My mom got married at age 22. She met my dad in college, stalked him at a few basketball games, went to a school banquet, and was engaged after several months.
Like my mom, I also went to college. But that's where the similarities end.
After college I started working and never looked back. Well, actually I did look back. But it wasn't until my 30th birthday, when I sat on the couch with another piece of birthday cake and asked myself, "Um, what happened? Why am I still single?"
That was 12 years ago.
I'm now 42 and (still) single. The weird thing is, I've always wanted to get married. I mean, I assumed I would get married. I wasn't a man-hater who wanted to go it alone in the world. I wasn't antisocial. I wanted a story like my mom's, though naturally with less hardship and more disposable income (I'm a Gen-Xer, after all).
But it hasn't happened. I've got a cool job, comfortable home, close friends, and a full schedule. I'm a secure modern woman in every sense of the word.
But I still hope for marriage.
Maybe that sounds desperate and sad. Maybe it sounds old-fashioned. I guess I don't care. One thing's for sure: I know I'm not alone. I know because I hear from hundreds of single women who want the same thing, but the script isn't being written to their liking either. They wonder where they went wrong, and what they should be doing differently now—if it's not too late.
I've spent plenty of time obsessing, too. I've wondered whether I'm too "strong" to attract a guy's attention. Or maybe I'm too chatty, opinionated, or tall.
I've wondered if I'm supposed to be married at all.
I've had to let all of that superficial second-guessing go. Most of it can't be changed, and much of it shouldn't be. I am who I am, and that's okay. Most of the time, it's great. And as a Christian, I believe in a God who has my back. He loves me perfectly, has crafted my future, and isn't giving me a secondhand story while he makes other girls' dreams come true.
But at the same time, there's no shame in looking back and learning from past mistakes. And I've made a few. They're the kind of mistakes that more and more young women are making while our mothers and grandmothers stand by and shake their heads.
The young women entering adulthood today are not just hoping for marriage—they're expecting it. In fact, according to Mark Regnerus, more than 90 percent of today's young women say they want to get married someday. But at the same time, nearly 40 percent of women 15–44 have never been married.