Our society casts a wary eye on those who never marry, but if you look closer, you may see why.
My father’s only sister, my Aunt Dorothy, was born in 1906 and she never married. I know she had boyfriends, including one torrid love affair with a college professor at Vanderbilt University, but she chose not to become his wife. I believe it was because she was dedicated to her profession as a high school history teacher.
She’d earned a master’s degree (rare for a woman in those days) and was passionate about civil rights and the fundamental ideals our country was founded upon – and she was committed to sharing that passion with her students.
Dorothy wouldn’t let anything get in the way of her mission, despite that in those days, a woman was expected to give up her career and become a dutiful wife. A career was a transitory stage for a woman ― something that happened in between high school and marriage.
I think my Aunt Dorothy was like many singulars today. They are so passionate about their purpose that the idea of sacrificing it in order to be sufficiently present in a relationship (as you must be in a marriage) is like asking them to chop off the most vibrant and beautiful part of themselves.
That’s not to say singulars of this type don’t enjoy rewarding romantic relationships, but they have such dedication and passion for their purpose that they simply cannot sacrifice it – they will not – because it is so much of who and what they are. Be it a physician, an athlete, an artist, or a teacher like my aunt Dorothy.
So next time you hear someone say, with disdainful judgment, that so-and-so never married, look beyond the “what’s wrong with them?” knee-jerk response, and look for the passion and purpose they are “married” to.