yes to anybody that even remotely fits the bill. Beware, it’s only an illusion. It’s never a good thing if you have to force yourself to like the person you’re with. Don’t date anybody just because you’ve been single for too long or all your friends are having their fairy tale weddings. Good for them, but not so good for you. The right person will come along, and you will have the love you deserve. I have to believe this, otherwise what is life without hope?

6. Know who you are before getting married

woman thinking_New_Love_Times

Image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License

Do you know who you are? Who you are as an individual? What your strengths and weaknesses are? What your likes and dislikes are? Does your work define who you are? Or does your family define who you are? Or your relationship? Do you know how to live by yourself? Do you know how to make yourself happy? Do you know what you want out of life?

Do you have answers to these questions?

I know it’s hard, but you have to have the answers to these questions before tying the knot, else the relationship that you hastily get into will become the crutch you were looking for. This relationship becomes the single source of all your happiness. You’ll just be a mere shadow of your partner, if you stop asking yourself these questions.

7. You have the power to make things happen on your own

If you think you need someone to make things happen for you, think again. I pursued my passion when people all around me told me it wouldn’t pan out. Although it didn’t, and they were right, I have the satisfaction of having at least tried. I got my dream job when I least expected it. I traveled to a foreign country funded with my savings, and the feeling was nothing like I’ve ever experienced before or since. What I’m trying to say is, the world is truly your oyster. You can do whatever you want and become whoever you want, and you are solely responsible for having achieved that. Being independent has given me wings to fly that I never knew I had. In fact, being single in this day and age is a truly amazing thing. If you don’t see it that way, you just need a different lens than what you’re wearing.

Suggested read: 15 sure ways to know if marriage is for you

8. Marriage is not the answer

woman contemplating_New_Love_Times

Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

This is true in so many ways. If you can’t find happiness alone, how will you find it in your marriage? If you don’t learn to love yourself the way you are as an independent single woman, how will you learn to love yourself as a married woman? If you don’t find yourself before marriage, how will you find yourself after marriage?

Marriage has been cited as the answer to everything, from irresponsibility to loneliness to curing Polio! But the truth is, nothing and nobody can complete someone but themselves, their passions, their experiences, their intelligence, and their hearts.

Now that I’m in this stage of my life, I’m no longer bothered with people getting married. Why? Because what I have learned is that I’m content the way I am, and I love my life.

Featured image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License

Article Name
What I Have Learned About Myself As People Around Me Got Married
As I witnessed people around me getting married one by one, I learnt a few valuable lessons. Here's what I have learned about myself, and you should too.
Chaitra Ramalingegowda

Chaitra Ramalingegowda

I fell in love with storytelling long before I knew what it was. Love well written stories, writing with passion, baking lip-smacking-finger-licking chocolate cakes, engaging movies, and home-cooked food. A true work-in-progress and a believer in the idiom 'all those who wander are not lost'. Twitter: @ChaitraRlg