21st Century Kid Your Relationship Status Does Not Define Who You Are From Our Readers

According to my Facebook, which obviously contains all of the answers of the world as well as questionable statistical information, every twenty-something can be categorized into one of two groups: married or single. Timeline is a schizophrenic hodgepodge of Pinterested recipes followed by cat memes, naked baby butts vs. amateur modeling spreads, and sparkling left hands perched across men’s chests right above Vegas photo albums. My generation is torn between “growing up” and staying eighteen forever. Marriage is viewed as a sign of maturity for some, and a lifetime sentence for others. Being the only single girl left in your group of friends from high school is either pathetically depressing or incredibly liberating. And everybody has their opinion on whether you should stay single in your twenties, or get married young.

Single twenty-something’s are too young to get married. They have so much left to see and do, and they could not imagine having to kiss the same person every morning or miss out on a blackout night at the hippest new dive bar. They love flirting, getting numbers, and besides, monogamy is an ancient concept; we were meant to sow our wild oats. You know them — your perpetually single “Everyone is getting married and having babies and I’m just over here drinking a margarita” status posting girlfriend. They want to travel, avoid responsibilities, and focus on their dream of making it in the ______ industry before they could even consider settling down. And don’t even get them started on babies, because they are never having children.

Meanwhile, the married percentage of Facebook is a real rub-it-in-your-face-crowd, posting kissy face photos alongside mediocre Instagrams of home-cooked dinners and 15 different–but-the-same photos of new baby Joe in various outfits and locations. They have “big girl jobs” and family dogs and have traded guzzling Coors Light for expensive reds with complimentary cheese plates. You held her hair while she was throwing up in the bathroom during 2-for-1’s, and now she is throwing Pampered Chef and Scentsy parties.

There is a sort of tension between these conflicting lifestyles – a rivalry of sorts. Singles hold their destiny in their own hands; their opportunities are limitless. Marrieds have a jump start on the future, because who wants to be 50 when your kids finally leave the nest?

I’m here to let you in on a big secret: Your relationship status does not define who you are or what you do with your life. Sure, relationships –or lack thereof- shape and influence our lives. But in the end, we decide what kind of person we are going to be and what we want to accomplish with the time that we have.

Full disclosure: I’m twenty-something, and I’ve been married for three years. Before that, I was single for my entire life. I may not be qualified to give advice on marriage or relationships or life, but I think that I have gained some valuable perspective. And while I could write an article about how wonderful young marriage can be, how incredibly NOT “grown up” or “tied down” or “limited” it can be, that sort of article has probably been done before. By a young married person, for young married people. And there are certainly dozens of other articles about why you shouldn’t get married at a young age, for single people. Because who doesn’t love to read a piece that pats you on the back and makes you feel like you’ve got it all figured out?

Well I think those articles are bulls**t. The writer is assuming that they know what is best for you. And maybe they’ve got statistics and studies and countless examples on hand, but what they don’t have is your mind. Your heart. Your life experiences, goals, challenges and aspirations. They don’t know you.

We should know by now that nobody is perfect. Nobody has all the answers, and there is no right path. You can try to plan out your life, but I guarantee that life will get in your way. Just because you’re 27 and single doesn’t mean that you’ll end up with a houseful of cats, just like being married at 22 doesn’t mean you can’t see the world. Do what you want!

We have to stop measuring our lives according to society’s expectations or the eyes of our peers. What is right for one woman is not right for her best friend. Assuming that you are more enlightened than someone with the opposite relationship status is just downright ignorant. I don’t know the meaning of life, but I bet that you won’t find it when you are comparing your life to someone else’s.  So let’s just live and let live, okay guys?

Kaleh Sapp is a Minnesota native currently living in coastal Georgia where people make fun of the way she pronounces “bag”. She works at a German restaurant as the only person who doesn’t speak German. In her spare time, Kaleh enjoys writing, drooling over Pinterest recipes, and taking pictures of her dog. You can follow her on twitter @seventyx7 and on Tumblr.

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When “Boyfriend” Isn’t Enough and “Husband” Is Too Much

I’m In An Open Relationship With Facebook… And It’s Complicated

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  1. Amen to that!
    To be fair I’m of the single friend category who’s commenting that “Everyone is getting married and having babies and I’m just over here drinking”. I am travelling and teaching in Europe *living the dream* so to speak (Nothing like fulfilling a stereotype hahaha!)

    OK, so I’m 29 in April with no man on the horizon and very low odds of getting married before turning 30. It doesn’t define me though. Before my relationship of 3 and a half years failed, 6 months ago, I thought that yes, perhaps being in a relationship is the be-and-and-end-all, defining point of life, but shockingly, I’m coping fine being just me.

    I know those girls in my year at school judge a bit “Got a boyfriend? not married yet? why?” We could turn the tables and ask “why haven’t you left our hometown and seen the world yet? Why haven’t you got a degree?” There’s no real right or wrong choice. Some go for the family life, some go for the career, some go travelling. We only get one shot at it, so why not make it a happy choice for you?

  2. Being single is sometimes not a choice, either. Most women are simply looking for the right man to come along. I’m single, but that doesn’t mean I’m out scouring the bars for mens’ phone numbers and getting drunk every weekend. It also doesn’t mean that I am afraid of commitment and don’t want to have children. It just means I haven’t found the right person to marry, and that’s all. There’s nothing else to it. But I agree with you that your relationship status doesn’t define who you are. We are all individuals and should be treated that way.

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  4. This is one of the most ignorant pieces I’ve read (ok half read… It made me want to throw up..) on hello giggles. And I don’t like to be judgemental especially when I don’t know the facts but I don’t know ANYONE who would divide people into only two groups of married or Vegas drunken hooligans. Perhaps it’s because I’m not american but I find this to be so closed minded it’s not funny. Perhaps it is just coming from your own insecurities about being too young and married and envious about people who are going out and having the time of their lives. I am nearly 27 and I work hard I spend time with family I do active things I’ll go to a pub for some drinks but I am in no way a Vegas girl. Or whatever it is you want to classify “single people” as. I haven’t met “the one” and I have no issue of settling down if i were to meet such a person. But I’m not about to start rushing my life to fit into some category. Honestly I am usually more composed than this but it made me so angry that hello giggles would even post something so ignorant so I am sorry for rambling. I get the whole party girl va baby pictures thing but whatever this article seemed to be about from the first few paragraphs was just a fictional exaduration.

    • Sarah,

      I feel the need to stand up for myself, because it seems you did not understand the point of my article. The paragraphs describing single people vs married people are stereotypes– NOT my personal opinion. I definitely do not think that people fit into only two groups– it was a tongue in cheek interpretation of Facebook.

  5. I feel like you polarized people into fitting only into those two groups: either single or married. You forget asexual, gays/lesbians, bi, and people who are dating but not married. As well, not everyone on Facebook is simply there to post their single or relationship lives but to also keep in touch with others and other facets of their lives.

    However, that being said, I very much agree that your relationship status does not determine or limit what people can do and accomplish in their lives. I agree that individuals (and their partners to a certain extent when married/dating) are in control of their own lives along with the random wild cards that life throws our way. I think that most people do live and let live. The times that people don’t is when they focus on what is socially accepted or seek social reassurance of what they do in their lives. Yes other people judge, but individuals are in control of who they surround themselves with and who their friends are.

    • With all due respect, the article is about focusing on your own happiness, regardless of what others have to say. This applies to people of all genders/sexualities/relationship statuses.

  6. “Being the only single girl left in your group of friends from high school is either pathetically depressing or incredibly liberating. [...] We have to stop measuring our lives according to society’s expectations or the eyes of our peers. What is right for one woman is not right for her best friend. Assuming that you are more enlightened than someone with the opposite relationship status is just downright ignorant. I don’t know the meaning of life, but I bet that you won’t find it when you are comparing your life to someone else’s. ”

    Thank you so much for that article, this pretty much sums up what I have been thinking the past few years. I’m 30 and while my 4 best friends all met their now husbands in school, I have been “the single one” among us most of the time. And class reunions in those years were just downright depressing and left me thinking: “Am I the only unmarried one around here? What is wrong with me?”
    But after a while I realized that I don’t have to lead my life like society expects me to. Being single has its advantages and I refuse to let others tell me that I couldn’t possibly be content and happy without a partner.

  7. I totally agree!! I don’t think it is anybody’s right to tell others what kind of relationship they should have. How should we know what will make others happy? I’ve been in a committed relationship for almost three years, and I’m so blessed. This is my journey. I have plenty of happy friends who are single and ready to travel the world on their own, while I am planning a wedding and discussing where we’re going to settle down together. We’re all happy where we’re at. Happiness is dependent on the person, not the relationship status. If you’re happy being married young, sweet! If you’re happy not being tied down, that’s great! Who are we to judge? Follow your heart! :)
    PS–Kaleh: I’m from Idaho, and we say “bag” weird too. People make fun of me so much! It’s two syllables where I’m from!! ;)

  8. Nicely written, but it dismisses the fact that some people are asexual. That would be me.

  9. I really needed this! And I completely agree! Thank you for this awesome article!

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