Always A Bridesmaid, Never A Bride

A well-known idiom (and cliché), always a bridesmaid, never a bride, is defined as someone who never manages to fulfill their ambition – they get close, but never quite achieve their goal. In this case, let’s look at its literal meaning as applied to a woman who has never walked down the aisle as a bride.

Even in our modern, free-thinking age, there is social pressure to marry. Are your friends, who are all married-with-children, making you feel like life is passing you by? No matter how hard you try, you can’t seem to find Mr. Right? Are the first words out of your mother’s mouth every time you call or see her have something to do with you not being married?

Maybe you are asking the wrong questions. Is being thirty-something and single really all that bad? Look around you, out of all the couple’s weddings you attended in your twenties, how many are now divorced? Those that are still together, are they happy?

The truth is marriage isn’t easy. It takes constant work to remain connected and committed. Throw in the stress of work, kids, and life in general, and even the best marriages can fail. As we age, we naturally change, and sometimes that change makes us incompatible. Sometimes, the person you thought was your soul-mate is more a soul-sucking mate.

There are plenty of books and articles listing reasons why you may still be single. Perhaps your standards are too high, you are too negative, you consistently fall for the wrong guy, and maybe it’s about you, not them. Is fear or a not-so-good ex relationship making you gun-shy? There is a long list of potential reasons, and perhaps, you might fall into one or two categories if you do an honest assessment. But what about the possibility that marriage isn’t for you?

We don’t have to buy into the whole fairy-tale image of finding Prince Charming, who of course comes with a big chapel wedding, the voluminous white dress, and glittering diamond ring the size of Milwaukee. The perfect life doesn’t have to include the picturesque house and two kids, one each of course. This scenario isn’t meant for everyone, and that’s okay.

Maybe, just maybe, we can love our singleness and not feel we are missing out. It seems to be something older, divorced women are embracing in higher numbers. We’ve gone down the path of convention and ended up alone. And you know what? It’s pretty darn pleasant, even wonderful! Can it be that wisdom does come with age? Perhaps. And, it could be that single women of any age have found that wisdom as well and are saying, “No, it’s not bad at all. I’m living happily ever after on my own.”