We are the lucky ones. In a world rife with child marriage, teen marriage, and many more millions of women trapped in traditional patriarchal societies where women are expected to be household servants and treat their husband as an honored guest/helpless man-child, we lucked out. We made it. We got out. We dodged a bullet.
By refusing to play the game of mistaking mediocre relationships for love, we won. It really is that simple. We pulled back the curtain of society, and found that the Oz of male approval wasn’t really the best boyfriend or husband material we were looking for. And so we simply walked on and continued living. That wasn’t the path. There’s no love and no future in that.
We could have settled for any warm body at any point on the path, and that’s the truth, whether or not we realize it. As women we always have options, but if you want good options, that’s much trickier. Good men have always been rare. I’ve heard enough about my Chinese friends’ critical husbands and Albanian men’s 0% percent of household chores to learn just how grateful to be for my own freedom. According to the CDC, as many as 1 in 4 American women experiences some form of violence from an intimate partner at some point in her life. Some days, I am almost frightened by my good luck.
I can’t believe how luck I am to be 29 and single. What an unbelievable gift, to have had the entirety of my 20s to grow up slowly at my own pace, to finally blossom and start to lean into who I really am near the end of that decade. If I had met a life partner at any point before now, I would have missed out on the chance to make my dreams of world travel come true. I might never have found myself, and that would have been an unspeakable tragedy. Love is the greatest thing in the world, and being single means it’s still possible.
Spend these years living the hell out of your life. You don’t know how much longer you will have it. You are getting older, every single day, and I hope that scares you. Go out and live desperately, with abandon, for one day you will no longer be here. And honestly, how else would you ever meet a man of quality, who shares your passions, if you’re not chasing them?
You want a prince? So do we. Join us, sister. You’re not too old, you’re not expired goods, you’re a rare catch. Come in this room of successful women who didn’t get roped in and tied into a situation that sucked the life out of your life. Maybe you did, and you got out. We salute you. Your sisters all stand and applaud you when you enter this room.
The entire rest of your life is ahead of you. Anything could happen. As Frank Sinatra sang, “We’ve only tasted the wine/We’re gonna drain the cup dry/…The best is yet to come/And babe won’t it be fine”