Thursday, April 15, 2010

Is 27 the new Spinster?

By the time my mother was my age she had been married 10years and was (more-or-less) pregnant with me. Sure times and whatever have changed since the 70s but if studies are correct the median age, for when people get married, has only increased slightly. In the 1970s, my parents got married in '72, women were getting married at 21 and men around 23 (on avg of course) - but now in the 2000s the median ages are F:25 and M:27

I'm two years older than these studies are showing but it's just averages right? 

So why do I feel like I'm suddenly sad Aunt Imogene?

Even my family has made jokes about me not settling down and becoming some crazy cat lady!

Now let me interject for a moment to say yes, on many levels I already am a crazy cat lady but I believe they were referring to the type you find dead in her trailer 3weeks after her 50 cats have started to consume her soft tissues. I am NOT (nor will I be) that type of cat lady.

So I'm just wondering:

Since when was 27 the new Spinster?

I have to admit a good number of my friends are either already married or on their way.

And when I say "married" I mean married, domestic partner, civil union, etc...

For shits-and-giggles I tallied the numbers, on my social networking list of friends, to see how many are married/engaged - I also thought to look at the number of divorced since studies are always talking about how that number is increasing. Of the 185 people I'm "connected" with: 

51 are married.
13 are engaged.
15 are divorced.

Now while that leaves 106 "single" folks - however, most aren't un-attached.

I've been with my bf for over a year and I think he is just the best man I've ever been dated. He has the same smart-ass/sarcastic sense of humor I do. He certainly keeps me on my toes - half the time I can't tell when he's joking (partly due to my gullibility I suppose). At the same time though, he's affectionate and loving. He may not be the sending flowers type of romantic but he knows when I'm in a funk and how to yank me out of it. He isn't just some bf; he's my partner. 

I know many people who feel the same way about their partners w/o there being shiny pieces of metal on their ring fingers...and with no twinge of jealousy for those that do. We're happy for our married counterparts but we're equally as happy in our relationships. 

So I just want to know why, despite statistical evidence that I am not a freak-of-nature being unmarried at 27, does society feel the need to plaster TV advertisements with Eharmony and jingles? To fill the newest Vogue magazine with engagement rings and the latest edition of Home and Garden with "How to have a successful backyard wedding"? 

Am I an anomaly to not be in any rush to get married? 

Is it an oddity that I am content in my relationship status as is? 

Or am I the new "Old Maid"?


  1. Oh praise Jesus child you couldn't have said it any better. Why is it that engaged women assume that those of us that aren't are dripping with jealousy? Why do our families take pity on our unmarried souls? Come on!! It will happen when it's right, I'm in no hurry and enjoying my amazing life with a BF not a husband.

  2. Most of my closest friends from childhood are now engaged. Some of them have been dating since highschool, some have had their boyfriends and girlfriends for less than a year. It's not my place to interject and ask why, at 23 and 24, they're so ready to take that marriage step, but it's always been a puzzle to me, why two individuals who already love each other regardless of consolidated finances, contractual agreements or jewelry, feel the need to validate it with the aforementioned. It seems to me that the question should be: can we celebrate a partnership without those material things, which tend to end up constricting rather than providing a measure of security?

  3. I am single and have no desire to date at this point in my life... according to those studies, I should be getting married this time next year, but since I do not have even the slightest bit of a romance in my life I assume I too will be a spinster. In all honesty, I am thirilled for my friends who are in love and I am more then happy for those I know who are married or in healthy realtionships. As for me, I am single and focussed on my goals. I am happily independent and being single, for me, is a choice, not a concern.

  4. According to these studies, I should be married by this time next year. I am thrilled to say that I will not be a common statistic in regrds to dating. I am completely unattached and I have no desire to date (in person or on the internet). I am blissfully independent and am free of the responsibilities that come with choosing to co-exist with another human being. Society might call me a spinster, but I call myself a 20 - something, happy, focussed, woman. I am more then happy for those ho have found love and who are in successful and healthy relationships, but I am happy on my own and that should not be attached to a negative label.

  5. Amen sista! :) I remember learning in my sociology class: consumers and consumption, that what sells is a fulfilling social life, hence the beer commercials with the attractive young women, and cars that make us have a happy family life. I guess the most direct route to that would be the matchmaking websites...maybe the better question is WHY do we need to be attached?..maybe that's better left unanswered! obviously people feel a sense of having-it-all when they are in a relationship, almost making material markers obsolete. if our relationship isn't good enough, maybe if we buy that one more thing, ring, car, house, outfit, it will make it better. It's a sad circle, and an easy trap to fall into. making people a priority would probably help a lot more than having one more thing! ;)

  6. Oh, and one other thing. Why are women reduced to "Spinster" when men who chose not to get married (or just never do for whatever reason) are called "Bachelors"? Another topic I know but it ties in.

  7. Yes, let's be "Bachelorettes" for a while longer... (puts hand out to make a pact with the single ladies.)

  8. I am single and strongly considering never getting married. In all honesty, I would like to be dating someone on the regular, but I don't want the permanent attachment of marriage. Why? Divorce is just as expensive as getting married. I do look at my friends from high school and envy their security at times, but like I said, divorce....