For us, The Change began at around age 27. For some, it’s sooner. For the highly accomplished, it’s more like 35.
But while The Change may start at different ages in different parts of the country and various points along the socioeconomic spread, it’s going to start—unless it’s already here. The Change is the shift from singlehood to married life, and it infects each member of a friend group, one by one, until there’s just one Tinder profile left in the whole social sphere.
This is what it’s like to be the holder of that Tinder profile: It’s lonely. You feel like all of your friends are abandoning you, and in a partial sense, that’s true. You feel like there must be something wrong with you because no one’s ever asked to put a ring on it when everyone else is marching around in diamonds.
We get it. But cheer up! Here are a few things to remember when you get down about being the only one of your friends left unmarried.
1. Your friends totally envy you.
The only thing worse than being single is being married. They can both be great, but the grass does have a tendency to look a little greener, etcetera. No matter what choices you make in life, there will always be that temptation to dream about the paths left untaken. That’s true for everyone.
So here’s the secret: Your friends are totally jealous of you. They might even try to live vicariously by setting you up on endless blind dates, and who knows? One of those blind dates might infect you with a virulent strain of marriage.
2. There’s no time limit.
Forget all that nonsense about a woman’s “marrying years.” You don’t want to marry anyone who thinks like that, anyway.
Nope, you never know when the right person will wander into your life. It might be when you’re 30 or when you’re 50. Just work on yourself and stay open to adventure and you’ll meet somebody.
3. You can start a relationship—or end one—any time you want.
Singlehood is always a choice.
Maybe you’ve got more me-work to do before you’re ready for the big commitment? In the meantime, you can enjoy yourself and figure out what you really want out of a relationship.
4. Comparing yourself to others will always blow up your shot at happiness.
Most importantly, remember that this is your life. It’s not Jenny’s from college. It doesn’t belong to Jaden from the office. They might all be getting married, but you are not them. So why worry what they’re doing?
5. Those who marry for marriage’s sake usually live to regret it.
The rest don’t survive. Just kidding—we think. Cohabitation is tough, and no one makes it without a lot of gas in the engine. Except, in this case, gas is love, and the engine is not getting divorced. You get the idea.
Here’s the point: Treat yourself right, take care of your health, and have fun dating. Sooner or later, nearly everyone falls victim to The Change—if they really want to.