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Does getting married make you a successful person?

My friends always laugh at me when I say I find it odd that we say ‘congratulations’ when someone gets married, like its an achievement. Because in my opinion, literally everything else people have ever accomplished is more worthy of congratulating them on, rather than them signing a piece of paper. You don’t need to work hard to get married. There’s literally child brides in parts of the world married at the age of 7. Dark, I know, but the point I am trying to make is it’s not hard to get married, anyone can do it (obviously, not everyone should).

What we don’t seem so good at doing, is celebrating the people who know when not to get married. The people who have a fulfilled life on their own, and don’t need another ‘half’. Why are there halves of people walking around? Why is everyone not a whole person on their own? Where is the other half of themselves? Why haven’t they tried finding this, instead of focussing on finding another person?

I love spending time on my own. Anyone who knows me, knows lockdown changed my life in a positive way. I lived alone and didn’t see anyone for a whole year. I had no bubble and spent my time cooking, exercising, going on walks and minding my own business. My mental health had never been better. Lockdown might be over, but I continue to protect my mental health by socialising infrequently. Just enough so that I am not deemed a social outcast, but not enough to exhaust me. Yet still, my friends always feel the need to ask me ‘have you started dating anyone’?

Why don’t they ask me what my latest PB was at the gym, if I managed to achieve a pull-up yet, did I manage to achieve my weekly goals? Things that I am actually working hard on and that are important to me.

The answer to this is because they don’t care about those things. For a lot of people, success = partner, marriage, house, baby. Very little outside of this matters to them in terms of defining what success is. The irony of this is that its those little daily things that are important and that allow us to work out what the bigger things we actually want are. When we don’t spend time doing the little things, we are more likely to just do what others expect us to do when it comes to the bigger things, because we haven’t allowed ourselves to see there is an alternative.

I would like to have a partner one day, but not enough that I spend active time looking for one. And the baby… not for me. Childfree by choice over here. The reason people put their own expectations of the above onto me, is because those are the expectations placed on them and they met those expectations. Some people were happy to meet those expectations, but others didn’t know there was another way. I speak to a lot of people who have children, and love them, but say ‘if I could go back, I wouldn’t have had them’. They did it because it was what people did, and they didn’t know there was a different way.

The reason I am sharing this is to help you see there IS a different way to live your life. If you want all the above, there is nothing wrong with that. But for those of you who don’t want the above, don’t give into the expectations placed on you. Be bold enough to say no and not conform to the societal expectations.

If you are struggling with the expectations placed on you and want someone to help you stop giving into what other people want from you, get in touch.


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