When Marriage Is Just Another Overhyped Nightclub – The New York Times
People treat you differently when you are steadily single. Not everyone, not all the time, not always overtly, not necessarily unkindly. They ask why no one has snatched you up, offer to set you up on blind dates, seat you at the singles table at formal events. They extend last-minute invitations to dinner parties when someone else has bailed.
They make you feel as if you are not the norm, despite the fact that U.S. census data tells us singlehood is, in fact, increasingly the norm.
As a child, I belonged to an immigrant community that viewed marriage and motherhood as a woman’s primary goal in life. The stories around me were full of weddings as happy endings: “Friends,” “Sex and the City,” “Full House.” Every romcom. Every sitcom. “Pride and Prejudice,” “Little Women,” every fairy tale. Brangelina, Kim and Kanye, the outsize interest Americans take in British royal weddings.
I did the typical things: went to college, worked, made friends, went out, met men in bars, at school, at the office. Meeting people was easy; forging relationships was hard. It was the early 2000s in Los Angeles, a place where it seemed everyone wanted to keep their options open. I frequently found myself in relationship purgatory — seeing someone but not really dating, dating but not in a relationship, or in a relationship but not one with a future.