The Pressure to Settle

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Maybe it’s the onslaught of magazine-worthy wedding photos barreling into my psyche when I open my Pinterest account to find a workout for a perkier behind.

Maybe it’s my own codependent mother’s suggestion to reconcile with my verbally and emotionally abusive ex-husband because he loves me and it’s Christmas.

Maybe it’s the barrage of engagement announcements on Facebook or the photos of families in matching pajamas that clog my Instagram feed.

Or, maybe it’s the fact that I invited my male roommate to Thanksgiving dinner with my family, only to watch him become the target of inappropriate and ill informed questions about when he is buying me a ring.

Ahem. We aren’t even dating.

The pressure to find a forever partner – to marry Mr. Right or Mr. Right Now, as though we are doves that mate for life, couldn’t be more present.

Breaking News: I don’t need a Mr. Anything. Alas, it doesn’t stop everyone around me from trying to hook me up with their single brother, suggesting that I give online dating another chance or wondering why I don’t marry someone who is clearly wrong for me – just so I’ll be able to say I “have someone.”

Humor me here.

What if I don’t want a partner?

What if I actually desire time alone to explore who I am, work through past trauma, read a book, watch sappy movies, or shamelessly flirt with the emo bartender who makes me my French 75s? What if I’d like to get clear on my values without trying to maintain a relationship that I’m not ready for?

Why is this such a foreign concept for so many people?

Why does everyone want a goddamn husband for me? Except for me? Has the Hallmark Channel convinced us all that in order to be happy  we need to love someone else instead of focusing on loving ourselves?

Dear family, friends and concerned citizens: I would like to take this opportunity to state what more unmarried women than just me are thinking. We are OKAY. In fact, we are more than okay. We are learning to love ourselves and take care of our own needs (yes, all of them).

Could the right partner come along and add to our lives? Sure. Do we need you to introduce us to every single male that attends your Wednesday night church group? No. We do not.

We will know when the right partner comes along because he will encourage us to continue to love ourselves and take charge of our own needs. He’ll be an equal player in our game of life. Until then, you can leave us to our solo skydiving adventures, quiet soul-searching Sunday nights, and battery-operated boyfriends.

Maybe I speak for myself here, but the only men that I truly need – and I mean desperately need -in my world right are Ben and fucking Jerry.

Brittany Latham is supremely talented photographer, devoted mother of three, and owner of Brittany Latham Studios. Brittany Latham Studios began as a one-woman side gig that has blossomed into a remarkable business that aims to reach the masses through soul-baring imagery and writing.

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