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So, I feel as if I must make this announcement before I begin – I'M STRAIGHT! Since there are many connotations for this word, I am meaning that I am heterosexual. I had to state this because being single, never married, and with no children sometimes gives the wrong impression to people. I know oh so well how a person is looked at when a 30-something year old with no children is viewed by society. You don't know the look? Well, let me explain. It is like a girl who has come out of the bathroom with toilet tissue stuck to her shoe, or like the girl who mistakenly tucked her dress inside of her underclothes. Just like in those cases, people have private conversations about you wondering what is wrong with you. Questions are always asked like, "Who is her girlfriend?" or "Is that why she likes to wear baseball caps?" Statements like, "I noticed she always has sneakers on." and "I have never met a boyfriend of hers!". NEWSFLASH: The only thing wrong with me is that I refuse to compromise on my morals and values in order to meet the standards and expectations of the world – or well, those people. I AM STRAIGHT, so No, I do not have a girlfriend. I like to wear baseball caps because it is easier than spending 30 minutes flat-ironing my hair. The sneakers, well, the type of work that I do requires me to be on my feet all day, so it is more comfortable and safe for me to wear them versus high-heeled pumps. Oh yeah, and when it comes to my family, I am very cautious about letting anyone meet them, especially a random person that I am still getting to know.

For some reason, people go by this unspoken rule that a person should be married with children by the time they are thirty. Truthfully, I have several friends that are above in the 30 range and above that are married and have children. However, I have just as many friends that are divorced with those same kids, and are living the single life again. To me, this points out the fact that just because you are married at the age of 30, it does not mean that you will stay married and are finally out of the woods. Some of these same women who "did not want to be like me", have ended up in the same position as I am – single. Oddly enough, I would always think the same thing about them... that I did not want to end up like them – divorced. This must be how our friendships lasted so long; we all hold our tongue in order to protect each other's feelings. In the same mindset of being single, being divorced can also represent bad things; failure or bad decision making skills, when it is simply a new beginning.

As females, we not only allow others to put a time limit on us, but we force one on ourselves, as well. My grandfather, who is very old school, loves to make comments such as, "you ain't eva gon' get married" or "a no man gon' want you once you get old". I look at him and laugh and question the age of his girlfriend (who I know is not a spring chicken), and state, "if she can get a man at her age, I am sure I can get one to!". Sometimes I know that he questions if I am gay, but is cautious to ask knowing my personality. I usually put his mind at ease by informing him that I desired to get married one day, but will not do it a moment before it is my time.

Family and friends can make you feel as if you will be alone forever, and this can push a person into making the wrong decision. It is almost as if it is believed that a mate validates someone vs them knowing who they are for themselves. Taking the time to learn yourself teaches you that certain men or not for you, and that you are not for certain men. You learn your likes and dislikes, your type and those things that are not able to be compromised, whether you want children and if your spouse having a child would result in an unhappy marriage. Moreover, you learn how to be happy in being alone, and that being single can be just as great as being married.

Being single does not mean you are homosexual. It does not mean you are lonely. It also does not mean that you do not desire marriage. It however, could mean that you are patient enough to wait on the man that God has for you. When you are waiting for the man that God has designed for you, a certain peace comes along with it that also allows for valuable lessons to be taught to prohibit mistakes.

Enjoy the journey in your single life, and look at it this way; it is better to be married once for the rest of your life vs spending the rest of your life continually marrying "the one".

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