Single in the South
We live in the land of big hair, cowboy boots, country music at every location, and unfortunately for us, this is also the land of the young and married. Lots of them. They are literally everywhere. The south has always been notorious for marriages right after college. Just watch 2 episodes of “Say Yes to the Dress Atlanta”, you’ll realize every bride is younger than 24 years old. As northern girls moved south, we have been blindsided by the fact that being 26 and single is NOT. NORMAL. Not even close.
Our story begins with the initial move. The first day of work inevitably included the “did your spouse move with you?” question. Looks of confusion, shock, and utter dismay were the standard reactions to our “I’m not married” replies. “Well… are you seeing anyone?!” is typically the concerned follow up question. It is inconceivable that a young career woman could be independent and without a significant other after age 21.
After openly declaring single status, we are next met with the hopeful and sympathetic pat on the back, “you’ll find someone soon”, or even worse, an attempted fix up. You see them racking their brains of potentials for you. “Do you like athletic guys?”, “Are kids a deal breaker”, “you know, my girlfriends son is SUCH a nice guy and just bought a new house! You definitely need to meet him!”.
From that moment on, everyone is comfortable but you. You have now been placed on the path of love and on your way to abandon your single status and they couldn’t be happier for you! Perhaps southern girls would appreciate this favor, but coming from Ohio, we actually appreciate being single more than the awkward fix ups or dates.
The funny thing is, in the north, it is encouraged and perfectly normal to be 26 and single. In fact, people get extremely concerned when seeing young brides and grooms take their vows. “But they’re so young, are they really sure?!” is a question asked by many. So we had no idea to expect the exact opposite treatment in regards to being single in the south. Is being single even really that bad!?
When you’re single you have the world at your fingertips. For instance, could either of us have picked up and moved to the south if we had been married to our college sweethearts. Nope. On a smaller scale, when you’re single you have the freedom to be selfish and make whatever decisions you want. If you feel like going out with your girlfriends until 3 AM for 4 nights in a row, no one is going to stop you. You want to take that late workout class? Sure, go for it! You want to watch dumb chick flicks all night? The tv is all yours!
Further, the biggest blessing of being single is that you have the time to get to know what makes you truly happy. You can figure yourself out without the complexity of basing your happiness on a relationship with a guy. Yes, being single can get lonely, but at those times, look around your peaceful and quiet room and appreciate the fact that you’re not fighting with a boyfriend or worried about what hes doing with his night. You have the luxury to date who you want, when you want, and have time time to assess your options. Your twenties should be a time of fun with friends and self discovery, why should anyone let the fact that you aren’t married yet ruin that?
That being said, as much as the sympathy looks and panic mode “fix ups” completely suck for us singletons, we dont think being single is a bad thing at all. Those who have been married for years forget these things, but we haven’t. In our book, being single is better than being in a relationship that doesn’t make you happy. So until we reach that point fellow southerners, don’t worry about our single status because we arent!